AUC­TION ROLLS OUT A BIG GUN

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way - By BILL BUYS

A VERY dis­tinc­tive 1925 Rolls-Royce Phan­tom I twodoor sports saloon that once be­longed to renowned Aus­tralian opera singer Peter Daw­son will take cen­tre stage at Shan­nons up­com­ing Syd­ney Clas­sic Win­ter Auc­tion on Au­gust 10.

The bur­gundy-and-black Phan­tom is one of two su­perb vintage Rolls-Royces in the Syd­ney sale.

The car was de­liv­ered to its first owner in Eng­land fit­ted with con­ser­va­tive Baker limousine coach­work, but af­ter ar­riv­ing in Aus­tralia in 1930 it was re-bod­ied in 1935 as a very stylish twodoor sports saloon by Mel­bourne coach­builder Martin & King for its then-owner R C Cle­land, who in­cor­po­rated 26 sep­a­rate warn­ing lights and in­di­ca­tors into the new body.

They in­cluded turn­ing hands at the front, ar­rows at the rear, pi­lot lights on the near side, cour­tesy lamps on the run­ning boards, re­vers­ing lights, ditch lights de­signed to il­lu­mi­nate drains on coun­try roads and even red and green pass­ing lights.

With a pow­er­ful 7.6-litre six-cylin­der in-line en­gine, the Rolls-Royce was also equipped for se­ri­ous long dis­tance tour­ing and fea­tured a pur­pose-built ra­dio with a 2000-mile range, fold­ing seats that con­verted into a bed and long-range fuel tanks mounted in the boot.

Later, the Phan­tom be­longed to Mr Daw­son for a pe­riod lead­ing up to World War II, then spent some years with long-term owner Harry Been­ham in Syd­ney be­fore pass­ing into its cur­rent own­er­ship in 1997.

Con­sid­er­able me­chan­i­cal re­fur­bish­ment has been car­ried out re­cently by mar­que spe­cial­ist Garth Seli­gand and the car has cov­ered just 700 miles since.

Shan­nons con­ser­va­tively ex­pect it to fetch about $125,000 on Au­gust 10.

As an al­ter­na­tive, there’s also a very de­sir­able 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP HJ Mulliner saloon with a doc­u­mented history.

It was orig­i­nally de­liv­ered to the High Sher­riff of Here­ford­shire, ended up in the US and ar­rived in Aus­tralia in the late 1980s. It has had just three own­ers in the past 25 years.

Shan­nons said it drove as a Rolls should and ex­pected it to sell in the $58,000$68,000 range.

Or there’s a much more mod­ern 1979 Sil­ver Shadow II V8 saloon ver­sion that should sell in the $18,000$22,000 range.

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