Last updated Aug 8, 2012
The exotic “Round Door” Rolls-Royce was delivered new in 1925 with a Hooper Cabriolet body to its first owner, a Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit. It appears never to have left England and was re-sold when still virtually new to the Raja of Nanpara. In about 1934 a subsequent owner sent the car to Jonckheere of Belgium to be fitted with fashionably aerodynamic coachwork complete with twin sunroofs, round doors, a large fin, and a sloping radiator shell. Once thought to have been owned by the Duke of Windsor, the concours-winning car then passed through the hands of several other owners before being discovered in New Jersey in the early-1950s in near derelict condition. Max Obie later acquired the unusual Rolls-Royce, had it painted gold, and charged curious individuals one dollar to enter a special enclosure to look at the car. The Phantom I then spent time on the East Coast of the United States and in Japan before coming into the possession of the Petersen Automotive Museum in the spring of 2001.
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