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1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette Will Make a Rare Appearance at 7th Annual Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance

The renowned Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance announced that the legendary 1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette, will make a rare appearance at its 7th annual event courtesy of the John W. Rich Automobile Museum. The Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet, now in the John Rich Museum collection, started off as a standard Phantom III designed by Henry Royce. It was re-envisioned by coachbuilder Hooper and Co. in 1938 with a Sedanca de Ville for the chassis, then showed off in Europe before being tweaked for the U.S. market.

1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette
1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette

The car was rebodied in the 1940s by famed coachbuilder, Henri Labourdette of Paris, who was best known for his extreme designs and obliterated of anything that identified it as a Rolls Royce. Labourdette often experimented with aerodynamics, and decided to develop a swooping open body for the chassis at a cost of $44,000, at a time when the average price of a home was about $4,000.

Throughout the years, ownership of the car changed hands several times. After it was transformed into Labourdette’s creation, the car was sold off to different owners, including a New York plastic surgeon, a drug dealer who ended up in a Cuban prison and even S. Mars, possibly of the candy empire. In the winter of 2005 John W. Rich of Pottsville, Pennsylvania purchased the car for his extensive collection.

1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette
1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette

The 7th annual Concours will take place September 11-12, 2010 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut. The event will be a showcase for both the best of automotive and motorcycle design and engineering excellence. It will also serve as a forum for the education of its guests. This year, the event’s featured judging classes will include Porsche, Bugatti and Period Custom Cars from 1948 – 1964. Special exhibits will include the 24 Hours of LeMans, ‘Styled by the Wind’ celebrating automotive aerodynamics and a collection of elegant Packards with coachwork by Howard Darrin.

The show has donated more than $100,000 to its charity The Next Steps Development Center, a partnership of AIND/Giant Steps School and St. Vincent’s Health Services providing diagnostic and treatment services for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

[Source: Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance]

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