• Jun 4, 2007
Click the image for a small high-res gallery of this "Round Door" Rolls

The poster car for this year's Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance was a very special Rolls-Royce brought out by the nice folks at The Petersen Museum. Although we doubt anybody over at Mercedes would admit it, this car appears to be the inspiration for the Maybach Exelero show car from a couple of years ago. OK, probably not, but both are huge black coupes that seem to have been fashioned for comfortably touring the underworld. The biggest difference is that this Rolls is 80 years older than the Maybach. Officially it is a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe with coachwork by Jonckheere, but most people call it the "Round Door" Rolls. Originally delivered to its owner wearing a more humble Hooper Cabriolet body in 1925, it was sold to the Raja of Nanpara soon after. It changed hands again but stayed in England until 1934, when another owner sent it to Belgium to be re-bodied by Carrossier Jonckheere.

[Source: Car Collector]



Jonckheere was perhaps better known for building buses and trucks at the time, but the size of this thing probably qualifies it for one of those categories anyhow. They turned it into a massive 4-seat coupe with round doors, a sensational aerodynamic body, twin sunroofs, a large fin, and a sloping radiator shell that make it look so sinister. It's quite a remarkable car with an interesting history. Some say it passed through the hands of the Duke of Windsor before fading into obscurity and eventually being found almost completely deteriorated in New Jersey in the '50s. Since it was rediscovered, it has undergone a complete restoration and ended up at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2001. Besides museum duty, this Roller has traveled the show circuit, including appearances at Pebble in 2005 and Meadobrook in 2006. We were fortunate that they added the 2007 L.A. Concours to that list. You really have to see this thing in person to believe it.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      A lot of the coachbuilt coupes from the 20s and 30s are absolutely fantastic, and I especially like a lot of the Delahaye coupes and roadsters.

      This Rolls, however, is amazing. I agree with HotRodzNKustoms that Rolls Royce should be inspired by this, especially if the Excelero actually gets produced.

      This is a beautiful design, that while clearly 20s Art-Deco in execution, still looks quite fresh.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow look at that fin. beautiful.

      i would drive that one 24mph everywhere i went.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Take a look at the Bugatti Atlantic of the same year.

      Very similar cars.

      I think the best designs of the 20s and 30s have never been surpassed. Citroen, with the DS and SM came close, but few others.

      Look at the Maybachs and RRs of today, and weep.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Guys, is it that hard to put the first photo of the high-res gallery as the LEFT thumbnail on the website, so that when people click on the LEFT thumbnail they get the FIRST pic from the gallery?


      You guys get it wrong at least 80% of the time. Is it that hard?

      It's kinda natural that left = beginning...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Paul Y: Maybach makes the Excelero, not Rolls Royce.

      This Rolls Royce isn't ominous...it's just freaking awesome.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Incredible. Do you think we'll see a resurgence of THIS type of "retro" style (rather than just the 60's-style muscle car resurgence)?

      I would love to see this, as "normal" cars and luxury cars are taking styling cues from one another. There's little originality anymore in vehicle design. I'd love to see a modern spin on these vehicles actually being SOLD (I am indeed aware of the Holden Effjay, but I'm not sure I like the Effjay so much. Besides, it's not really related to this RR here).

      I hope its not just people like us who can appreciate it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This beautiful Rolls Coupe was never built to be chauffeur driven.
      • 6 Years Ago
      assalaam aleikum
      you're obviously someone who knows the family well.Unfortunately, Iqbal Hasan Khan, who was my maamu passed away in Fresno some years ago.his oldest daughter ,Juni lives in Syracuse, older son Zafar lives in San Diego and the youngest son Aslam still lives in Fresno . As for Surraiya Begum ,after her husband Akbar Tyabji's death, who was Pakistan's Ambassador to Morocco, now divides her time between her daughter Maryam's family in Rabat and Karachi.- Yasmeen
        • 4 Years Ago
        My name is Saad Maniar and I am a School friend of Aslam Iqbal Khan I am looking for his contact nos I would be obliged if you could send me his contact address.

        Best Wishes and Regards
        Saad maniar
        my e mail add are
        saadmaniar@yahoo.com
        saadmaniar@msmfinancials.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pretty slick for a 1925 Roller.

      Alas, but only your chauffeur would experience the awesome power and riding capabilities of the Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe. You see, Rollers are for those who wish to be driven. And no doubt the cramped rear seat entry would be rather embarrassing.

      Which is why most blonde enthusiasts would prefer to drive their own Bentley Turbo R Convertible (topless or not) for the sheer enjoyment of it. Too bad, they had to split up the marques. It just isn't the same anymore. Life's not fair, is it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The science of aerodynamics was in its infancy at that time, and for a decade or so after. Many of these vehicles had better air flow (example: Chrysler Airflow) going backwards!
      • 7 Years Ago
      > Although we doubt anybody over at Mercedes would
      > admit it, this car appears to be the inspiration for the
      > Maybach Exelero show car from a couple of years ago

      Actually the Excelero has been commisioned by tyre maker Fulda, as a reminiscence of a custom built Maybach they had used in the 30s for tyre testing:
      http://www.design-classic-cars.de/maybach/maybach-stromlinienkarosserie01.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      There are no words in any language that would even begin to give justice to how beautiful this automobile is. It is a priceless work of art. As beautiful and astounding as the Pieta or Mona Lisa or any other artistic masterpiece.
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