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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Carrosserie Manessius

Many thanks to Juergen for sending us these photos of a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Cabriolet by Manessius. 

It's a magnificent car, and its  great to see it photographed in such a wonderfully rustic location: 

A quick search establishes that chassis #59LC is also a well know car. 

Here's the catalogue photos and description from when RM Auctions offered it at their "Sporting Classics of Monaco" in May 2010:

1925 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom I Cabriolet by Manessius

Chassis No.
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 1, 2010
40/50 hp, 7,668 cc overhead-valve six-cylinder engine, dual ignition with coil and magneto, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 3,639 mm (143.25")

Rolls-Royce introduced the New Phantom, later to be known as "Phantom I," as a successor to the long-running Silver Ghost in May 1925. The engine was new, with overhead-valves and a larger, 7,668 cc displacement. The chassis record for this particular Phantom I, 59LC, shows that it was ordered on 13th July 1925 by racing driver and Madrid distributor Don Carlos de Salamanca for one Mr. Lanser. Originally scheduled as a cabriolet by Manessius of Paris, there are notations that a three-passenger torpedo was later contemplated. In any case, the chassis came off test on 12th October and was shipped on 22nd December 1925 to Boulogne.

Carrosserie Manessius was founded in 1919 by Manès Levy in the Parisian suburb of Puteaux. The name was a Latinisation of Levy's forename, and the business was very successful, so Levy moved to a new and larger facility in Levallois-Perret in 1922. A leader in innovative construction techniques, he pioneered in all-metal construction, body mounting and painting methods, as well as the conduite intérieure integral luggage compartment.

A notation on the chassis card shows it was sold to Clément van der Stratten of Brussels on 26th March 1928. The later history is unknown, but later modifications had included the fitting of a fixed roof. Completely restored between 1995 and 1998, 59LC was found to have the underpinnings of the originally-designated cabriolet body and was restored back to the original open design. In the ensuing years it has acquired a pleasant patina, both body and leather. The colours were carefully selected to replicate those in vogue during the mid-1920s. The wood looks original, the engine runs very smoothly, and the car drives very well.

If you're interested, it sold for €131,600.

(Posted by Andy)


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