NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2016

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2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom - Formerly the Property of Sir Elton John

Lot No.: 322

Registration: RX05 BVR
Chassis Number: SCA1568053UH00242
Engine Number: 60913435
Number of cylinders: 12
CC: 6749
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Sold for (£): 123,750

When announced in 2003, the seventh generation Rolls-Royce Phantom was hailed as a breakthrough in terms of engineering and unparalleled luxury, re-affirming the ethos "The best car in the world" that drove its founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce to settle for nothing but perfection. Under BMW ownership Rolls-Royce has been eased into the twenty-first century with a near perfect blend of German engineering and British craftsmanship. The Phantom was never about achieving a single superlative, the biggest, the fastest, or the most powerful, but rather it was about finding the optimum balance of all these attributes and more. Traditional design elements, such as a long bonnet and wheelbase, short front and long rear overhang, strong C-pillar and discreet rear window, run throughout the Phantom, and when combined with modern engineering integrity create a car with serious presence. 

With a Rolls-Royce, superlatives are found in the details. New thinking and attention to detail can be seen in every area of the Phantom - the coach doors designed to make entry and exit as graceful as possible, a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy that hides away at the touch of a button, the Teflon-coated umbrellas housed with dedicated drainage channels in the rear doors, and the interlinked RR wheel centres engineered to keep the company logo upright at all times.

As expected from a Rolls-Royce, the interior of the Phantom features the finest materials found in any car, anywhere. Two types of leather finishes are used, a natural grain hide for seating and a textured ’tipped’ leather for door panniers and centre consoles. Naturally, it is the softest used in the automobile industry and customers could specify any colour. Deep-pile carpets are covered with sumptuous lambswool rugs, while metal surfaces have either a high-polish Sterling finish, such as the air vents, ’organ stops’ and lighting consoles, or a satin finish, which is used on the door handle surrounds and steering column stalks. The headlining is a wool and cashmere blend, providing a light and airy contrast to the leather surface of the central roof console. Ahead of the driver is an instrument cluster comprising three black-faced circular dials. A central speedometer is flanked by a split gauge for fuel level and water temperature, and a unique power reserve gauge which communicates the ’adequacy’ of available power - for example, at 100 mph, the engine has 75 % of its total power capability left. 

Powering this megalith of luxury is a 6.75 litre V12 built by BMW producing 453bhp and offering seamless acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in some 5.3 seconds. It may have a German engine but the Phantom is the essence of a great British institution.

And talking about great British institutions, Sir Elton John, took delivery of this car on the 29th April 2005 and it was registered with its only known number, RX05 BVR, to one of Sir Elton's companies, the cheekily titled William A. Bong Limited. In December 2005, the car was his carriage of choice on the occasion of his civil wedding to David Furnish at the Guildhall in Windsor. Extensive media coverage at the time shows the happy couple arriving in style in the rear of the Rolls.

Purchased by our vendor on the 26th June 2014 to add to his superb collection of cars with notable previous owners, the Phantom was subject to several thousand pounds worth of routine maintenance and cosmetic detailing at Rolls-Royce Birmingham and is supplied to auction with an MOT until July 2017 and an odometer reading of some 6,600 miles. The history file includes a letter from Sir Elton's private office confirming the Phantom was owned and used by him. Our vendor has generously included with the car, a stunning bejeweled cigarette lighter commissioned for the Phantom with a distinctive "Skull and Crossbones "design that Elton had created as a surprise for David Furnish at the time of the Wedding. Although Elton had retained the special lighter and replaced it with the standard one when the car left his hands, he later gifted it to our vendor as a gesture of friendship.