Famous 'Copper Kettle' Rolls for sale

Outrageous Rolls-Royce Phantom will head up Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale sale, along with rare muscle cars and restored 21-window VW Type 2

Famous 'Copper Kettle' Rolls for sale

Barrett-Jackson has announced that the one of the highlights of its top-end Salon Collection sale at Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2018 will be the famous 'Copper Kettle' Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca deVille – along with several outstanding muscle cars, a unique Talbot-Lago and a 21-window VW Microbus.

The Rolls-Royce was sold new to J M Nicholson with a limousine body built by the small English coachbuilding company W S Atcherley – one of only ten Rolls-Royces built by them. It was then bought by Rolls-Royce collector John Gaul who, in early 1946, commissioned coachbuilders Freestone and Webb to create new bodywork.

Freestone and Webb's extravagant design used a double layer of burnished copper applied over the steel wings, and copper-plated accent features and fittings, including headlights, radiator and bumpers. Even the Spirit of Ecstasy was replated in copper. The Phantom became known to Gaul’s friends and family as the 'Copper Kettle'.

Some of its many unusual features include brushed copper engine-turned wings and running boards, polished copper swage lines on the bonnet, polished copper exterior and interior hardware and radiator louvres. The body was painted burgundy, featuring a coach sill with cane work on the rear door and quarter section. The interior features veneers with an ivory and brass inlay, dark maroon leather upholstery in the front and dark maroon West-of-England cloth with ivory piping in the rear.

Underneath the coachwork is a 7.32-litre V12 engine and a manual four-speed transmission. The engine features two spark plugs per cylinder, two ignition coils, two distributors and one English Zenith 2-barrel carburettor.

During the late 1940s and early '50s the car was shown at many European concours, becoming famous throughout Rolls-Royce circles as one of the most dashing Rolls-Royce town cars ever built.

More recently, in 2000, it was bought by Don Williams of the renowned Blackhawk Collection, and underwent a six-year restoration by Mike Fennel Restorations. It was finished in August of 2008 which resulted in a first in Class and the Lucius Beebe Trophy at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. In August 2017 it again was displayed at Pebble Beach.

Other cars already assigned to the sale include a one-of-a-kind 1951 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Saoutchik Coupe, a 2006 Ford GT that has covered just 650 miles, a 1987 Buick Grand National GNX #003 (the first GNX to be sold), two 1963 split-window Corvettes, a restored 1965 Volkswagen 21-Window Deluxe Microbus, a Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Six-Pack V-Code Challenger with only 34,500 original miles and the 1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype #001.

Barrett-Jackson's sale takes place 13-21 January in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. More information here.