Springfield Phantom I chassis number S282KR was originally delivered on May 29, 1930, to Carroll Livingston Wainwright, an artist and husband of financial heiress Edith Gould. It later passed in July 1931 to a Yandel, then later that year to R.B. Honeyman, Jr., resident of the namesake Honeyman Point at Centerport, New York. When Mr. Honeyman received the Phantom I it was mounted with the present Newmarket Convertible Sedan body by Brewster, number 5565, taken from chassis number S170FR. According to later owner Branch Kerfoot of Costa Mesa, California, the car then moved west in the ownership of Mrs. Francella Wilcox of Los Angeles, for whom an ownership card, dated 1947, is on file; she is likely to have acquired the car later than 1931, as Mr. Kerfoot had believed.
Per a second-hand recollection from Howard “Dutch” Darrin to Dave Clark on May 4, 1973, included in the file, the car’s lady owner drove up to famed coachbuilder Darrin’s Hollywood shop one day in the late 1930s and asked him if he could modernize the car’s appearance and add an enclosed trunk. “’Dutch’ was busy at the time on another job, said ‘yes,’ and gave her a quick price. She said, ‘all right...and can I have it next week?’ Normally such work takes 6-10 months. He did the job; we do not know how long it took.” The work included subtle fender skirting, the integration of an enclosed trunk into the bodywork, and a subtly lowered top and raked, “chopped” windshield as well as redesigning the front flash panel below the radiator.
According to Mr. Kerfoot’s records, in 1964 the Phantom I passed from Mrs. Wilcox’s estate, via her nephew, to Allan Seim of Van Nuys, California, from whom Mr. Kerfoot acquired it soon thereafter. It was subsequently fully restored cosmetically, with further modifications to the operation of the convertible top to make it a ”semi-cabriolet,” and underwent an engine rebuild, with additional regular mechanical and cosmetic work continuing to be religiously documented by Mr. Kerfoot well into the early 1990s, including fitment of a new cylinder head in 1992.
Dennis Mitosinka acquired the car from the Kerfoot family in 1999, and subsequently undertook some mechanical repairs, invoices for which are included in the file, while also refinishing the beltline in red. Found among the spare parts of the car was a damaged center plug for the spare tire with a Darrin badge. Mr. Mitosinka had new center plugs made to this design and installed them on the car. During Mr. Mitosinka’s ownership the Phantom I was displayed at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. The Rolls still retains the majority of its Kerfoot finishes and is overall in solid and presentable older condition, though the paint is failing significantly on the lower body. At the time of cataloging the car had recorded 76,862 miles. It is accompanied by a significant history file, including Rolls-Royce Foundation documentation and the history/restoration book compiled by Mr. Kerfoot, as well as a wheel tool.
There are many Springfield Phantom Is, but this is truly a unique, special automobile – with styling touches all its own, and a distinctive appearance surely unforgettable to all who see it.