Introducing…The Great Eight Phantoms

If there is any make of vehicle that deserves reverence, it is the Rolls-Royce. With its exquisite portfolio of stylish vehicles, a reputation for quality and reliability and a long history of vehicle production, it is clear why the brand has earned admirers from all over the world. 

Fortunately, an exhibition of the Rolls-Royce Phantom series will take place in London in July making it easy to marvel at a range of examples in all their splendour in one go.  

The real purpose of the event is to present to the world the latest addition to the Phantom family – the eighth in the series – which does require an appropriate level of fanfare seeing as it is “the best car in the world”. The inclusion of the classics of the series can be considered a bonus.  

Following the success of the Phantom I, which was manufactured in 1925, it was only prudent to capitalise on this and continue with production. The triumphant outing of the first Phantom can be put down to the strength of the 7.668 litre engine, which enabled the car to effortlessly surpass its rival counterparts by taking two laps around a four-mile circuit at 80mph. The engines of the competing vehicles all suffered damage when attempting the same feat.  

We’ll never know if this was on Fred Astaire’s mind when he chose the same model or whether it was because it was so aesthetically pleasing, but you can ponder this while gazing upon the ‘Fred Astaire Phantom I’, which will be one of the highlights of the exhibition.  

Each week during the exhibition, Rolls-Royce will reveal the history of one of the well-preserved Phantom models, which offers the opportunity to potentially find out more about the late, great entertainer’s use as well as historically significant moments in the production of the vehicles. From the determination of Sir Henry Royce to “take the best that exists and make it better” to the creation of a model that was favoured by royalty and heads of state from all over the world. You only need to look at the class of people that choose the Phantom to see its quality.  

Surprisingly, the cars do not belong to Rolls-Royce but are actually on loan from various bodies and individuals. For example, Fred Astaire’s Phantom will be coming from LA’s Petersen Museum. This generosity means that there is little effort required to admire the object of your vehicular affections, with the luxury vehicles displaying their elegance in the suitably classy Mayfair.    

With the extensive history of the Phantom series and it being the first choice of many a discerning owner, it is only right that the vehicles should be proudly displayed with the quality and ability only improving with each new model. We’ve seen Phantoms I to VII and we won’t have long to wait for Phantom VIII. Long may they reign.

Syed Zaidi is the head of content at and has a passion for cars and been in the industry for over 15 years.

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