Thursday 24th September 1959
Rolls-Royce launched its new £8,905 Phantom V, powered by a 6,230-cc, 90-degree V8 engine with twin SU carburettors, coupled with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Notable Phantom V owners included Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Those owned by Elizabeth II were official state cars, adapted for that purpose with a flag staff and illuminated heraldic shield above the windscreen. Having been retired from active service in 2002, both are now on public display: one in the royal motor museum at Sandringham, and the other in the special garage aboard HMY Britannia in Leith, Edinburgh. The Governor of Hong Kong used a Rolls-Royce Phantom V for ceremonial occasions. It was removed from Hong Kong by the Royal Navy immediately following the handover to China on 1 July 1997. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, owned a Phantom V. Since his exile, the car has been kept in his royal residence in Tehran and is occasionally shown to the public among the other luxurious cars owned by the Shah, including a unique Rolls-Royce Phantom VI and a Phantom IV. King Olav V of Norway owned a 1962 limousine as a state car. Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito had Rolls-Royce Phantom V in presidential collection for representative purposes. The car is now displayed at the Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade. The Republic of the Philippines owns one. The former First Lady,Imelda Romualdez Marcos used the Rolls-Royce Phantom V as her official car. Then Beatle John Lennon’s Phantom V, a 1960s counter-culture icon, came from the factory finished in Valentines black, with Lennon commissioning the custom paint job atop it in the style of a Romany gypsy wagon (not “psychedelic” as often referenced).