Ladies and gentleman, start your engines and head to Fairfield County’s classic Concours d’Elegance for a showing of the finest automobiles. Making an extraordinary appearance at the seventh annual Fairfield Concours d’Elegance is the legendary, custom-built Rolls-Royce Phantom III “Vutotal” Cabriolet by Labourdette that appeared at the 1939 World’s Fair and has an adventurous past, once belonging to a New York plastic surgeon, a drug dealer who ended up in a Cuban prison and S. Mars of the candy empire.
The 1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Vutotal Cabriolet by Labourdette will be rolling up to Connecticut’s Fairfield County Hunt Club, courtesy of the John W. Rich Automobile Museum, which houses a vast collection of some of the most unique and historic vehicles produced, amassed by Pennsylvanian philanthropist John Rich. Guests of the Concours will have the rare opportunity to examine coach-building at its finest with the vehicle’s exquisite design and daring craftsmanship.
“When this car came out of Labourdette, people called it both outrageous and futuristic,” Bill Scheffler, co-founder and chairman of the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, says. “We see it as an amazing example of innovation and design and are honored to be a small chapter in its rich history.”
Originally designed by Henry Royce in the 1930s to keep up with luxury automobile multi-cylinder engine war, this one-of-a-kind beauty was later modified with a wonderful Sedanca de Ville for the chassis by coachbuilder Hooper and Co., and then rebodied by famed coachbuilder, Henri Labourdette of Paris.
Labourdette’s notorious designs and experimentation with aerodynamics led him to develop a swooping open body for the chassis, worth a fortune. He also cloaked the traditional Rolls-Royce radiator behind a streamlined grille, and created a signature skiff or boat-tail design at the rear. But still, the car’s most prominent feature is the ‘Vutotal’ windscreen, invented by Joseph Vigroux and patented together with Larboudette, which provides the car with a completely unobstructed view.
Driving auto enthusiasts from around the globe and 100 years of eloquent automobiles collide into one weekend, in which more than 200 of the world’s most renowned vintage automobiles, race cars and exceptional motorcycles are fawned over at exciting events, including the Nutmeg Tour for Autism, Toast the Tour reception, art and automobilia, specific car and motorcycle club celebrations, seminars and demonstrations and Bonhams Auction and preview reception. The show has raised more than $100,000 benefiting The Drive to Treat Autism Fund, providing support for diagnostic and treatment services for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom III ‘Vutotal’ vrooms into Westport on Sept. 12.
For more information on the 1939/47 Rolls-Royce Phantom III “Vutotal” Cabriolet by Labourdette, visit www.jwrautomuseum.com/vehicles/1939-47rrp3vc.html. To find out more about the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, visit www.fairfieldcountyconcours.com.