1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Freestone & Webb Cabriolet (1938)




Chassis No. 3DL94  
A fabulous, imposing, handsome and very individual car, very much a special order, being the only one built to this design. The car is a full, spacious, four seater, with easy access through large doors. Many bespoke features include centre gear lever (the only Phantom III so equipped as we understand it), white-faced instruments, four-way divided windscreen and twin rear windows, all of which contribute to the design harking back to the twenties, rather than late thirties. Also has twin side-mounted spare wheels, and other appealing, unusual touches include trafficators operated from a control on the driver's door, multiple storage compartments in the dashboard, and four ways of sounding a horn! Having been with just one owner from new until he passed away at the age of ninety in 1962, and one family from then until 2017, covering very little mileage, and being in lovely condition throughout, with a rather special registration number, really does add up to an unrepeatable opportunity. This year (2022), the car has been lavished with attention to the tune of approximately £50,000, since when it has been driven to the south of France and back, about 1,800 miles (bringing the total from new up to just under 40,000), not missing a beat and performing very well. Added to this of course, the car is a late 'DL series' example, incorporating various beneficial developments introduced during the PIIIs production run. The car features in various books, and we have included images of the original drawings and a photo of the car taken when new on the 'extra photos' page. In the history file, along with much else, we have a fascinating series of letters discussing various aspects of the car's design during construction, giving an insight into decision making and the process of ordering and purchasing such a car. Also included is the original handbook, stamped with the chassis number, and a copy of 'The Autocar' from July 1939, in which the car is mentioned and photographed. Nicely finished in deep green (almost looking black in some light conditions), with black wings and leather interior, excellent chrome plating, solid structurally, driving well with a very smooth engine, fitted with new tyres & tubes, offered newly MoT tested, ready for its next life chapter.
   Chassis No. 3DL94                    Reg No. FKN 1

Snippets: Shipping Insurance & Prairie Doctor
Kenneth Leslie Bilbrough (1st owner) was a son of Arthur Bilbrough (1840/1925) who had started his working life as an apprentice with Pilkington & Wilson of Liverpool, founders of The White Star Line – later acquired by Thomas H. Ismay & then by his son Joseph Bruce Ismay. Arthur had 3 sons - Albert, Harold & Kenneth with only Albert & Kenneth becoming involved in the Bilbrough family firm with Harold becoming Bishop of Newcastle 1927/41 and the Hon. Canon of Durham, Liverpool, Canterbury & the House of Lords! Before joining his father & brother Kenneth Bilbrough studied engineering at Kings College. Kenneth married twice, his 1st wife Ethel Mary was an accomplished artist, pianist and a keen writer, during WWI she kept notebooks detailing the events of WWI including sketches & newspaper cuttings. Ethel Mary died in 1951 and her diaries remained hidden until they were discovered by Kenneth’s 2nd wife Elsie Mary who in 1961 donated the diaries to the Imperial War Museum who published them as a “snapshot of life on the Home Front”. Kenneth Bilbrough died in March 1962 & the Phantom III was acquired by Dr. John R. Fischer of Blooming Prairie in Minnesota. Doctor Fisher spent 16 years (1950/66) as a Country Doctor before he returned to Washington University to specialize in psychiatry which he practiced until his retirement in 1987. After his death in 2007 3DL94 remained with his son John until 2017 (some 55 years with one family). Dr Fischer later published ”Prairie Doctor” a book about his days as a Country Doctor, a copy of which we have managed to find.
Part exchange:will consider
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  • Mileage: 40,000
  • Year: 1938
  • Doors: 4
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Green

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The Real Car Co.

Gwynedd, United Kingdom

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