James Young Sedanca de Ville
One of seven PV22SD =
Chassis No. 5AT76
2014 Pebble Beach Concours First In Class
The James Young Coachbuilders’ Sedanca de Ville was considered in its time to be the epitome of elegance and fine coachwork, winning numerous coachwork competition awards. Today’s automotive historians agree. Dalton calls the Sedanca, “The very essence of elegance,” and both Dalton and Martin Bennett feature James Young Phantom V on the cover of their respected post-war coachwork books.
The Sedanca was the most expensive Rolls-Royce of the time with only the special order State Landaulette, which was made for heads of state, being more expensive. The unique front roof panel slid back into a receptacle in the roof to open the front compartment and provide a very elegant look.
The car is finished in James Young Midnight Blue with beige leather to the front, and Beige James Young striped twill wool to the rear. Carpets are also beige.
As is usual with a limousine, there is an electrically operated division
Earls Court Show Car
This particular car is one of only seven PV22SD design cars. It was selected to be the Earls Court London Show Car for 1960 and was purchased before construction by Mrs. Elsie Tritton, a VIP for both Rolls-Royce and James Young.
A New Yorker, Elsie Tritton was first married to Sir Louis Baron, who made a fortune as the chairman of Black Cat Cigarettes. They subsequently divorced and the resilient Elsie later married Robert Tritton, a purveyor of fine art and antiques to wealthy customers and Queen Mary.
The Trittons had a London home on Grosvenor Square and a country home, a 2100-acre estate called Godmersham Park near Canterbury. The home was previously owned by Edward Knight, the brother of Jane
Austen, who is said to have written at Godmersham and received inspirations there for many of her characters and scenes in her books, such as Pride and Prejudice.
Mrs. Tritton was known for being very particular with her cars. For example, she specified to A.F. McNeil, James Young Chief Designer and B.O. Davis, General Manager, that there would be no occasional seats, as she wanted to see their finest burl walnut from the division window to the floor.
Instead she ordered burl wood cabinets on either side of a burl speaker fascia, so that there would be a veritable sea of beautiful burl wood. These cabinets were specified to be finished in polished burl on the inside as well, which is quite unique.
The rear armrest contains leather mirror, cigarette case, burl brush and notebook with pen. The fitted cabinets to the division contained crystal decanters, glasses and smoking accessories.
The Sedanca with her custom registration plate “ET 38” when seen in London was said to lead to speculation that this car must belong to Elizabeth Taylor! Mrs. Tritton died in 1983. The car was then sold to its second owner, J. Seward Johnson, Chairman of Johnson and Johnson in the United States. Extremely rare and elegant, today the James Young Phantom V Sedanca de Ville is one of the most valuable and sought after post-war cars by collectors.