One of the Family

The 1931 Rolls Royce when in the collection of D. Cameron Peck
The 1931 Rolls Royce in Kieth Marvin's drive way
My Dad grew up with a love of vintage Rolls Royces - filling a scrap book of pictures cut from magazines. As a kid and member of the VMCCA (before he could drive), Dad would get rides from Charlie Hoyt in his 1920 Springfield Silver Ghost Pall Mall Touring. This sealed the deal - as he got older, he knew he had to have a vintage Rolls of his own. By the mid-1980's Dad was ready and we started our search. Around the same time Dad had become aware of Frank Cooke's shop in North Brookfield, MA, a few towns over from where we lived. After looking at a few cars, we stopped in at Frank's and told him we were having a challenge finding the right car. Soon after, Frank called up and suggested to Dad that he had the right car for us and that we should come down and take a look. Frank was right, the 1931 Springfield Phantom I Newmarket Convertible Sedan was just the car. It also happened to be one of the first Rolls Royces Frank purchased and the car he used to take the family camping (yup, camping - who needs a RV when you have a Rolls).

Frank Cooke showing us the 1931 Rolls Royce
Dad purchased the car from Frank Cooke in 1986. Ironically while looking back at his scrap book that he made as a kid, there was a picture of this very car. I guess it was meant to be. Records show this car (S115PR) as being delivered to W.W. Volhard, it’s first owner, on November 3rd, 1931. Believed to be Walter William Volhard of Cincinnati, OH, he would soon purchased S458MR, a Regent Convertible Coupe, in May of 1932 and it is believed he traded S115PR in at that time. Mr. John S. Swift, the second owner, purchased the car in 1932. Mr. Swift owned the car for approximately 7 years during which time he had the car serviced at the JS Inskip dealership in New York City. Swift sold the car to D. Cameron Peck, the famed Chicago collector. It is believed the car was sold prior to the liquidation of the Peck collection to Albert O. White. It was from Mr. White that the noted automotive historian, Keith Marvin, purchased the car in 1954. Mr. Marvin would trade the car to Bob Jones of Vermont for a 16 cylinder Cadillac in 1956. Roughly a decade later, Frank Cooke acquired the car. 

Dad and I at the Gilmore Museum with the car
Rolls Royce's Springfield operations were in trouble by 1930 and they stopped producing new components. They sold 100 Phantom I's in 1931 assembled from their stock of parts. This car is one of an estimated 54 Springfield Phantom I’s originally delivered with the Brewster Newmarket Convertible Sedan coachwork. The car retains it's original chassis, engine and bodywork.

We've driven the car extensively over the years (a bit less so of late). She's a hand full at speeds under 10 miles per hour simply because of the car's weight. Once on the way she's a true pleasure to drive - well mannered at speeds around 45 to 50, she'll slow right down to crawl in top gear and pull away smoothly.

Makes me want to go for spin.





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