WWII-era Rolls to feature in Phantom exhibit
Marshal law: The Rolls-Royce Phantom III owned by field marshal Bernard Montgomery will be on display at ‘The Great Eight Phantoms” exhibit next month.
Phantom III used by Allied field marshal to help promote Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII
16 June 2017
By ROBBIE WALLIS
A 1930s Rolls-Royce Phantom III owned by British field marshal Bernard
Montgomery has been chosen by the British luxury manufacturer as one of ‘The
Great Eight Phantoms’ – an exhibition put on to commemorate the launch of the
new Phantom VIII next month.
Known as the ‘Butler’ Phantom III, it was one of three Phantoms owned by
Montgomery, and was originally commissioned for chairman of the De Havilland
Aircraft Company Alan Bulter, with bodywork done by HJ Mulliner.
The ‘Butler’ Phantom featured an unusual front-sloping windshield, which is
claimed to increase aerodynamic efficiency by 15 per cent over the stock
It also featured a sloped tail and enclosed spare tyre to aid its sleek profile.
It was used by Mr Montgomery after the Second World War until 1962, and
chauffeured such eminent guests as the prime ministers of Australia, New
Zealand and Canada during Montgomery’s tenure as the chief of the general staff
of the British Army and deputy supreme commander of NATO in Europe.
Born in England, Mr Montgomery spent the years from his early childhood to the
age of 14 in Hobart, as his father was made bishop of Tasmania.
During the Second World War, Mr Montgomery led 200,000 Allied troops including
ANZACs in Northern Africa, and oversaw the victory in the second battle of El
Alamein, which ended up becoming a major turning point in the war.
Mr Montgomery also owned two other Phantom IIIs – a 1936 model requisitioned by
the Ministry of War Transport Section that was used as a personal
transportation in the lead up to D-Day, and ferried around Winston Churchill,
Dwight Eisenhower and King George VI.
The second was a 1937 Phantom Coupe used by the King of Belgium before the
Second World War, and by Mr Montgomery in Brussels following the liberation of
Belgium in 1944.
It was the first Rolls to be built without a B-pillar, and is the only known
Phantom III with a factory-built tachometer fitted.
The Phantom III was the first Rolls-Royce to be powered by a 7.3-litre V12 with
overhead-camshaft design, hydraulic tappets and twin-ignition system.
It was also the last car Henry Rolls personally worked on before his death,
aged 70, a year into the Phantom III’s development.
A teaser video for the Great Eight Phantoms exhibit shows a cropped
front-facing shot of the Phantom VIII, revealing the Spirit of Ecstasy badge
and Rolls’ signature Pantheon grille.
The VIII will be built on an all-aluminium architecture to be shared with the
Cullinan SUV, and will be powered by a new turbocharged V12 engine.
Mayfair, London will host the Great Eight Phantoms exhibition, which will take
place at the end of July.