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      Your path: Home >> Wall-E's World >> Model Cars >> 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca DeVille
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca DeVille
Manufacturer: Corgi
Release dates: 2002-2008(?)
Catalog number: CC06803
Date Purchased: January 2008
Date Completed: December 2009
Number in collection: 22

The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was their final model before World War II. Like all other Rolls-Royce cars through the years, it offered virtually unequalled luxury and prestige, with each one built to the specifications of the owner. It was also their last V12 powered car for nearly sixty years. Although its power and engineering were above average for its day, it had to move a car that weighed in at around 3,500kg (7,700lbs). As a result, performance was slow, and fuel economy terrible. A version of this car was used in the movie Goldfinger, one of the earlier films in the James Bond - 007 series. It was owned by the villain Auric Goldfinger. If you've seen the movie, you'll probably recall the cool trick his chauffer Oddjob could do with his bowler hat.

This replica is made by Corgi, as part of their series that features cars seen in James Bond - 007 movies. It is a very good rendition of the actual car, with two-tone paint, good interior detail, and many separate chrome plated pieces. Although there is no engine, the chassis has reasonably good detail. There is no pull-back motor like I have found in may other cars in this scale range, indicating that this replica is intended to be a collectible, rather than a toy. It even comes with a painted figure of Oddjob in the same scale as the car. No, his hat isn't functional

I originally worked on this car long before I started photographing them. The 'before' pictures are not of my car, but ones I found on-line of cars that are in original condition. The 'after' pictures were of my car, but taken while I was originally writing this page.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.


Pictures of car before any changes were made (click to enlarge)

Disassembly was started by removing two screws that hold the chassis to the body. The remainder of this process, as well as the resulting parts breakdown, is as follows:
  • Front and rear wheel/tire/axle assemblies. The metal axles snap to the chassis. The tires have painted or printed sidewall detail, and are easily removed from the wheels. Each black plastic wheel has a plated center cap, which I chose not to remove at the risk of damaging them. The wheels are also onto the ends of the steel axles. I didn't see any way to remove the wheels from the axles without damaging them, so I stopped there.
  • A plated rear bumper, that located to pins moulded into the chassis.
  • A one piece black plastic chassis That has decent, but basic, drive train, frame, exhaust system, and suspension detail moulded into it.
  • The die-cast fender and running board assembly. This is painted gloss black with silver running boards, and fits between the body and chassis.
  • The fender mounted spare tires, which are connected by a steel rod, and are constructed in exactly the same way as the front and rear axles.
  • Plated front bumper, fog light, and park lights are attached by cement, heat bonded, and riveted, respectively. I saw no way to remove these pieces without the risk of damaging them, so I left these parts attached.
  • A black plastic, one-piece interior assembly, which is factory painted blue. The seats are moulded into the main section, and the side panels fold flat from the sides. This allowed for better detailing, but one of the sides broke away while I was working with it. This was easily repaired with cement during reassembly.
  • A black plastic dashboard and steering wheel. The dash is factory painted brown, and gauges are represented by a decal. The steering wheel is glued the dash, which I didn't remove so that I didn't damage it. This whole assembly was carefully pried from the retaining pins inside of the body.
  • A one piece clear plastic assembly that includes the windshield and frame, front side windows, and front roof pillars. The windshield frame is plated, and the pillars are painted black. This whole assembly was carefully pried from the retaining pins inside of the body.
  • Another one piece clear plastic assembly that includes the partition, rear door windows, and rear window. This piece locates to pins cast into the inside of the roof,
  • The radiator is held in place a screw underneath and near the front of the body. The horns and headlight bar fit loosely between the radiator and the body. The headlights are moulded to the sides of the radiator shell, and have clear lenses that I did not remove, as that may have damaged them. The hood ornament is attached to the top of the radiator. I managed to break the ornament, but I found and reattached it.
  • The die-cast body, painted yellow and black. It has a nice even and glossy finish.

After disassembling the car, only paint and foil were used to add details.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear. Painted the wheels with Testors gloss black.
  • Chassis: Painted entire piece Testors acrylic flat black. Painted the exhaust system and fuel tank with Tamiya metallic gray. Tamiya semi-gloss black was used on the engine, transmission, frame, and suspension.
  • Interior: Painted dashboard and top part of interior door panels Testors acrylic leather, being careful to not get any paint on the gauge decal. Steering wheel is Testors gloss black. Used Bare-Metal Foil on interior door handles and window cranks. Remaining interior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
  • Windows: No changes were made to either window piece.
  • Body: Painted underside of body Testors acrylic flat black. Applied Bare-Metal Foil to center hood hinge, rear quarter windows, and tail lights. Painted tail lights Tamiya clear red, and front parking lights Testors flat white. Drew in body panel seams with a metal tipped 'quill' pen and black ink. Remaining exterior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
Disassembled parts, before reassembly To the left is the car prior to re-assembly.

The car was reassembled by reversing the procedure used to disassemble it. No glue was needed.


Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)


The proportions of the completed car look very close to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are. This table is a bit different than the ones I usually make for comparing scale to actual dimensions. I was unable to find the height of the actual car, so I just estimated what it might be, based on the calculations of other major dimensions.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
Model
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 5410 / 213.0 132 / 5.19 4752 / 186.9 1:41
Wheelbase 3609 / 142.0 84 / 3.31 3024 / 119.0 1:43
Width 1905 / 75.0 46 / 1.81 1656 / 65.2 1:41
Height - - - 44 / 1.75 1584 / 63.0 - - -

My calculations show that this car is smaller than the 1:36 printed on the box, and is closer to 1:42. This is the largest variance that I've encountered to date in cars in this scale range. I don't understand why Corgi would make a mistake like this.

This is the first time I've really looked at this car in any detail since I completed it over five years ago. All I've done is disassemble it and give it a thorough cleaning before taking the pictures for this article. I did have to repair the hood ornament. I was lucky enough to find the broken piece in the box I stored it in, but almost lost it again while taking the pictures.

I was unable to find very much information about this replica while doing the research for this page, other than the pictures I have shown in the 'before' section. I bought this one in a clearance sale aisle, and don't recall seeing it for sale in any store since then. I also regret not buying the others I saw in this series during the same time period. Despite the inaccurate listed scale, I think Corgi did a nice job on it, and hope that this series is reissued in the future.



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