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Lot 417: Rolls-Royce 20hp Sedanca De Ville

Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (19 June 2010)

Writing of the new 20hp Rolls-Royce in The Motor of 3rd July 1923, their correspondent reported:- "Three characteristics are outstanding. One is responsiveness, the other quietness and a third is a distant sense of breeding that accompanies its every action. There is a silkiness about the suspension and an elasticity of the engine that need experiencing before they can be believed."

The arrival of the "baby" Rolls-Royce, the 20hp, in 1922 heralded a new generation of small luxury cars geared to the financial constraints of the post-War era. The new car endeared itself to the owner driver and even her ladyship would find the compact car manageable in town traffic. The smooth, six cylinder, 3.1 litre engine featured overhead valves and a monobloc engine with unit construction gearbox. The 20hp was a jewel which broadened the company's customer base, finding almost 3,000 customers during its eight year production run.

Chassis number GTM2 was originally fitted with Hooper limousine coachwork no.7094. The car was first registered on 29th June 1929 and retained its Hooper coachwork until 1939 when it entered service as a Hackney vehicle ambulance. In 1946 it was fitted with its present Windovers Sedanca De Ville coachwork from Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Chassis no.GXO81. The car then had a succession of twelve owners between 1946 and 1967 prior to acquisition by the present owner in the North of England. It has remained in his care now for some forty-three years being used regularly and carefully maintained during that period, meanwhile acquiring that gentle patina which cannot be bought off the motor factor's shelves. Sedanca De Ville coachwork on 20hp Rolls-Royces is comparatively rare and this handsome car is smartly finished in blue over black livery with grey upholstery to the driver's compartment and leather trim to the rear seats. The car is equipped with a near-side mounted spare wheel, fold-away cover to the front compartment, wheel discs all round and is dressed with dummy pram hood irons.

In recent years UV 261 has been used occasionally but sparingly and is offered with a current MoT certificate through to October 2010, old style registration document, Swansea registration document and current road fund licence. A new battery was fitted in March this year. GTM2 comes with a quantity of useful spares, together with a comprehensive set of Rolls-Royce spanners and tools. The owner notes that although the car was rewired in 1969 the interior lights are not connected and the fittings for the spare wheel do not match the other wheels. Otherwise here is a car with a continuous history from careful ownership by an R-R.E.C. member over the last forty-three years.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
TypeCar
Lot Number417
Estimate£22000-£26000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£19000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£21850
Year1929
Condition rating0
Registration numberUV 261
Mileage-
Chassis numberGTM2
Engine numberN3P
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors