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Lot 425: Rolls-Royce 25/30hp Wraith Touring Limousine

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

Development of the pre-war 'small' Rolls-Royce, which had begun in 1922 with the introduction of the 20hp, culminated in 1938 with the arrival of the Wraith. Replacement for the 25/30hp model, the Wraith retained its predecessor's engine dimensions for a capacity of 4,257cc, but almost every other aspect of its overhead-valve, six-cylinder engine was new, the most obvious difference being the adoption of a superior, cross-flow cylinder head, first seen on the 4-Litre Bentley, which placed the inlet and exhaust ports on opposite sides. This extensively revised power unit was mounted in an equally new chassis. Like that of its larger sibling, the Phantom III, the Wraith's frame featured cruciform bracing and independent front suspension based on a General Motors design. It need hardly be stated that the Wraith improved on its predecessor's already high standards of silence and smoothness, though the benefits of the new engine's extra horsepower were largely offset by heavier coachwork. Sadly, production was curtailed by the outbreak of WW2 after just 491 cars had been built. This example of the rarest of 1930s Rolls-Royces is clothed in H J Mulliner's touring limousine coachwork. Chassis number 'WLB28' was first owned by one F J Leathers in the UK and since the 1970s has been on display in the Motor Museum in Skokloster, Sweden although it has never been registered there. Recently serviced and back on the road, the car has been driven from Sweden to the UK for this sale - a journey of 500 miles - without encountering any problems. The current vendor advises us that the Wraith has had only two owners from new and that it remains in remarkably original condition, retaining all its tools, starting handle, torch, etc. There are no documents with this Lot.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
TypeCar
Lot Number425
Estimate£28000-£32000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1939
Condition rating
Registration numberFXH 5
Mileage-
Chassis numberWLB28
Engine numberV7WD
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors