Lot 651: 1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Tourer
‘This model was introduced to meet requests for a smaller, less expensive car in keeping with the trend after the First World War towards smaller cars for a wider market. Construction was simplified - but standards of workmanship were not compromised.’ - Edward Eves, Rolls-Royce, 75 Years of Motoring Excellence.
Changing times after WWI eventually forced the abandonment of Rolls-Royce’s ‘one model’ policy, an all-new 20hp car joining the existing 40/50hp Silver Ghost in 1922. The ‘Twenty’ reflected Henry Royce’s interest in contemporary trends within the American automobile industry, incorporating unit construction of engine and gearbox, the latter featuring the modern innovation of a central ball change, and ‘Hotchkiss drive’ rear axle. The engine, Rolls-Royce’s first with overhead valves, was a six-cylinder unit displacing 3,127cc. Favourably received as the Twenty was, its three-speed transmission’s central gearchange was not well liked, and when four-wheel, servo-assisted brakes were introduced in 1925, a four-speed gearbox with right-hand, gated change replaced the original three-speeder. The Twenty’s introduction of enabled the company to cater for the increasingly important owner-driver market that appreciated the quality of Rolls-Royce engineering but did not need a car as large as a 40/50hp Ghost or Phantom. The car proved eminently suited to town use yet could cope admirably with Continental touring when called upon.
Chassis number ‘GVO45’ was delivered new fitted with saloon coachwork and first re-bodied, as a hearse, in 1938, while the current boat-tail tourer coachwork, designed by George Oliver, of Glasgow, was fitted in the 1970s. Acquired by the current owner in May 2006, the car is described as in good condition, with engine ‘on the button’ and bodywork tidy and in good order. Offered with Swansea V5.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
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|Registration number||KX 3790|
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