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The exotic “Round Door” Rolls-Royce was delivered new in 1925 with a Hooper Cabriolet body to its first owner, a Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit. It appears never to have left England and was re-sold when still virtually new to the Raja of Nanpara. In about 1934 a subsequent owner sent the car to Jonckheere of Belgium to be fitted with fashionably aerodynamic coachwork complete with twin sunroofs, round doors, a large fin, and a sloping radiator shell. Once thought to have been owned by the Duke of Windsor, the concours-winning car then passed through the hands of several other owners before being discovered in New Jersey in the early-1950s in near derelict condition. Max Obie later acquired the unusual Rolls-Royce, had it painted gold, and charged curious individuals one dollar to enter a special enclosure to look at the car. The Phantom I then spent time on the East Coast of the United States and in Japan before coming into the possession of the Petersen Automotive Museum in the spring of 2001.
The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection