Why This Vehicle?
Rolls-Royce Phantom IIs are big cars and the bodies are frequently formal, upright and staid. Gurney Nutting was one of the few coachbuilders who produced elegant attractive bodies that still draw admiration decades later. They were responsible for the very attractive 3-position cabriolet, built on the shorter Continental chassis, that was the basis for the Pocher Sedanca kit.
One version of that Gurney Nutting design is this fixed head coupe with its fake folding roof (faux cabriolet). The lines are particularly sleek, yet the design manages to convey an image of respectability as well as elegance and speed. Only a handful were built.
The design is very similar to one registered by Captain Owen whose business, H.R. Owen, usually handled the sale of Gurney Nutting cars. Owen considered the Gurney Nutting body to be a copy of his own design but an infringement lawsuit was never pursued. Not surpringly, though, the sale of this particular vehicle was handled by Jack Barclay.
Chassis number 170 MY, on which my model is based, was sold on 4 March 1933 to Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen who was chairman of the British-American Tobacco Company. He was clearly a man of taste.
Personally, I find this design to be one of the most satisfying of all the Phantom II bodies. There is a flow and coherence to the lines which is exceptional. Since this was likely going to be the last Rolls-Royce I built, it also seemed fitting to pick something that was particularly pleasing to the eye..