1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Hill & Boll Sedanca de Ville (1929)




Chassis No. 72WR
A fascinatingly different car, being bodied by the little-known coachbuilders Hill & Boll of Yeovil. The car is remarkably original, in sound condition and running well, but is offered as a project, as considerable re-commissioning work will be required before use. Typically handsome for its era, imposing, well-balanced in design and being a late example, is in many ways easy to mistake for a Phantom II in appearance. The car has many unusual and interesting features, including rear interior detail such as a single, central occasional seat, braided trim to the headlining, ornate leather door pockets and pulls, two vases in the rear, etc, all seemingly original and untouched, as is the leather upholstery itself. The front compartment was re-upholstered some years ago, to a high and very appropriate standard, and harmonises well. The rear of the car incorporates both a luggage rack and the facility to mount a second spare wheel. Since spending many years in California, the car has now been re-allocated its original UK registration number, issued in Wiltshire in 1929. The only one built, so it is unique in the real sense of the word!
Chassis No.  72WR                Reg. No. MW 5172        
Snippets: Condensing Milk
Hubert John Edward Lawrence took delivery of 72WR at his business address of West Park Farm, Market Lavington, Wiltshire.  Hubert Lawrence had purchased the farm in 1926 at £12 an acre & within 3 years the successful farm was acquired by Express Dairy – an important factor in their purchase was the fact that West Park Farm also owned a creamery in Frome which had condensing facilities enabling the production of Condensed Milk.  Hubert was an “early motorist” – in September 1923 the local paper reported that whilst Hubert Lawrence was out in his car he came across a Mr Pearce who had been thrown off his cycle whilst descending a hill and “conveyed him to Devizes Cottage Hospital”, in 1926 Hubert Lawrence was fined £1 for leaving his car on the highway without a rear light & in 1936 he was fined 10s for driving without a driving licence – was this in 72WR?  In 1953 Hubert’s herd of dairy cattle (4 Springers, 36 milkers & 14 Barreners) was put up for sale as he had decided to establish a herd of attested Friesians at West Park.  By now Hubert also owned Pounds Farm, Eastbury and Wick Farm, Littleton Panell.  In 1965 he sold West Park Farm & it was acquired by D. J. Harding JP with the existing herd of 45 dairy cows & 21 bulling heifers.  72WR is later known to be with Laud William “Bill” Cross of Oakland, California.  Although Bill was born in Brooklyn, New York his parents were English as his father was the Prop Manager at the Hippodrome in New York City, however when WWI broke out the Cross family returned to England in order for Cross Snr to join up.  Bill himself trained as “carriage designer for high-end automobiles” and during WWII he served as a police officer in London; after the war ended he & his wife Pamela set up an Antique Centre in London but in 1956 the family moved to Oakland and set up an antique business which is still going strong today.  It is not known how Bill acquired 72WR but the car has been with the family since 1971.
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  • Year: 1929
  • Doors: 4
  • Body type: Other
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Black

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