THE EXPERIMENTAL PHANTOM III ‘SPECTRE’ CARS (1934-7)
Early in its history, Rolls-Royce created a unique nomenclature for its experimental vehicles, assigning them chassis numbers ending in the tantalising suffix “EX.” These “large-horsepower” research models, starting with the 1EX in 1919 and continuing through the 45EX in 1957, were put on test runs of up to 15,000 miles, frequently travelling 800 miles per day on the ha rsh French roads. Additionally, they travelled thousands of kilometres across the British countryside and the congested streets of London. The 103EX electric vision car, debuted in 2016, is the most recent example of how the EX designation is still used today.
Sir Henry Royce started working on a new V12 engine in 1930 for a brand-new chassis with independent front suspension. But because he passed away in 1933, he was unable to see the project through to completion. In November 1934, the 30EX, the new a utomobile, was prepa red for testing on the road.
Maintaining confidentiality about the new V12 engine was crucial for business, as it is with all advancements. Therefore, 30EX received the codename “Spectre” in addition to its chassis number. Before the car went into production as the Phantom III in 1936, nine more EX vehicles with the codename “Spectre” would be produced. Seven of these development chassis would eventually be repurposed for sale to private buyers, who likely were unaware of the earlier secret actions involving their vehicle. Phantom III was able to maintain the reputation of the brand as “The best car in the world,” which was initially created by Silver Ghost in 1907. Testing and refinement were done utilising these “Spectre” cars.