2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance: 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V State Landaulette by Mulliner Park Ward

This particular Rolls-Royce Phantom V has quite a unique history.  That it’s one of five in its State Landaulette body from Mulliner Park Ward is just scratching the surface.  It was ordered by Communists, but was sold to an American for political reasons, who used the car for political purposes.  

President of Romania Nicolae Ceausescu ordered chassis 5LVF113 as a presidential car.  At the time, the order was twice the price of a normal Phantom V.  Romania realized that using such a powerful and expensive symbol of capitalism was a bad PR move for their government and attempted to cancel the order, but Rolls Royce built the car anyway and shipped it to Bucharest.  Leonid Brezhnev forced them to exchange it for a less ostentatious model, and Rolls-Royce found a new buyer in Pennsylvania, Dr. Earl Heath.  He subsequently lent it to Queen Elizabeth II twice for visits to Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and Princess Grace (of Monaco) used it for a trip to the USA.  This was the second head-of-state car on display at Pebble Beach this year, and it looked absolutely stunning.  The proof of its cost is clear in the photos, including some very ostentatious touches, like a television, wine bar, full veneer paneling in the interior, jump seats, and the gorgeous State Landaulette bodywork by Mulliner Park Ward.  Enjoy the photos.

-Albert S. Davis

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