Barker & possibly a few others
more coachwork pictures
My first article on Hooper
and Barker touched on the history of Hoopers, Barkers and Hoopers' last
Managing Director, Osmond Rivers. This article is mainly some more copies
of original coachbuilder's photographs, mostly by these two coachbuilders,
to give you an idea of the range of styles that were available in the
first half of the 20th Century and even some time after WWII. I mentioned
that Hoopers had been one of the coachbuilders offering the widest range
of choice in detail work for its customers, if not the most fashionable
and stylish designs. The
introduction of integral construction or monocoque motor cars limited the
range of body types that could be produced, although Rolls-Royce did continue
production of Silver Wraith and Phantom VI chassis for the fitting of
coach-built bodies for a few years after
the introduction of the integral construction Silver Shadow.
Apart from H.
J. Mulliner Park Ward, formed by the combination of both firms, which had
been bought earlier by Rolls-Royce, virtually all other coachbuilders stopped
new car body manufacture at that time, with custom features being
limited mainly to lengthening the wheelbase and a choice of interior
fittings. The introduction of crash-testing to type-approve a car design
further restricted the degree of variation possible. During the early
production of the Silver Shadow, the dealer Jack Barclay persuaded James
Young to make a two door version by modifying the body shell, fitting
longer front doors and filling in the rear door openings while moving the
centre pillar rearwards. Later, Rolls-Royce via Mulliner Park Ward
introduced its own version with a more curvaceous body line - the James
Young version had the straight waist line of the Shadow. This eventually
became the "Corniche" two door saloon.
The sources of
photographs are again from copy negatives from loan prints from the late Osmond Rivers' collection, the
late Jimmy Skinner, as well as from Chas. K. Bowers & Sons. Jimmy's
a fair number of Barker photographs that Hoopers had held, which must
have arrived when Hoopers took over Barkers in 1938. Most of Jimmy's pictures
are now in R-R.E.C. archives, but some went to the late John Oldham, and
are now elsewhere in the USA.
I want to talk about Charles K. Bowers. He had been apprenticed to a
photographer in Leeds named Pickard in 1909, but was directed to set up a
photographic unit initially with Short Brothers aircraft factory and later
with Sopwiths at Kingston upon Thames. When Sopwiths ceased trading in
1922 he formed a photographic department for Sunbeam Talbot Darracq
until that operation was liquidated in 1924. He bought out his
photographic part of the business and continued as an independent motoring
photographer. Although motor car work reduced as a proportion of the
business, it still remained a feature until the 1960s. He had been joined
in business by his sons in 1946. The archive of original negatives has
been a useful source of illustrations for motoring authors over a number
back, thanks to the Bentley Drivers' Club "Review", I became
aware that they had issued two CD-ROMs of photographs from their extensive
library. They were issued as "Motoring Memories" CD-1 and -2.
CD-3 became available later, but unfortunately I missed it. The TIFF files
on them are bigger than the images that I tend to put on the website, if
rather limited in tone range.
I first wrote this information in 2000, with the CDs was information on
ordering real photographs printed from the original glass plates, but more
recently (in 2003) the whole collection was up for sale by auction; I
understand that the purchaser has no plans for it continue as a live
resource, so that may be that. Tom Clarke has catalogued the contents, in
some detail for the R-R and B items, so at least the content of the CDs is
accessible. I do not think that the CDs are still available.
had pictures done for Boon & Porter, Dagenham Motors, H.J.Mulliner,
Hooper, Hudson, Lancia, and R.E.A.L.
had Abbey Coachworks, Abbott, Jack Barclay, H.M.Bentley, Kevill Davies & March, Lagonda, Motor Show stands, S.T.D./Talbot.
They are not all R-R and
Bentley, but not everyone is quite that obsessive, I hope. There is
interest for commercial vehicle people as well as cars: the Hooper section
has a wide range of vehicles, often for travelling exhibitions, but also
relatively ordinary vans, and a few more horse-drawn vehicles than those
in my other article. Also among the Hooper negatives are some cars built
by other coachbuilders that had come into Hoopers for modification or
On the basis that I
neglected post WWII cars in the last article, I will start with some in
this one. These are all from the Chas. K. Bowers source.
article, clicking on the thumbnail picture will bring up a larger version
was H.M. King Paul of the Hellenes' 1959 R-R Silver Wraith Hooper
Allweather car, chassis LHLW44, which was fitted with a detachable
"Perspex" roof. OK as long as there are at least four strong people to
hand. It did have a normal folding hood, but this was obviously for
parades where the passengers were meant to be seen. There are
several views of this car in "The Elegance Continues" by
the late Lawrence Dalton.
