Built from 1968 all the way up to 1990, the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI is truly representative of a traditional Rolls-Royce limousine. That’s because, even though it was built for over 20 years, it was more of an updated Phantom V than an all-new model. Being based on a 1959 platform means this was the last Rolls-Royce to be built with a separate chassis. Coachwork was provided by Mulliner Park Ward, the London coachbuilders that are now part of Bentley.
How V Became VI
Starting with the Phantom V as its base, the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI received some light updates to modernize the car. Power steering and brakes were added to the car for one thing. Minor tweaks were given to the styling, although the Phantom VI remains strikingly similar in appearance to its predecessor. While Mulliner Park created the majority of these models in a limousine configuration, there exist a small number of landaulettes as well.
Aside from the new power steering and brakes, the mechanical elements were all familiar when the car debuted. Coil springs did their thing up front, while out back resided a live rear axle and leaf springs. The 6.2-litre V8 from the Phantom V was the initial engine offering, but it was later replaced by a larger 6.75-litre V8 engine in 1979. That year also saw the addition of a separate rear air-conditioning system as well as a new 3-speed transmission that replaced the original 4-speed unit.
Production and Legacy
Famous owners of the Roll-Royce Phantom VI include none other than the British royal family, who actually own two examples of the car. While the car was production for more than two decades, the production figures are still quite small: just 374 were produced. Most of those cars were built prior to 1979, however, as production tapered off severely over the last 10 years of sales. The Phantom nameplate would not be seen again until the Phantom VII in 2003.