The Rolls-Royce name has remained among the elite circle in the luxury automotive space ever since it was first founded by Charles Rolls and Frederick Royce back in 1906. With such a prestigious history attached to such a prestige brand; rare, pre- 1940 models can fetch millions, should the right buyer be present. Borro Blog investigates the list of the top 5 most expensive Rolls-Royce to sell at auction, examining just what it is that makes these classics so valuable.
5) 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town Car by Brewster – € 1,456,000 (£1,271,000)
Coming in at fifth most expensive on the list is the 1933 Phantom II by Brewster at just shy of €1,500,000. The car’s rarity is plain to see, being one of six similar examples, each unique, with this model featuring a Henley Roadster-style design.
The Phantom’s historical value is undisputed, after being authentically restored to concourse standards. It was then subsequently granted the illustrious title of 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best in Class Winner. The Rolls was sold at RM Sotheby’s auction in Monaco, 2010.
4) 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town Car – $2,310,000 (£1,642,000)
1933 was clearly a stellar year of manufacturing for Rolls-Royce, with three of their most expensive automobiles coming out of it. The Phantom II Special Town Car went on to sell for $2,310,000 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction in 2008, once again proving the rarity and desirability of authentically restored Rolls-Royce’s from this period in time.
3) 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Coupé by Freestone & Webb – $2,420,000 (£1,721,000)
‘Its chassis was engineered to be silent. Its design is anything but.’ Sir John Leigh was the first owner of this magnificent classic Rolls-Royce. He went on to own 4 of the 281 Continental Continental’s that were manufactured, of which Freestone & Webb the luxury London coachbuilders clothed all of them.
The Phantom continental is a one-off art deco coupe and was the prototype for the iconic ‘razor edge’ styling that Rolls-Royce were set to roll out over the coming years. It eventually sold for $2,420,000 at RM Sotheby’s ‘Art of the Automobile’ in New York.
2) 1904 Rolls-Royce 10HP Two Seater – £3,521,500
A car that prides itself on claiming the title of the oldest surviving Rolls-Royce in the world was always going to fetch vast sums of money at auction. The penultimate most expensive Rolls-Royce was a display car long before it was regarded as a classic.
After being featured at the 1904 Paris Salon and the 1905 Olympia Motor Exhibition Display, the 10hp claims the most historical value of all the classics featured in this list. ‘Car no. 20154 – this car – came off test in November 1904 and was the third car to wear the Rolls-Royce radiator and the fourth car to carry the Rolls-Royce name.’ The then 103-year-old Rolle Royce 10HP Two Seater sold for £3,521,000 at a Bonham’s auction in London, 2007.
1) “The Corgi”, 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Double Pullman Limousine – £4,705,500
If the production year combined with the pristine condition it was offered in wasn’t enough to convince you of this car’s rarity then this will: The Double Pullman Limo features twenty-nine bevelled glass windows and is one of a number of Silver Ghosts similarly bodied by Barker, however it is the only known survivor with this coachwork.
The ‘Corgi’ received the title of most expensive Rolls-Royce to be sold at auction back in June 2012 when it fetched £4,705,500 at Bonham’s ‘Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia at Goodwood’. This model is entirely different from any modern-day limousine we may see gracing red carpets in modern times, however you can be sure that it still held the same elite allegory back then.