What would God drive? Uhm, maybe this…
A new interpretation of an old automobile has been circulating and if I were The Big Man Upstairs and needed some wheels while visiting, this might do the trick.
The 1924 Rolls Royce Phantom l with a convertible body was originally commissioned by an American lady from Detroit. Before making it to the US, it was purchased by an Indian Raja, and at this point sent to the Jonckheere brothers in Belgium for an entirely new body.
Jonckheere, founded in 1881, is today known for trucks and buses, but it seems the brothers Jonckheere briefly set aside ”mundane” somewhere in the early 1930’s, transforming the original into the fabulously hand-built shape, with round-doors, half-moon windows, and a Bugatti-like fin at the rear.
The Phantom I changed hands lots of times in subsequent years, finally making it back to the States via Japan, and purchased and restored by the Peterson Museum in L.A. in 2004.
God-like dimensions are:
- Rolls Phantom 1: 250″ long X 77″ wide X 69″ high X 6100 lbs
- Mercedes Maybach 62 : 242” long X 78” X 62” high X 6100 lbs
All records of this car were lost in WW 2, so who designed the body is anyone’s guess. End of story? More like the second coming…
Enter Ugur Sahin Design and the concept Rolls Royce Jonckheere Aerodynamic Coupe II .
“The main goal of this design was to respectfully reinterpret the original Rolls Royce.
For us, the original car represents the timeless aspects of automotive art and its impact it can have on a person even after 77 years. The new design was carefully put together with a very crucial thing in mind; “Respect”. It is challenging to re-interpret something from that past which has a very imposing and impressive character like the original car, into a modern shape without losing its core essence. Many things like the proportions and lines, the impression some shapes give, are very essential to re-capture in the new design. While keeping the past DNA, injecting modern design elements which are in coherence with the past, is always a challenging task for every designer.
Will it get built? Only the Big Man knows, but the Art Deco Era will forever influence automotive design.
Some interesting side notes: 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.
Thanks to David Marks and Leslie Kendall of the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. who were kind enough to lend their thoughts and photos on the 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom Aerodynamic Coupe