Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine (1959 – 1968) Review

Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine (1959 – 1968) At A Glance


+Gets you in to all the best places

-You need garage the size of Belgium to berth it

In 1959, Rolls-Royce produced one of the largest cars ever to emerge from its Crewe factory, and used the occasion to launch its now-familiar 6.3-litre V8 engine. It was a suitably enormous car build for heads of state and the super-rich – tipping the scales at almost 3000kg. The Phantom V had a 3.6m wheelbase and the passenger space was suitably enormous – especially in the rear. Under the bonnet, the new pushrod V8 owed much to the engines built by Chrysler and GM in America – even down to the aluminium block and cylinder heads, which was fashionable in the USA at the time.

Power steering was standard – it needed to be – as was automatic transmission, while underneath the imposing bodywork was a lengthened version of the Silver Cloud's chassis. Coachwork options were offered, although most buyers went for the HJ Mulliner six-light styling, usually painted black. Performance was adequate for what was expected of the car, but fuel consumption was astronomical if the car was pushed. In 1968, it was replaced by the even more extravagant but visually similar 6.7-litre Phantom VI, and that car remained available well into the 1990s.

Ask Honest John

Did you know that old Rolls-Royces had trouble with runaway automatic gearboxes too?

"Your tragic emails about runaway automatics reminded me of a true incident, circa 1960. A friend had a wealthy uncle who had an automatic Rolls-Royce. One morning he drove out of his garage but stopped when his wife called him to the telephone. He left the Rolls ticking over still in ‘Drive’. As it warmed up and the oil thinned, the revs rose a little and off it went down his drive that terminated in two massive stone gateposts. My friend gasped and said, "Did it run into the gateposts?" Uncle Billy replied, "No! Luckily Hilda had left her Jaguar in the drive and it ran into that." How the other half live."
Lovely story. Many thanks. And perhaps time to de-confuse readers about the 10 million dollar payout from Toyota to the family of a California Highway Patrolman whose Lexus crashed at 120mph after the accelerator pedal apparently got jammed by the carpet. This was an out of court ‘goodwill’ settlement, with no admission of fault, so sets no legal precedent. It is entirely separate from the 58 sticking throttle pedal incidents over which Toyota was legally exonerated.
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