This epic Rolls-Royce Phantom II was commissioned by C. Matthew Dick of Washington, D.C., an heir to a major business machine company, as a gift for his future wife. She would be travelling between events in a formal town car. However, any traditional town car would be far too stodgy for this lady, so Brewster was ordered to create a town car unlike any seen before. After a variety of meetings with the coachbuilder and its top designers and artists, the work commenced on this remarkable town car, and their combined vision was eventually achieved when this Brewster-bodied Special Town Car, chassis #218 AMS, was delivered to its new owner in 1934.
This Phantom II Rolls-Royce combines the best styling elements of the era, with its long hood, low razor edge roof design, dramatic V-windshield, sculpted windows, German silver hardware and complementing canework. The same degree of attention was paid to the custom fitted interior with its gold-plated hardware, vanity cases, indirect lighting, and lambs wool carpets. All of these elements were perfectly combined to create an exquisite town car that was tasteful, elegant and sporty.
The original cost for designing and building this Brewster-bodied masterpiece was an astounding $31,000, making it the most expensive car in the world built that year and over 50-percent more than the "Twenty Grand" Duesenberg created that same year.
This Special Town Car has had only four owners from new and is a greatly original car. Mrs. Dick enjoyed the car for many years and eventually kept it at her estate in Newport, Rhode Island, where America's wealthiest families often maintained grand summer homes. The second owner was Gerald Rolph who maintained and preserved the car for over 40 years, much of this time storing the car on his Isle of Man estate in England.
The subsequent owner, a highly respected Colorado-based owner, purchased the car in the 1990s and enjoyed it as one of the highlights of his personal collection over the course of the next decade. The last owner, another collector with many concours award-winning cars of his own, acquired the car in 2008 and has maintained it in his private collection ever since.
This Special Town Car is considered by most historians to be one of the greatest Rolls-Royces ever built and quite possibly the most significant post-WWI Rolls-Royce in existence. Its one-off design was the direct inspiration for the Special Town Car bodies completed by Brewster for the actress Constance Bennett in 1935 and Dutch Darrin for the Countess de Frasso in 1938. Of the three Special Town Cars completed, 218 AMS was the first example built and the only one to have been finished with its original body on the original chassis. The other two were rebodied cars.
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