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Rolls-Royce Phantom II Background

Rolls-Royce Phantom II by Darrin 'Countess Di Frasso' 1938 (FL1)

Rolls-Royce Countess Di Frasso

The partnership of Carrossier & Darrin finally ended in 1931 with Hibbard accepting a position in the design department of General Motors in the USA.

'Dutch' Darrin remained in France and formed an association with a wealthy French banker.  Thus came into existence Carrossier, Fernandez and Darrin.

Designing cars and playing polo were Darrins greatest pursuits which led him to travel worldwide.  The movie mogul Darryl Zanuck was also a keen polo player and through him Darrin started to move in the company of Hollywood stars.

Whilst at a party hosted by Clark Gable, Darrin met the Countess Dorothy Di Frasso who was a great rival of Constance Bennett.  Although close friends, one always tried to outdo the other.  Constance Bennett had a one off Rolls-Royce Phantom II made specially for her; an extremely attractive car with cane work on the rear compartment and a raked windscreen.

The Countess wanted something equally as elegant and asked Darrin to come up with a suitable design.

The result was spectacular.  Utilising a 1933 Phantom II limousine, the work started in 1936 with the bodywork being made in all aluminium.  The car was finished in 1938 at the Sunset Strip shop by Rudy Stoessel and Paul Erdos (working from Darrin's design).

Darrin said later that the car looked better in real life than he had anticipated and was the best car he had ever designed.

Several 'non Rolls-Royce' parts were used.  Bumpers were from Buick, handles and headlights from Packard and tail lights from Ford.

The Phantom II by Darrin is probably one of the most attractive Rolls-Royces ever made.

Rolls-Royce Countess Di Frasso

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