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Updated on May 06, 2012
The exotic “Round Door” Rolls-Royce was delivered new in 1925 with a Hooper Cabriolet body to its first owner, a Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit. It appears never to have left England and was re-sold when still virtually new to the Raja of Nanpara. In about 1934 a subsequent owner sent the car to Jonckheere of Belgium to be fitted with fashionably aerodynamic coachwork complete with twin sunroofs, round doors, a large fin, and a sloping radiator shell. 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. The Phantom I then spent time on the East Coast of the United States and in Japan before coming into the possession of the Petersen Automotive Museum in the spring of 2001.
Displaying entries 1-7 of 11
I saw this car, sometime in the mid-60s, at the Southpark Shopping Center in Bedford OH. I remember it being painted gold with white fur carpet (ermine?). The car was simply beautiful and for the price of admission you received a very large postcard with a photo of the car. I distinctly remember that it was claimed to have been the Duke of Windsor's personal car. The paint was claimed to have included approximately a pound of gold leaf and, at the time, claimed to be the only R-R with a sloped grille. I was fairly young at the time, but a car lover and I suspect I still have that postcard buried in my archives somewhere. Thank goodness someone saved it from the scrap heap, because no matter what misinformation there is regarding ownership it is a unique and fantastic car.
I too was captivated by this Rolls at an early age. Once billed as "The One Hundred Thousand Dollar Rolls-Royce." All through my childhood years this vehicle appeared at the Minnesota State Fair. Needless to say, the cars' unique lines made lasting impression on my 12 year old head. I do wish that a photo of the finned boot was available by the museum, as it is cool as hell...
post more pics
There is a lot of disinformation about this beautiful car.In the early 1950's my father,GEORGE A. BRUMMER,helped MAX OBIE get this car out of a junkyard/swamp near the Meadowlands in New Jersey.My father took it to his bodyshop at 541 Jackson Ave,Bronx,New York.It was completely rotted out,all around,up to the middle of the doors.It took 3+ years for my father to make all the body parts by hand.When it was finished it was painted SNOW WHITE. He delivered to Max Obie in time for the 1954 World's Motor Sport Show at Madison Square Garden.It won the GRAND PRIZE.My sister and I have our family pictures to verify everything above.
Bless You, Mr. Brummer. For this car is truly a masterpiece!
Max Obie and his wife 'Ceil were friends of the family. He had the car painted gold somewhere in NYC using gold powder for pigment. It was the only Rolls made with a slanted radiator (but there was s straight-up one underneath).
Max and Ceil moved to Florida and made a living with a traveling tent show of the fabulous classic cars he owned. New shopping centers would hire him to lead people to the opening by driving his cars around town and back to the new store (the Pied Piper of Cars) where he set up a tent and charged $1 to see the cars.
He had a 1932 Cadillac V-16 twin cowl phaeton, a 1938 Mercedes supercharged 540K Cabriolet, a 1930s Duesenberg 5 passenger town car, a one-off Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg experimental roadster, and a couple of others I can't remember.
Max was a terrific guy. He even let me help set up a show on Long Island when I was about sixteen.
This car is so cute!!!
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