One of the handsomest of all pre-war Rolls-Royce, this Phantom II Continental sports a very elegant J Gurney Nutting body (© Makarand Baokar)
But arguably the handsomest Rolls-Royces from the pre-war period to make their way to India were mostly the ones coachbuilt by J Gurney Nutting. Several of the finest designs by J Gurney Nutting’s renowned chief stylist A E ‘Mac’ MacNeil were the commissions of the maharajas of India, with a 1935 Phantom II Continental the most striking of them all. Chassis number 62UK was ordered by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Umaid Singh, on the 5th June, 1935 and delivered in Bombay on the 18th of October. The last of the 280 Phantom II Continentals made, this car remains in regular use even today, with its very caring owner, in Bombay.
Not surprisingly, most of the Rolls-Royces that came to India sported British coachbuilt bodies, some were even bodied in India, other than a few by French coachbuilders Kellner, Rothschild & Fils, Wulleman & Tardiveau and De Dion Motor C°, for cars owned by some of the maharajas who had homes in France, such as the Maharaja of Baroda and the Maharaja of Kapurthala. Italian, German or other European coachbuilders didn’t seemed to have got a chance at bodying Rolls-Royces for Indian customers, but for some of the other marques they had greater opportunities.