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Lot 129: Rolls-Royce 20hp Goshawk Open Tourer

Jaguar Heritage + Classic & Collectors Motor Cars, Barons (29 April 2008)

This 20hp Rolls-Royce, with Cabriolet coachwork by T. H. Gill, is said to be the oldest surviving 20hp Rolls-Royce and the 4th Experimental chassis to be built under the code-name Goshawk, as were all of the 20hp experimental cars. By the 1920's the trend away from large chauffeur driven cars towards more modestly dimensioned vehicles could no longer be ignored and Rolls-Royce decided to depart from the one model policy that had served it so well. The owner-driver's pleasure was greatly reduced by the dimensions of the Silver Ghosts and the 99 grease points that required weekly servicing was beyond the skill and definitely beneath most owners. The new car had to demand the minimum of attention, thus allowing the owner to spend more time enjoying the fun of driving his Rolls-Royce. The 20hp was designed to cater for this market. This car played an important role in the history of Rolls-Royce. The code name Goshawk was given to several experimental chassis used to develop the first baby Rolls Royce. This example is thought to have originally been fitted with tourer coachwork by Hooper and was tested extensively by Henry Royce and Hives (his chief tester). Much of this testing was carried out in France with regular trips to Royce's home (LaCanadel) in the south of France. Henry Royce also used the car personally at his home in West Wittering where considerable development was carried out, the car being returned to Derby whenever modifications were required. Testing continued until 1925 when a replacement engine was fitted and the car was sold into private ownership. As an early, experimental car, it has the three-speed, centrally located gearbox and brakes on the rear wheels only. The car has been featured extensively in reference books, including The Rolls-Royce Twenty by John Fasals and Rolls-Royce and Bentley, The Experimental Cars by Ian Rimmer.

Lot Details
Auction Jaguar Heritage + Classic & Collectors Motor Cars
Barons, Surrey
TypeCar
Lot Number129
Estimate£30000-£50000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£34000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1921
Condition rating0
Registration numberCH2892
Mileage-
Chassis number4 G 11
Engine numberG739
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors