Introduced in May 1925, the Rolls-Royce Phantom I emerged as a direct successor to the renowned Silver Ghost, showcasing Rolls-Royce’s refined chassis expertise. Sir Henry Royce, initially convinced of the Silver Ghost’s robustness, opted for a strategy of meticulous technical enhancement rather than an outright new chassis, emphasizing an evolutionary approach over revolutionary change.
While the Phantom I chassis closely resembled its predecessor, it introduced customer options with two available wheelbase lengths: 143.5 inches or the extended 150.5 inches. The gearbox, maintaining similarity with the Silver Ghost, underwent an upgrade with the replacement of the old cone clutch by a new, single dry plate clutch, contributing to quieter and smoother operation.
In the United States, the decision to manufacture left-hand drive, US-specification chassis in Springfield necessitated lightweight coachwork to preserve the performance of the new chassis while upholding Rolls-Royce’s renowned quality. “Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks” emerged as part of the solution, denoting designs owned by the factory and produced under contract by leading coachbuilders of the time.
The Pall Mall tourer, a design originating from the Silver Ghost, stood out as one of the most stylish open bodies available on the Rolls-Royce chassis. Featuring an appealing belt molding and a gently rolling body above, it exuded a sporty aesthetic that would influence numerous subsequent designs by other coachbuilders.