What To Do? Incomplete 1936 Rolls-Royce

1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III V12

What’s left of this 1936 Rolls-Royce was unearthed from a barn in Florida. It’s offered for sale here on eBay where bidding has begun at $1,000 with no reserve. This classic presents a conundrum—there’s a lot of car missing here! When one contemplates what to do here, there are several different choices. One would be to turn what is left into some sort of a hot rod. I think it would be a real shame to replace the Rolls V12 with another engine, though, as it even turns freely. But they aren’t known for making a tremendous amount of power; rather they are known for smoothness. Another choice would be to turn it into a period-style custom-bodied roadster. That way you could probably utilize the fenders, which seem pretty solid, and possibly the cowl or parts of it, but you could design the rest of the body without constraint.

1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III

That’s actually what I’d choose to do, although the design and construction of the grille would be the major challenge. A third choice would be to actually restore the car to its original state, which would be a monumental undertaking unless someone has a Phantom III parts car sitting around (which I doubt). To me, given that it has a good frame, the original gearbox, rear end, front suspension and even interior (for pattern/idea use), I would love to see someone turn it into a period-style roadster. Perhaps something similar to this wooden Phantom II would work? Let us know what you’d do in the comments.


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  1. john

    Looks like it is already a parts car and that may well be its best fate. But using one’s imagination, turning it into a chitty chitty bang bang style roadster could be fun. The wooden body for that would cost a lot less than trying to restore the coachwork.

  2. cory

    I’ll bet a dollar and a donut that it gets a full restoration.

  3. MH

    I’d bet a full frame off restoration on this car would cost 250K or more.

  4. DREW V.

    Would not even consider a full resto on it but more like a restification. I like the idea of the rebody to a roadster, it’s not like you would be cutting up a fine restorable car, I would definitely keep the V-12 regardless of what was done with it…

  5. Mike Z

    They restore worse cars. I’d love to see that motor in a rod though.

  6. Brad

    Lots of Rollses and Bentleys were rebodied when their styling fell out of favor. Attaching a beautiful 1934 reworking on a 1926 chassis. This offers the same opportunity for someone with the vision and discipline to make something that does justice to the original. If it were me, I’d give it some kind of symbolic name like Phoenix, or The Lazarus.

  7. Brad

    One more pitch for the rebodied concept. One could build a replica of the factory pickup trucks that delivered Merlin aircraft engines during WWII. Here’s one made from a 1939 Phantom. Stunner.

  8. sunbeamdon

    Bread – I, too, support your approach – this Lady needs a resurrection – with the V12, lots of options. The existing style leaves a lot to be desired – rebodying is probably money well spent.

    Love the appended note to the ebay listing – good history, but not enough to compel a restoration as is.

  9. jim s

    there is now a history update, including 1st owner, to this car on the ebay listing. this car is going to get costly to buy, at $3970 with more then 7 days to go. i think it will get restored and still be worth more then the cost to do so. the RROC is the great source of information. great great find

  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    It’s most definitely not going to go for less than $10K.
    The V12 aspect will cause many to take a second look. While the engines didn’t have a ton of oomph, there are enough improvements in just rebuilding that are worthwhile.
    It will be restored.

  11. Trickie Dickie Member

    I would definitely NOT recommend wooden body reconfiguration as in the picture that is attached above. Oh Yes, very beautiful and every one I have ever seen is stunning. However at the time of the next sale one major hurdle would have to be overcome, a termite inspection report.

  12. Axel Caravias

    Monumental task!

    This is 10 minutes away from my shop so if anyone needs a PPI let me know. I can also take care of transportation and export.

    Axel Caravias

  13. David Frank David Member

    There are several Rolls “breakers” (junk yards) in England with lot of parts. Most of these from the 30s have rusted away or been scrapped for other reasons. It’s almost impossible to pass MOT on any car with any rust. I’m thinking you could purchase a (slightly) rusted hulk, ship it back and use it for parts.It would be interesting to know what the buyer does with this.

  14. jim s

    bidding ended at $14559.

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