69MW, as the R-R Enthusiasts Club would refer to the car, has been a superlative possession. It had covered 59,000 miles when we took her over: now the clock reads 220,000. It has travelled the Continent, done the shopping, towed racing cars, won prizes in Concours d’Elegance, won its class in a speed trial on the Carriogrohane Straight in Munster and whispered its way round the West End of London. Impeccable in all things.’

That is how Kenneth Neve, engineer and Past President of the Vintage Sports-Car Club, described ownership of 69MW in his excellent book, A Bit Behind the Times, published in 1988. His enjoyment of this magnificent car continued until his death in the 1990’s, man and machine clearly having remained in perfect harmony to the last.

69MW’s history began however on 15th June 1933 when it was on test with Rolls-Royce, destined for delivery by Barker & Co.Ltd to their esteemed customer, Capt. Thomas Lee Hardy of Lloyds Bank in Pall Mall, London. Captain Hardy was a polo player of some repute, mixed in distinguished company and his selection of Barkers to construct the coachwork was an impeccable choice as he required a car that would reflect his sporting prowess and yet command respect amongst his senior banking colleagues. He was particular in the detail of his order, specifying, amongst other things, bonnet louvres running into the bulkhead at an angle of 16 degrees, and of course his model choice was the top-of-the range short chassis Continental. 69MW clearly proved ‘impeccable in all things’ to the Captain as it remained in his possession through the war years, passing in 1952 to the aforementioned Kenneth Neve of Stretton in Cheshire. Far from the West End of London, 69MW must have cut a dash in rural Cheshire, despite its vintage years, and was destined for extensive further mileage in its new engineer-owner’s hands.

Following the death of Kenneth Neve the car was loaned to renowned test pilot, Peter Henley, finding itself once again in sympathetic hands, and a detailed log, (as one would expect from a test pilot), was maintained recording his use of the car and maintenance/repair schedules during that custodianship. It is clear that the highest standards were required of 69MW and no expense was spared in maintaining the car to appropriate levels.

69MW was acquired by the present owner , by coincidence also a previous owner of Neve’s London-Edinburgh Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 1701, in 1999, joining a stable of exceptional Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars, all fastidiously maintained and prepared for the most demanding journeys. 69MW was immediately entrusted to Classic Restorations of Scotland to ensure that it met the same criteria, with some £200k spent, each aspect of mechanical condition being scrutinised in the course of the restoration and repaired or replaced to meet the new owner’s demanding standards. The opportunity was taken during this restoration to equip 69MW with overdrive enhancing still further the driving experience. Records of this detailed restoration are on file.

At the same time time coachwork and cosmetic presentation were addressed to ensure that, as in Kenneth Neve’s ownership, 69MW would be a certain winner on the concours d’elegance lawns. Coachwork was refinished in green livery, seats were reupholstered in best quality leather, carpets replaced, woodwork re-polished and all brightwork refurbished to the highest standards. Ace-type wheel discs were sourced and fitted, enhancing further the commanding presence of Barker’s superlative sedanca coupe.

There is little doubt that amongst Continental Phantoms 69MW stands ‘head and shoulders’ above most in the elegance stakes and is equipped in every way for the Continental tour. Driving equipment includes Lucas lighting and alto horns, centre driving light and Marchal spotlights with driver’s pillar-mounted spotlight and rear mounted spares, along with bumpers front and rear and fishtail exhaust. A luggage carrier is provided for the longer trip and matching GB plates fitted, while a full complement of small tools is carried under-bonnet on the faces of the bulkhead.

69MW is one of those rare cars that exudes elegance and quality from every angle, more importantly the Continental model offering performance equalled by very few of its peer group, being arguably the fastest British production car of its era - in short,
as Kenneth Neve so succinctly put it, ‘a superlative possession.’
The car comes with 5 massive lever arch files filled to the brim with history & bills totalling hundereds of thousands of pounds. Indeed it is possible the most voluminous history file I have ever seen. The car needless to say runs in complete silence & drives as if it were leaving Barkers Premises when new.

Vehicle details

Vehicle data

Model series
Model name
Phantom II Continental
First registration date
Not provided
Year of manufacture
Mileage (read)
1 km
Chassis number
Engine number
Not provided
Gearbox number
Not provided
Matching numbers
Not provided
Number of owners
Not provided

Technical details

Body style
Power (kW/hp)
1/1 (Factory: 88/119)
Cubic capacity (cm³)
1 (Factory: 7668)
Not provided
Not provided
Right (RHD)
Not provided
Front brakes
Rear brakes
Fuel type

Individual configuration

Exterior color
Manufacturer color name
Interior color
Interior material

Optional equipment


Condition, registration & documentation

Has Report
Ready to drive


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Vintage & Prestige Fine Motor Cars

Richard Biddulph

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