Car of the Week: Rolls-Royce Phantom II Figoni et Falaschi
The best Concours cars are always notable for their rarity, and you can’t get more rare than a one-of-one. This Rolls-Royce Phantom II, coming to Hampton Court Palace in September, is the only example to be bodied by fabled coachbuilders, Figoni et Falaschi.
Perhaps a more subtle affair than some of their Delahaye or Talbot Lago work, the trademark swooping panels and chromework is present and correct, as are plenty of the usual Rolls-Royce hallmarks, the upright grille being the most obvious.
This very car was originally owned and commissioned by the exiled Prince of Nepal, before eventually undergoing a full restoration in 1986, and winning a number of trophies at Pebble Beach in 1992.
Based on the Continental chassis, it was designed for owners to drive, rather than to be driven in. The wheelbase was shorter by 144 inches, the leaf springs were stiffer and the rear axle was also shorter and the 7.7-litre inline six engine featured higher compression, allowing for a top speed of 100mph.