AUCTION ROLLS OUT A BIG GUN
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.