Auric Goldfinger’s Phantom III is the ultimate prestigious motor with an ingenious use. Six times a year, Auric Goldfinger took a trip across Europe in his classic 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III. The reason for this is that the car’s bodywork has been replaced by 18-carat gold and once the car leaves Britain and reaches Goldfinger’s factory in Switzerland, the gold is smelted down into approximately two tons of gold bullion. The great strength of the Phantom III made it able to carry the weight of the hidden gold with ease. Notably, the automobile has the licence plate ‘AU 1”. Au is the symbol on the periodic table for the element gold, named after the Latin word for gold: aurum.
Features Door panels – Made of solid gold, the panels are so heavy that it takes two people to remove them from their rear hinges. Once in Goldfinger’s plant, the panels are melted down.
Driver’s cabin – Oddjob drives the 1937 Phantom III from this separate open-top chauffeur’s cabin, while his employer, Goldfinger, travels in the luxurious closed cabin behind.
Engine – Rolls-Royce’s first V12 engine was aluminium and had exceptional power. A second would not appear until 1998. In Goldfinger’s car, some of the larger engine parts are cast in gold, so they can be smuggled underneath the bonnet.
Suspension – The car’s suspension system includes adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers, which can be controlled from the driver’s seat. This means that the car can cope with the extra weight of the gold and still give a smooth ride.
The Silver Lady – Even the famous Rolls-Royce emblem isn’t all she seems. Along with the front grille, it was cast in gold and dipped in chrome for a standard finish.
Trivia Goldfinger has a secret plan to increase the value of his gold by irradiating all the bullion in Fort Knox, USA. He is under suspicion by MI6, so Bond visits Goldfinger at his country club – and slips a tracking device into the boot of his Rolls-Royce. Bond follows Goldfinger to his Swiss base, where he sees the Rolls-Royce being dismantled, and the gold parts melted down and poured into moulds to make ingots.
Sign up for 007 news from the world of James Bond. Receive exclusive updates and content – from behind-the-scenes stories, to the latest product launches – plus film clips and trivia from the Bond archive.