examples of Hoopers' skill with Perspex. Far left is a 1956 Silver
Wraith saloon built for Nubar S. Gulbenkian for use in France on
chassis LELW74 with Perspex top and refrigeration. Left is a good
view from above of a removable top on Daimler.
of damaged cars were also made: this was a 1949 R-R Silver Wraith Hooper
Touring Limousine chassis WDC25, first owned by Mr S.Rutter, entering the
mentioned that there were some records of van bodies. The two on
the left appeal to me as they were of Daimler chassis with similar
body styles: one is an ambulance built for a mining community, but
a similar design to the fleet of Daimler ambulances operated by
London County Council and a regular sight on the streets in the
1950s & 60s. The second is a van for DuMaurier cigarettes,
appealing because it was a very Art Deco design - I seem to
remember the house style was red with silver lettering - and the
customers would have later been more likely to travel in one of
the same body style ambulances.
is an example showing that coachbuilders continued to do drawings
for the approval of customers before building the car itself. This
is design 8512 for a Bentley S Type Continental 4 door saloon. The
photograph is of the 1958 Earls Court Show car BC43EL, now in
Australia, I believe.
is the drawing of design 8569 for the 1959 Earls Court Show
Phantom V limousine on chassis 5AS19. A similar body was built for
one of the experimental PVs.
oddity: a Phantom III with a much earlier body style, but almost certainly
new built for the car. The
coachbuilder's plate shows it as by . It was
taken by Chas. Bowers outside Hooper Motor Services in November 1960. It
is a Coupe Cabriolet by Arthur Mulliner of Northampton on chassis 3AZ86
for Hon. A.C.Nivison in October 1936.
Note the black finish lamps, buttoned upholstery, and recessed intrument
panel. Apparently it originally had twin side-mounted spare wheels.
Originally registered as DGP 315, it is now PUF 3, and owned by Mr M. Z.
car on the far left was photographed by Bowers in January 1957. It is
a Phantom III in front of the Hooper factory at Park Royal, with cabriolet
coachwork by Windovers on chassis 3CP116, delivered to HH
Prince Azam Jah Berar of Hyderabad in February 1938.
It was sold to the President of Portugal for
use in a state visit by HM The Queen in 1957 to Lisbon. It is now in the
Museu do Caramulo in Northern Portugal. There are other pictures of the
car outside the works, so it probably was in for a coachwork overhaul
before shipping to Portugal. The picture on the right comes from the late Lawrence Dalton's "Rolls-Royce
- the Derby
Phantoms", p390 and shows 3CP116 as originally built. Clearly it was more flamboyant
Having again shown some
pre WWII cars, I am going to stay in that period for the next collection
of pictures, but there shall be more post WWII stuff to come later. The
first group is mainly of Hooper bodies, some of the pictures that came
from Hoopers at closure, as well as some from Osmond Rivers' collection.
Most are identified, but not all.
40/50hp limousine on chassis 1893 for Mrs Meredith, wife of Sir
Vincent Meredith, Chairman of the Bank of Montreal and a director
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Chilly for the chauffeur
40/50hp chassis 60934 Hooper double landaulette fitted in 1913 for
J. C. Williams Esq. of Caerhays Castle in Cornwall from whose
garden came the Camellia X williamsii hybrids. This chassis
originally carried a Rothschild of Paris landaulette built for the
cabriolet on a 40/50hp, possibly a 1920 chassis 31RE.
40/50hp cabriolet on 40/50hp chassis 74PE. It has rather more
weather protection for the driver as well as highlighting of the
40/50hp single cabriolet on a 40/50hp chassis.
c.1920 40/50hp two seater
coup with a very strange dickey seat, at least with a little
weather protection. The very curvy body outline is emphasised by
the sham-caning (see later).
"Phantom" town Brougham on chassis 28RC for Miss Jardon.
A classic example of this formal style.
"Phantom" chassis 39MC with a body described as a two
seater tourer. Shown here with the hood down and on the right with
hood up and dickey seat open.
Hoopers photographic record as for Rolls-Royce Ltd (India), but
eventually sold to the Nawab of Bahawalpur.
"Phantom" two- seater open body for D. Wheeler on chassis 7RC. This is
a 1925 chassis photographed in 1929: it was originally carried a
Hamshaw limousine for Sir Arthur Wheeler - possibly the owner's
"Phantom" chassis 125LC with a single cabriolet body for
Mr E. Guinle. Definitely more spartan for the chauffeur than the
cabriolets produced by Barkers that you will see later.
