Rolls Royce Phantom V (1959 – 1968)

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The Phantom V was the flagship of the Rolls Royce company from 1959 to 1968, being based heavily on the Silver Cloud II, sharing the same Rolls Royce V8 engine and General Motors Hydramatic automatic gearbox. In traditional Rolls Royce protocol, the company would provide the chassis and drivetrains, and customers would be allowed to choose coachbuilders from a variety of firms, including H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward, and James Young.

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The long and slender lines of the Phantom V are what helped cement it as the regal carriage that was the envy of the world.

The engine was a 6.25L 90-degree V8 with twin SU carburetors, coupled to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The car had massive drum brakes and a wheelbase of 3,683 mm. Four speed automatic transmission and power assisted steering were standard. Rolls Royce never disclosed the horsepower of the Rolls Royce V8, merely dubbing it as ‘sufficient’, but if you put the car on a rolling road you’ll find it produces about 500hp.

For 1963 both the Phantom V and the Silver Cloud were updated with a newer, more

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John Lennon’s psychedelic Phantom V, seen here next to George Harrison’s crazy coloured Mini.

modern design. The launch of the Silver Cloud III resulted in the incorporation of quad-headlights and an increase in power of 7%. These changes were applied similarly to the Phantom V. Probably the most famous Phantom V owner was John Lennon, who painted his 1965 car in a bright yellow and then just basically scribbled all over it with a paint can to give it a psychedelic finish. This car is now on display in Vancouver.

Production ended in 1968 with the unveiling of the Phantom VI, the final model of the original Phantom range that would continue to be built until 1990. In total, 516 Phantom V’s were constructed, including the conventional Limousines as well as very rare and ambiguous Landaulette’s.