Real Trooper Mounts 1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom Body on Isuzu Chassis

Illustration for article titled Real Trooper Mounts 1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom Body on Isuzu Chassis
Photo: jazzyboyjames (eBay)

Some sentences start in one place and end in another and you have no idea how the ends are part of the same sentence. Often, some of the weirdest possible descriptions can be found written in eBay ads, and despite having trawled through quite a few of them in my time I can’t remember another sentence that would quite top this one.

She is an original modified bodied Rolls Royce Phantom V (of which there were very few built) with an all original alloy body, original grille, bumpers, motif and some original interior parts of the Phantom, but mounted onto a professionally adapted Isuzu Trooper 3.1 diesel Big Horn chassis with the Lotus handling pack.

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Wow. Didn’t see that coming. There’s an alternative dimension scenario where all of this made sense and still does, but that description is really a wild ride.

The bit about the Lotus handling pack is somewhat easy to explain. Let’s start with that. Isuzu used to go hand in hand with General Motors, which also dealt with Lotus in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The FWD, Rad-era M100 version of the Lotus Elan used an Isuzu engine, and some Isuzu models received chassis wisdom from Lotus, such as the RWD Impulse which was also sold as the Piazza. You know the old saying: Lots Of Tuning, Usually Suspension.

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We don’t think that leather is Connolly.
We don’t think that leather is Connolly.
Photo: jazzyboyjames (eBay)

Lotus also looked at the Trooper 4x4 long enough to merit the addition of Lotus badging on some of them, and the most noticeable thing about that venture is the very tasteful leather steering wheel you can also see on these photos of the Phantom. Interestingly, also the Trooper leather seats have made it into the cabin, in place of the original Rolls-Royce bench.

Illustration for article titled Real Trooper Mounts 1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom Body on Isuzu Chassis
Image: jazzyboyjames (eBay)

Interestingly yet logically, the vehicle is also registered as a grey 1993 Isuzu Bighorn. The project wasn’t quite finished by the previous owner before “age and other projects got the better of him”, but it was put together well enough to be fit for road use with no MOT advisories.

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There’s no valid MOT at the moment, but the seller says the Roller-Trooper hasn’t really been used much since the last inspection took place in 2016, and there cannot be that much work before another MOT can be secured. There never is with someone else’s project cars, is there?

At 60 mph, the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce is the Isuzu turbodiesel
At 60 mph, the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce is the Isuzu turbodiesel
Photo: jazzyboyjames (eBay)
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A benefit of the chassis and powertrain swap is that you’re also looking at a more classically styled alternative to the Cullinan, in case what you really want is a four-wheel-drive Rolls-Royce. Sure, the Cullinan is quicker from 0 to 60 mph than anything powered by the 3.1-liter, four-cylinder Isuzu turbodiesel, but it’s easier to prefer the styling of the Phantom.

Sadly, if this Phantom Trooper actually is everything you ever wanted, you’re too late to grab it. It sold a month ago for the princely sum of £8,900, or a little over $10,000 with current exchange rates. Replicating the job is practically impossible given how expensive anything related to a real Rolls-Royce Phantom V currently is. Another quote from the ad puts it succinctly:

The original Rolls Royce parts on this car alone would set you back well in excess of £30,000 - £50,000 to replace if an already existing owner required them.

The conversion on this car must have cost many many ££££`s and I doubt there would have been too much change coming back from £50,000 on completion.

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With this in mind, we’d suggest doing the opposite: fitting a Trooper body on a Rolls-Royce chassis. It’s the only way to beat the Super-Handling SLX Acura built for Radwood last year.

Source: eBay UK (hat-tip to Lewis Kingston!) 

Automotive writer based in Finland. Never paid more than two grand for a car. Currently drives a manual turbodiesel wagon.

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Its all Rolls Royce”, Joe Isuzu