Villa Erba

25 May 2013

Lot 107

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer by Barker

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sold for €268.800

  • Chassis no. 82OR
  • Engine no. ZG95
  • Body no. 6323


40/50 bhp, 7,668 cc overhead-valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 3,822.7 mm (150.5 in.)

  • An original Rolls-Royce factory test car for 1929, with original engine, chassis, and body
  • Attractive Barker tourer coachwork, restored in eye-catching original colours
  • Fascinating history
  • Winner of the Lucius Beebe Trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance


Even in the rarefied world of Rolls-Royce, where every car is a reflection of its owner’s whims and is therefore different, a beautiful thing sometimes bears repeating. Thrilled by the success of its 1927/28 Riviera trials car, a Barker-bodied Open Touring on chassis 21UF, the factory produced a second car on factory experimental chassis 15EX, finished to exactly the same specifications, save a rear-mounted spare, and used it as a “propaganda car” (demonstrator) at German shows. Finally, a third and final car was built to the design, identical down to its colour scheme of cream bodywork with polished aluminium bonnet, scuttle and wings, and upholstery, which was in apple green leather. That third car is this car, chassis 82OR.

The car was built in June of 1929, and it was retained by the factory until October 1930, when it passed to original owner H.W. Cullum. The Rolls-Royce then led quite an adventurous existence, appearing in 1956 in Mombasa, Kenya, under the ownership of Mr D.L. Wright. Reportedly, whilst in Mombasa, it was used to chauffeur Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the city.

The Rolls eventually passed to William Proctor, also of Mombasa, who sold the car in 1964 to Pan American Airways engineer Jack Porter. Porter took the Rolls-Royce home to the United States, shipping it to San Francisco in 1965, and for the next 32 years, the car remained a beloved member of the family. It followed the Porters to homes in New Orleans and, finally, Marshall, Texas, where Jack Porter lovingly performed the car’s original restoration.

In 1997, the Rolls was acquired by enthusiasts from London, who performed a cosmetic restoration. The current owner acquired the car two years later and, after researching its history, decided to have the car painstakingly restored once more—this time in its original colours and exactly as it had been when new.

The result of the restoration is still spectacular today, just as it was when it earned the Lucius Beebe Trophy for Most Elegant Rolls-Royce at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1999. Mrs Porter was invited to join the current owner at the concours, and she pointed out two blanked-out holes in the radiator shutters. In Kenya, she recalled that no one ever used keys, but to protect the Rolls from theft, the car had a padlock connecting the two centre louvers covering the radiator. If the car would be stolen, it would overheat after a mile or two and not get very far. “It’s the Mombasa anti-theft device”, she recalled with a smile.

To find a pre-war Rolls-Royce that was specially built by the factory, for the factory, to show off the best of its efforts, is incredible enough. To combine that with original coachwork, beautifully presented in its original colours, and a fantastic provenance and beautiful restoration, makes this spectacular Rolls a very special and rarely-seen automobile today.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more