Classified ad of the week: Rolls-Royce Phantom III | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Classified ad of the week: Rolls-Royce Phantom III

Published: 01 Mar 2013

Looking forward to our African special? Us too, which is why we're showcasing this rather marvelous 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III. Wait, what?

Unbelievably, back in 1937, Rolls-Royce drove one of these 7.6-litre Phantom IIIs from London to Nairobi and back to demonstrate its continent-bashing capabilities. The car covered 12,500 miles in 34 days, averaging 370 miles a day. And RR didn't scrimp on jeopardy - the team took in the Sahara crossing and braved the underdeveloped roads of Central and East Africa.

Guess how many times the engine broke? Nope. Nope. Nope. None... Apart from problems with its tyres, the car ran completely trouble-free - the engineers didn't even need to add any water to the radiator.

Which could well be down to the engine. The 7.3-litre all-alloy V12 was based on a design used for Schneider Trophy-winning planes. And providing it was maintained like said plane, it was rock solid. Thing is, if they don't get lavished with aeronautical levels of attention, things tend to take a dive for the explodey. Which is why lots of these Phantoms were stripped of their V12 and fitted with simpler V8s and straight sixes. And also why this one's so tasty.

It's got the original V12, mated to a four-speed manual gearbox (complete with synchromesh on second, third and fourth), enabling a 100mph top speed. It's also just been re-trimmed in beige leather with blue piping, and the rear's finished in blue Dralon. You also get a sunroof - handy for the Sahara - a brand new set of Lambswool rugs, a genuine 1930s Brookes trunk with 3 fitted suitcases and whitewall tyres.

It's not what you'd call cheap, though. It is what you'd call 58,950... Still, it costs less than a quarter of the new Phantom. Click here to see the ad

Anyone fancy outdoing our African epic?

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