Robb Design Portfolio: Raccoon Rolls

  • Gregory Anderson

Phantom II Continental Streamline Saloon by Park Ward

Though known for its conservatively styled automobiles, British coachbuilder Park Ward thought outside the boxy mold when creating the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Streamline Saloon. The aerodynamic, one-off design was a star of London’s 1933 Olympia Motor Show, but the car gradually fell into obscurity, eventually spending more than 30 years in a Wisconsin barn, where it became home for a family of raccoons. Seattle-area collector Ken McBride acquired the car in 2003 and began a two-year restoration—a process, he says, that started with the removal of 150 pounds of raccoon dung. McBride then entered the Rolls in the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. "Just before the event, this fellow fell in love with the car," he recalls. "We had drinks Saturday night, and four or five screwdrivers later, I sold it to him." McBride’s decision proved imprudent: The following day, the car won First in Class and Most Elegant Closed Car at the Concours.

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