1936 ROLLS-ROYCE 25/30 DROPHEAD COUPE
"This very special bodied car" (The Flying Lady, p4957) was built for Sir Arthur Cory-Wright, who purchased more than a dozen new Rolls-Royces prior to WW2. By 1936 sporting open bodies on Rolls-Royce chassis were becoming quite rare and this car's is unique; Park Ward built 163 bodies for the 25/30 chassis, almost all of which were closed, and only three drophead coupes, this car included, each of which was different. This car was obviously intended to be driven by the owner, the comfortable bucket seats, light steering and synchromesh gearbox helping make it easy to drive. It is reported as handling well in modern highway traffic and has good acceleration for its period (contemporary tests record 25/30 acceleration figures comparable with those of a Phantom II Continental and superior to almost all other pre-war Rolls-Royces except the Phantom III). The vehicle has been fitted with a concealed Payne overdrive unit giving, in effect, a fifth gear for effortless freeway cruising. (This overdrive could be removed without trace and the original condition easily restored if desired, since it simply clamps to the chassis without any bolt holes).
Right-hand drive chassis number 'GXM61' is finished in Ascot Grey with Oxford Blue fenders and top, while the interior is upholstered in Ascot Grey Connolly hide with matching carpets complemented by light English walnut veneers. The body and engine are original (restored) with matching numbers. The car is pictured in Those Elegant Rolls-Royces by Lawrence Dalton and The Rolls-Royce 25/30hp & Wraith by Bernard King. (A copy of each of these books is included with the car). 'GXM61' won the Rolls-Royce of America Trophy at the annual national meet of the RROC in Dana Point, CA in 1999 and has many other concours awards to its credit including 1st in the pre-war Rolls-Royce & Bentley class at Silverado, 1st in class at Hillsborough Concours 2003 and 1st in class at Palo Alto Concours (where Rolls-Royce was the featured marque) in 2004. The car will be shown for judging at Pebble Beach in August 2004.
The present owner purchased the car in 1989. Currently registered in California, it displays a total of 94,250 miles on the odometer. The car comes with a genuine Rolls-Royce Owner's Manual and extensive toolkit. Also included in the sale is a file of historical documents and a file of service/work records and invoices for the period of present ownership. The original prop shaft (removed to install the overdrive) also is included. Major works (with supporting documentation) include the fitting of a new Rolls-Royce cylinder head (1987), complete front axle rebuild, new front brake shoes and new correct style radiator core (1990/91), the latter refurbishment being undertaken by Rolls-Royce & Bentley specialists Laurence Anderson Co, of Berkeley, CA, who also assisted the owner in an extensive engine overhaul (new pistons, bearings, etc) undertaken in 1995/97. In addition, the car received a bare-metal repaint at Perfect reflections in Hayward, CA in 1991/92 and was re-upholstered with Connolly leather and new carpets at Arteche, Woodland, CA in 1992.