"Phantom" chassis 116TC with a two seater
coup body. This does not appear to be a drop head coup. Note the polished alloy bonnet and scuttle. Also the
downward extension of the windscreen line in Brougham style. This
has a dickey seat, with step.
Phantom II saloon limousine landaulette (the rear section of the
roof folded down) on chassis 62WJ. It also has twin sunshine
roofs. Originally in Spain for trials
with Don Carlos de Salamanca, R-R local agent.
Phantom II open touring body on chassis 148GN for C. H. Coates.
Phantom II sports saloon on chassis 11JS. Shown on the R-R stand
at the Olympia show. The original photograph captioned it as a
Continental touring saloon, while the photo reference list calls
it a saloon limousine.
Phantom II allweather tourer on chassis 21JS for Captain R. Glen.
The photo reference list calls it an open touring body, but open
bodies were usually called allweather when fitted with wind-up
windows, as this car. Some cars were also called allweather
Phantom II chassis 54GX, originally a Barker cabriolet for Lt-Col.
James Nockells-Horlick (of Horlicks Malted Milk), re-bodied in
1937 by Hoopers with a "utility limousine" for the
artist Cecil Michaelis.
III sedanca de ville, believed to be chassis 3AZ164, the Hooper
1936 Olympia and Scottish show car. The car was stated to be
fitted with electric division and a stainless steel grid on top of
the boot to hold golf clubs - not visible in this picture.
Phantom III sports saloon on chassis 3BU34 for Sir Albert Bingham,
views of Lord Iliffe's landaulette on 1937 Phantom III chassis
3BT19. This car is still owned by the family.
The next series moves away from Hoopers to Barkers, but with at least one body from neither of
these. Several are unidentified, but I know that some of my readers will
enlighten me. Most of these came from the late S. J. Skinner's collection;
many had suffered from fungal damage when stored in file at Hoopers, but
enough information is visible to make them worth including. An hour or so
with photograph retouching software might achieve a better looking result.
Having shown a run of Phantoms, the following are some more.
Phantom Barker sedanca - there is a join in the roof just rear of
the passenger door that might mean this is a full cabriolet, but
may just indicate the limitation in leather hides to fit the
curvature of the roof.
is a similar body style and chassis to the picture on the left,
but here it is definitely a full cabriolet with the ability to be
driven in the "de ville" position with the roof open
over the driver's compartment, or for the whole of the roof to
fold down and the windows to wind into the doors, with the frames
hinged flat as well.
body style, also on a New Phantom, was called a Torpedo tourer. A
very similar body was fitted as a second body for one of the R-R
experimental Sports Phantoms, but this appears to have some of the
body in a polished finish, indicating that it might have been
supplied to a tropical country.
Phantom II chassis 133WJ, a Barker sedanca de ville for Lord Louis
Mountbatten. Note the trafficator in the rear quarter.
Phantom II chassis 46GX, a touring saloon by Carlton for Lawrence
T. Locan. A very similar style of body to the design by H. I. F.
Evernden for the prototype Phantom II Continental chassis 26EX.
Not a Hooper body, but this is in the right date order with the
others shown here.
Phantom II chassis 69MW, a Barker 3 position sedanca drop head
coup for Capt. Jocelyn Hardy. For a long time owned by the late
Kenneth Neve and used to tow his TT Humber.
The next section is of
the smaller horsepower R-R cars: the 20hp introduced in 1923 and the
20/25hp launched in 1929, followed by the 25/30hp in 1936. Most of these
are Barker bodies, with a few Hooper ones mixed in. My apologies for the
run of cabriolets, but they are there mainly for others to identify - I
will substitute some other styles at a later date.
1925-6 20hp Barker tourer of a design called these days
"Barrel-sided" because of the curvature of the body -
necessary to give more elbow-room.
1926 20hp Barker tourer on chassis GMJ77, probably described as a
"torpedo tourer". Delivered to R. A. Foster Esq. in
March 1927. Possibly the same person as Richard Foster, owner of
1911 40/50hp 1774 in the previous article, but several R. Fosters
are in the records.
