Rolls-Royce Phantom III

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Rolls-Royce Phantom III
ManufacturerRolls-Royce Ltd
727 produced
PredecessorPhantom II
SuccessorSilver Wraith
Phantom IV
ClassLuxury car
Engine(s)7338 cc V12
Transmission(s)4-speed manual
Wheelbase142 in (3607 mm)
ManualsService Manual

The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was the final large pre-war Rolls-Royce. Introduced in 1936, it replaced the Phantom II. This would be the only V12 Rolls-Royce until the 1998 introduction of the Silver Seraph.

There were 727 V-12 Phantom III chassis constructed from 1936 to 1939, with an impressive survival rate for these cars.


The III was distinguished by its aluminium alloy V12 engine. With a bore of 3.25 inches (82.5mm) and a stroke of 4.5 inches (114.3mm), the new twelve displaced 447in³ (7.34L). It was a pushrod engine with overhead valves operated by a single camshaft in the valley between the cylinder banks. Early cars had hydraulic tappets, these being changed to solid adjustable tappets in 1938. The Phantom III is unusual as it has twin ignitions, with two distributors, two coils, and 24 spark plugs. Fuel is provided by a twin SU electrical pump.

Wire wheels are fitted as standard, but many cars carry Ace wheel discs.

The car featured on board jacking and a one-shot chassis lubrication system, operated by a lever inside the drivers compartment.

Another major feature was front independent suspension. This coil spring- based system was complemented by a carryover semi-elliptical spring unit in the rear.

A 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on gears 2, 3, and 4 was used. Overdrive was added in 1938. 4-wheel servo-assisted brakes (using a servo made under licence from Hispano-Suiza) were also specified, the brakes being applied by cable.

The radiator shell is of Staybrite steel.

In fact, the PIII engine did not use hydraulic tappets: Rather, the engine used a unique system of eccentric bushings in each individual rocker that was actuated by a small hydraulic piston; the eccentric bushing ensure zero valve lash at the rocker/valve interface.

Movie appearances

A 1937 Phantom III painted yellow-gold is Goldfinger's vehicle in the movie of the same name (See List of James Bond vehicles). The vintage Rolls Royce driven by the deadly Korean Manservant, Oddjob, has a precious cargo - Gold has been melted down and recast into parts of the car's bodywork to allow Goldfinger to smuggle his bullion around the world. Other Phantom III are in films such as; The Yellow Rolls-Royce (This particular Phantom is Goldfinger's), Major Barbara (1941), The Millionairess (1960), Doctor in Clover (1966), etc[1].

Another 1937 PIII limousine is featured in Pan's Labyrinth (2006).

The Rolls-Royce in the movie was not a PIII: it was a PII.


External links