1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom 10EX prototype up for auction

1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom 10EX – Click above for high-res image gallery

Times change and so do trends. These days, everyone's clamoring for more environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient cars that even Rolls-Royce is tinkering with electric propulsion. The program is being carried out on the 102EX electric Phantom prototype. But go back nearly a century and speed was the cause célèbre du jour. And then just as now, Rolls-Royce was keen to prove its mettle. This was the car with which it did so.

As Rolls-Royce presented the first-generation Phantom to the world, it was eager to show what it could do, so the company's managing director Claude Johnson had the crew at Crewe put this prototype together. Named in his honor, the "CJ Sports Car" featured a more aerodynamic "torpedo" coachwork by Barker. Although many experimental Phantoms followed (straight through to the aforementioned 102EX), this was the only one that the company held on to after it was done testing, and was even rumored to have been loaned out to Laurence of Arabia at one time.

10EX is expected to fetch around £400,000-£800,000 ($650k-$1.3m) when it goes up for auction on June 23 at RM's inaugural Salon Privé auction at West London's picturesque Syon Park estate. Joining it on the docket will be numerous other Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin classics (among others) representing the finest of historic British motoring. Follow the jump for the full press release.
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- RM Auctions consigns a fine selection of 'quintessentially English' cars and motorcycles for its debut Salon Privé sale, 23 June, 2011
- Historic 1926 Rolls-Royce Experimental Phantom 1 '10 EX' headlines high-quality offering
- Unique ex-works 1939 Aston Martin 2-Litre Speed Model offered in fully restored condition leads exciting series of Aston Martins

LONDON (28 April, 2011) – RM Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction house for quality automobiles, is delighted to announce a selection of notable highlights for its forthcoming 'Quintessentially English' sale, at the Salon Privé luxury car show and Concours d'Elegance, 23rd June, 2011.

Held at the stunning Syon Park estate in West London, the recently-launched summer sale will lift the hammer on a host of great British marques, including Aston Martin, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce among others.

Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Europe says, "We have pulled together a collection of very interesting and significant collector cars and motorcycles which represent some of the finest and most significant vehicles produced in England during the pre- and post-war periods."

"This new annual sale is wonderful 'boutique' style auction, which both complements the nature of Salon Privé and sits very comfortably alongside our broader Automobiles of London event at Battersea in October. It is not to be missed by anyone wanting to secure a genuine piece of English automotive history," adds Girardo.

Unquestionably, one of the star consignments for the sale is the unique and historic 1926 Rolls Royce Experimental Phantom 1 Continental, '10 EX' (pictured). Commissioned by Mr. D. Claude Johnson, then Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Motors, 10 EX was the first prototype Phantom 1 Continental to be fitted with sports body 'torpedo' coachwork by Barker. Known as the 'CJ Sportscar', it was intended to gain top speed by a lighter body with a lower steering column, and became known as the first sports car to be produced by Rolls-Royce. Three subsequent cars were produced on this design, consecutively known as 15 EX, 16 EX and 17 EX, however, chassis 10 EX was the only experimental Phantom 1 Continental to be kept by Rolls-Royce Motors for six years and the only test car of the factory. During this time, this rakish sporting Rolls was reportedly loaned by the factory to Laurence of Arabia for continental touring. 10EX has an estimated value of £400,000-£800,000 and is one of seven Rolls-Royces to be presented during the 23 June sale.

Another significant car to be offered at RM's Salon Privé sale is a one-off, ex-works 1939 Aston Martin 2-Litre Speed Model, chassis number 727U, which was originally built by the factory for outer circuit racing at the historic Brooklands race circuit in England. Featuring a Speed Model chassis with a narrow track, 727U and was tested at Brooklands by Gordon Sutherland and Charles Brackenbury, a 'works' Aston driver, although sadly never actually raced by the factory due to the outbreak of war. The car remained in Aston Martin ownership until 1947. Since then, this well-known and highly desirable Aston Martin has been a regular on the historic racing scene. Its recent racing successes include a notable 2nd place at Goodwood in 2006 and an appearance at Laguna Seca in the USA, where it also appeared at the famous Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It is offered today in exceptional condition having been rebuilt and prepared by one the world's leading marque specialists. (Estimate: £320,000 - £380,000). For Aston Martin enthusiasts, 727U joins a series of no less than 13 Astons consigned to the auction.

Other notable entries include:

- a 1929 Bentley Speed Six "Le Mans" VDP Tourer, chassis number FA 2518, a faithful recreation of the 1930 No 3 Speed Six Le Mans team car (Estimate: £450,000 - £550,000);
- a beautiful 1937 Jaguar SS 100 2.5 Litre Roadster, chassis number 18116 (Estimate: £200,000-£230,000);
- a highly-desirable 1955 Bentley R Type Continental Fastback, (Estimate: £330,000-£380,000); and,
- an historically-interesting ex-Works Le Mans entrant 1961 Sunbeam Harrington Alpine Coupe, chassis number B 9102730/OD/HRO (Estimate: £58,000 - £70,000).

Joining the automobiles will be a select group of motorcycles, headlined by a wonderful 1939 Brough Superior 11.50, chassis number M8/2214, which is an excellent, late example of one of these highly desirable machines in superb, original condition (Estimate: £35,000 - £45,000).

For further information on RM's inaugural Salon Privé sale and a frequently updated lot list, please visit www.rmauctions.com or call RM's London office at +44 20 7851 7070. For further information on Salon Privé, please visit: www.salonprivelondon.com.

Event Details – RM at Salon Privé
Sale date:
23 June, 2011, Auction commences at 5:00pm GMT

Preview dates:
22 June, 2011, 11:00am – 9:00pm* GMT
23 June 2011, 9:00am – 5:00pm GMT

*Please note that on Wednesday, 22 June, the preview will be open to Salon Privé guests only until 4:30pm. The preview will then open for those with an official auction catalogue (plus one guest) until 9:00pm.

Syon House,
Syon Park, London TW8 8JF
United Kingdom

Admission to this event requires the purchase of an official auction catalogue available for £50. The catalogue admits two to the auction and must be presented at the entrance of the sale to be granted entry. Please note that the purchase of an RM catalogue does not grant admission to the Salon Privé event.

For those unable to attend the event in person, Internet, absentee, telephone and iPhone bidding options are available. Visit www.rmauctions.com for further information.

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