20hp Hooper tourer on chassis GHJ8, supplied to C. H. Whittington
Esq. A very similar design to the previous picture, but with
deeper doors covering the bottom rail of the body.
|1926 20hp Barker
open drive landaulette on chassis GUK51 for the use of H.E. The
Governor of Singapore.
group of cabriolets: here a
1925-6 20hp Barker cabriolet of a fairly upright design, possibly
chassis GYK85 . Note that the rear side windows are in two parts
to allow them to wind down fully in the limited space above the
1925-6 20hp Barker cabriolet with a very similar size and style
body to the centre New Phantom three pictures above this. R-R had
a constant battle with coachbuilders to keep body weight down on
the 20hp chassis
| Another Barker
cabriolet on a 1926-8 20hp chassis, even more similar in style to
the centre one four pictures above.
another Barker cabriolet on the 20hp chassis: Edward, Prince of
Wales, had this style on a New Phantom, similar to one owned by
Lord Louis Mountbatten at the time.
view of a 1932 20/25hp Hooper limousine for G. S. M. Warlow on
chassis GAU40, showing the arrangement for providing extra luggage
capacity. It also shows well the grain direction and stitching of
the leather roof.
Sham-caning - a
digression. I mentioned in my first article on Hoopers and Barkers
that the gold star pattern on Lady Docker's "Gold-plated" Daimler was effectively a reverse of the traditional sham-caning used on
some coachwork. Prince
Youssoupoff's car 7PB carried this style of decoration. The
left hand picture below shows the door panel of his car enlarged.
The effect was achieved
by laying lines of thick paint over a panel previously painted the same
colour as the other body panels. Clearer detail of sham
caning is shown in the centre picture, in this case on a coach at the
Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. It is possible to
work out the sequence of application of the lines of paint: each direction
of parallel lines was applied in two runs, overlapped by the next set of
parallel lines. The horizontal pair was done first, then the vertical and
then the diagonals bottom left to top right, then the diagonals top left
to bottom right. I
do not think that lining was ever done in broken strips later joined over
applied lines in other directions. It would have achieved the perfect
imitation of weaving over and under as in real caning, but would be nearly
impossible to be done neatly. On the right is a 40/50hp single landaulette
of around 1921 possibly chassis 76NE showing the way sham-caning was used to emphasize a
formal rear body compartment. Note that the front vertical beading line
turns forward at its lower part, a common feature of "Brougham"
style bodies (named for Lord Brougham & Vaux). Occasionally the sides
of the front compartment were narrower than the rear, to emphasize further
the separation of the passenger compartment from the horseless carriage.
Sham caning appears on and off right up to WWII and even was available as
a self-adhesive plastic finish used on tarted-up Minis in the 1960s.
Wood-graining - a
further digression. Another finish was to imitate wood graining, usually
that of oak, on the lower body panels. The 1925-6 20hp Barker cabriolet on
the left even has the mudguards and valances grained, which somewhat loses
the reality of the effect. An owner of a similar car commented to me that
his had had the sides and top of the radiator grained as well! The central
car is a very late 20hp Barker sedanca de ville of around 1929, Here the
graining is limited to the body sides and bonnet. The right-hand car is
extremely unusual as it is a very early (c.1924) 20hp Barker limousine,
but with a fabric body (usually the covering was a cellulose painted
canvas embossed to look like leather or shiny like patent leather,
stretched over a wooden frame to give lightness and greater freedom from
body rattles). Here it has been finished to look like upright wooden
planking. Generally this style of finish was done only
through the 1920s.
I will now continue with
bodies of the 1930s.
of the luggage grid and rear bumper, as well as the tool storage
on possibly 1932 20/25hp GZU10, a limousine de ville for A.
Mendel. Hooper photographic records list a picture of the Hooper-Fendex
rear bumper. This may be it.
view of a 1932 20/25hp Hooper limousine for G. S. M. Warlow on
chassis GAU40, showing the arrangement for providing extra luggage
capacity. It also shows well the grain direction and stitching of
the leather roof.
20/25hp chassis GKT41 with sports open tourer for the Rajah of
Mandi. Two similar designs of body were also fitted to 1933
Phantom II chassis also for India.
1932 Hooper 20/25hp Motor Show car, a saloon limousine (with
division) on chassis GMU68. A photograph by an excellent motor car
photographer, W. F. Sedgwick.
Barker sedanca de ville bodies: this has faux cabriolet hood irons
- the rear roof does not fold. It also has a Barker characteristic
in the early 1930s: although the doors extend down to the running
board, they are curved in earlier to lighten the look of the lower
side of the body. The car on the right has this too. Possibly
sedanca de ville looks very like a saloon of the same period. Note
that it has a leather or leathercloth roof, as the preceding car.
