Rolls-Royce 1928 Phantom I Ascot Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton by Brewster
Rolls-Royce went through a period where its image was conservative elegance, but in the Twenties things changed with the new coachwork designs by Brewster and Company of New York. A November 1929 ad in Vogue magazine made it clear that performance was also as essential as character.
""Somewhere between you and the graceful little figure-head that rides that radiator, you know a powerful motor is purring. You know it by the ease with which you glide up hills, and by the swallow-flight of the scenery.""
Fashionable, reliable and powerful, Rolls-Royce had an instant demand. The lightweight, sporting open coachwork like the Brewster Ascot Sport Phaeton made the most of the Phantom I's 7,668cc engine which some outside reports describe as having 113 brake horsepower. It was the ideal car for Jay Gatsby.
When Paramount assembled the cast in the early 70's to create the film version of ""The Great Gatsby"", they needed a left hand drive Rolls-Royce. Among the cars attracted to the screen tests for the part in Rhode Island was this Rolls-Royce. It fit Scott Fitzgerald's description ""elegant, large, distinctive, fast and powerful. It would have to function ""like an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight....."" This phaeton perfectly fit the image of ""Gatsby's gorgeous car"".
This exceptional Rolls-Royce was originally built with a Town Brougham body and sold to M.L. Logan in January 1929, then went to George Hill in November 1929. Later it was fitted with its present Ascot body No. 7180. The Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Phaeton, of which there are 11, was produced by Rolls-Royce of America in the Twenties. The factory built dual cowl may be unique among Brewster Ascot coachwork.
The car was repainted from its hunter green to match Fitzgerald's description of rich cream and it's natural hide upholstery dyed to be the requisite ""green leather conservatory"". After its starring role in Gatsby with Mia Farrow, Robert Redford, Sam Waterson and Bruce Dern, it was featured in a number of shows and concours. We are presently having the car fitted with polished discs, a new top and polishing the waistline to return it to it's original condition.
Few cars have movie star panache and presence, but this Phantom with its stylish Brewster Ascot dual cowl sport phaeton coachwork accented by the rear cowl assembly and folding windscreen is the exception. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a car that embodies the style, grace and presence that characterizes F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic book and film.
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- Phantom I
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