Speaking personally, my ideal pair is what I have been running ever since September 1958 and they are a 1935 Phantom II Continental Barker Sports Saloon chassis 101 SK and a 1930 20/25 R-R with owner driver saloon body by A. C. Penman & Sons of Dumfries.
101 SK was built as the Amsterdam Show Car for January 1935, it was then shipped to India, where it was used by the late Raymond Chandler, the R-R representative as a “Trials Car” for Indian Princes. It returned to the UK late in 1936, when it stood in the Conduit Street showroom and was sold as a used car to its first owner, having run about 7,000 miles. I purchased it in October 1954 with a total mileage of just over 30,000 and have now driven it over 90,000 miles.
As a long distance touring car, I could not ask for anything nicer. The car will hold it’s own with most traffic; I have run 508 miles in the day with it, going from Kent to Helensburgh in Scotland.
I look after the car entirely myself, doing all servicing and routine work, also washing and polishing, and have toured, most successfully, Scotland, Wales, Southern Ireland, Belgium, Holland, West Germany and Denmark. Fuel consumption running on Commercial Grade works out at 11 m.p.g. and Castrol GTX with STP added is used by the engine at the rate of one quart for 500 miles. All “Heavy Repair Work” such as reboring etc., which was done at 90,000 miles, is carried out by the well-known R-R specialist, Jack Compton. At the time of writing the car is in Jersey and during the last week it has covered 245 miles on Jersey’s winding narrow roads.
Turning to the 20/25, Chassis No. GGP 28, this car is very considerably smaller than 101 SK and is ideal both as a Town Car and for touring, if one is going to “potter”. I have covered just over 43,280 miles with it since September 1958. Last June I had the car in London for a week and used it every day just as it would have been used when it was new 43 years ago. It keeps up with traffic in London with no difficulty at all and the engine is so flexible that only 3rd and top gear need be used. I went all around the West End with it and the courtesy that I received from all other road users was greatly appreciated.
The car has been used for long journeys and has run 409 miles in a day. It will cruise at 55 m.p.h., against the 70-75 m.p.h. for 101 SK, and provided that Motorways are avoided, which they always can be, it makes a most pleasant method of transportation. I have taken it abroad and explored all over Brittany, Normandy and the French Pyrenees with it. There, roads are narrow and winding and, on the mountain passes, I found it would climb most of the time with three people and luggage in 3rd gear and had no overheating problems. Petrol consumption, again on commercial fuel, works out at 19 m.p.g., though going through France we had over 21 m.p.g. several times and oil consumption comes out at one quart for every 300 miles.
This car too I look after entirely myself, in exactly the same manner as with the Phantom II 101SK. What is written in the Rolls-Royce Instruction Book is perfectly true, “Our interest in the car never wanes. Our ambition is that every purchaser of a Rolls-Royce car shall continue to be more than satisfied”.
It is true that I have two other Phantoms, a 1930 model Phantom II, Chassis No. 74 GN, and a Phantom III, chassis No. 3-AZ146, but I am not including these. The above mentioned two cars, 101 SK and GGP 28, are the Ideal Pair as far as I am concerned.
John Oldham – Jersey.
[This “Pairs” correspondence is now really sealed up!—Ed.]