On Film Auric Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III first appears when he arrives at the golf club for what turns out to be a memorable round with 007. After Bond wins their game, he fits a Q Branch homing device in the Rolls-Royce’s boot. The Rolls-Royce is flown by air to Geneva, followed by 007 who then tails Goldfinger along the Furkha Pass through the Alps, using the tracking equipment in his Aston Martin DB5. When Bond arrives at Auric Enterprises, he observes the Rolls being dismantled and learns that Goldfinger smuggles his precious metal as the Phantom III’s bodywork, which is made of 24-carat gold.
The Vehicle The Phantom III is the last of the large pre-war Rolls-Royces and the final car which Henry Royce worked on before his death in 1933, one year into the car’s development. Introduced in 1936, the Phantom III is the first of only three Rolls-Royce models to boast a V12 engine and just 727 Phantom III chassis were constructed (1936-1939). The car weighs a heavy 8,000lbs, its bulk limiting the top speed to 87mph, while its 0-60mph is 16.8 seconds. The thirsty V12 engine offers just 10mpg.
The Production The classic yellow and black Phantom III used for filming is said to have been custom-built in 1937 for Rt Hon. Lord Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire, with the coachwork tailor-made by the prestigious Barkers Coachworks. The film crew arrived in Switzerland on 4th July 1964 to shoot the winding roads around Andermatt where Bond trails the Rolls and battles with Tilly Masterson’s Ford Mustang. They fell behind schedule when the Aston Martin burned out its clutch on the second day. The plate fitted to the Rolls, AU1, was the first registration ever issued in Nottingham (in 1903), and it was chosen to reflect Goldfinger’s ostentation (AU being the chemical symbol for gold in the Periodic Table).
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