1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformable
Rolls-Royce 1929 20/25 Transformable Coachwork by Hibbard and Darrin
GGP73 was ordered in November 1929 through a French agency by Monsieur Edwin Goat for delivery to Egypt. He chose coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin, one of the most avante-garde Parisian Carrossiers of the era. The firm was headed by the great American stylist Howard ""Dutch"" Darrin, and was responsible for building some of the most beautiful luxury cars of the era. Darrin not only incorporated stylistic flair, he also introduced huge technical advances in coachbuilding in the form of the Silent Lyte patent system. Until then the vast majority of European coachwork was built on exactly the same principles as horse-drawn carriages had been for the past three hundred years, with wood frame overlaid wood or occasionally aluminum panels. Darrin developed a system where each panel was made from an individual aluminum casting, supported on a cast frame of the same material, making it enormously strong but also light. This system, although popular because of Darrin's stylistic flair and eye for the perfect line, resulted in few completed bodies because of the astronomical cost of building such detailed one-off cars.
While it lasted, though, some very remarkable cars resulted including GGP73 which is surely one of the last examples ever built in a style of body known to Edwardians as Transformable, where the whole top of a formal car could be removed to make an open tourer. Simply unfasten four bolts and the landau irons, and the beautifully fitted and surprisingly light hard top can be lifted off. Without the top one can really take note to the exquisite detailing including: Marchal headlights, luggage rack, and sprung bumpers of impressive Gallic complexity.
The car remained in Egypt until the late 1950's until it was sold and shipped to the United States where it stayed with the same owner for the next thirty years. This person took exquisite care of GGP73 showing it in concours and driving in Glidden tours. Next M. Smith bought it twenty years ago and he kept it in the states until it came to the U.K. in 2007. It then underwent extensive restoration including new paint in a black livery, new trim (gray cord in the rear and gray leather in front as original), new chrome and nickel, rebuilt running boards, rewiring, and a full mechanical service. GGP73 drives beautifully with light steering, good brakes, and excellent oil pressure.