At this time the trend was towards metal roof coverings. Also both
these cars have developed an enclosing skirt at the rear of the
front mudguards: "one-shot" chassis lubrication removed
the need for access to oil the springs.
is a 1931 20/25hp Park Ward saloon on chassis GOS8 to show another
coachbuilder's similarity in style to the preceding car. This has
the earlier mudguard style. The doors do not extend down fully to
the running board.
from acquiring a luggage trunk, this Barker sedanca de ville has
developed greater curvature in the running boards and skirts at
the rear of both mudguards - a trend that continued through the
lower side of the waist moulding Barker styling change to a raked
centre pillar was seen on saloons as well as sedancas. The lower
side of the waist moulding has an elegant return curve down the
front of the rear mudguard.
limousine has formal "knife edges" to the roof and rear,
somewhat in Brougham style. Note the opera lamp on the scuttle,
often fitted to formal bodies.
fixed head coup with faux cabriolet hood irons (you can see
semaphore trafficators fitted to the rear quarter). Tom Clarke
suggests chassis GBA36, GBA81, or GNC65.
sedanca coup in very similar style to the previous car, but with
mohair covering to the de ville extension and the rear roof,
making it appear less "faux".
difficult from side views to deduce the change from the 20/25hp to
the 25/30hp. I am guessing that this is a 25/30hp sedanca de ville
because it is a little more rounded in style than the one shown
two rows above this.
"swept tail" styling came in the second half of the
1930s - Park Ward appeared to use it earliest on Rolls-Royce
chassis. This is Barkers' interpretation of it for a sedanca de
style that was popular at this time came to be known as the
"top hat" - this featured a slightly streamlined version
of a formal Brougham style, but with knife edges to most surfaces,
often with some reverse curvature on the panels. Freestone &
Webb are well known for their "top hat" saloons, but
clearly Barkers adopted it too - here for a sedanca de ville.
same style appears here: a 1936 25/30hp chassis GTL23
with Brougham de ville coachwork and sham caning to emphasise the
of pre WWII designs, this is a 25/30hp "Wraith" fitted
with a standardised limousine body by Park Ward. Not the most
elegant, but a style used as an "official" car through
WWII and for some time after.
For those of you more
interested in post WWII bodies who have survived this far, I am now going
to show some cars from a few Rolls-Royce publicity pictures of around the
1960s. Most of these are H. J. Mulliner and Bentleys, but there are some others. I lack
chassis data for most of these, although they almost certainly may have
been Motor Show cars.
S2 H. J. Mulliner drop head coup. A design derived very closely
from the lines of the standard saloon
S2 Continental with H. J. Mulliner two door saloon body, very
similar in lines to the earlier S Type "fastback", but
with more rear headroom and a conventional boot.
is the same body style as the previous car, but the twin headlamps
show it is an S3 Continental.
version of the normal drop head coup, this time with the hood
of the H. J. Mulliner S3 Continental two door saloon. The earlier
R Type Continental had similar instrumentation, but the seats were
much lighter in construction as part of weight saving.
other variant of the S3 Continental two door saloon, based on the
design by Vilhelm Koren. It replaced the style above in 1963. This
was a Park Ward body in S2 form, but at this stage had become
Mulliner Park Ward. Later cars had a chrome strip down the body
back a little in time, this is a 1952 Silver Wraith Hooper
limousine on chassis ALW10 for HRH the Duke of Gloucester. He
later had a 1960 Phantom V James Young limousine design PV15.
James Young Phantom V limousine to design PV22, one of the most
elegant of styles for the early 1960s.
view of a James Young Phantom V limousine to design PV15, a
slightly heavier looking car, but with good views from the rear
quarter windows and the ability to seat seven people in comfort.
of a Park Ward Phantom V limousine to design 980, upholstered in
This ends the second
article themed around original coachwork photographs. I recognise that it
may have omitted some styles of body and over-emphasised others. In terms
of survivors, the fashionable thing has been to go with coachwork that
opens, as the cars are now often used for fun days out. When people build
replica bodies, they often have copied tourer styles because they are
cheaper to make than closed ones. Tourers were certainly not the most
common styles made by the quality coachbuilders on Rolls-Royce cars any
more than all W.O. design Bentley cars were replica Le Mans bodies.
I think my next task may
be to illustrate the different body descriptions used by coachbuilders,
who, as you may have noticed in some cases earlier, did not use the same
nomenclature for one of their own products, let alone between each
other. I also intend to show pointers to identify individual
coachbuilders bodies from features such as door handles, etc.
Hughes & Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club 2005