1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Rolling Chassis,
Lot 646
1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Rolling Chassis Chassis no. GLN74 Engine no. O2P
Sold for £8,050 (US$ 13,517) inc. premium
Lot Details
1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Rolling Chassis
Registration no. UW 5411 (see text)
Chassis no. GLN74
Engine no. O2P


  • 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.
    Its accompanying copy order form records that chassis number ‘GLN74’ - one of the last 20hp models made - was sold new to London-based coachbuilders Lawton-Goodman Ltd on 28th March 1929 for bodying as an ‘enclosed front landaulette’. Lawton-Goodman had its roots in the carriage making trade in Liverpool, where Joseph Lawton was an important practitioner in the 19th Century. The firm’s London manager was his nephew, William Lawton-Goodman, who set up shop as an independent coachbuilder in Cricklewood after his uncle’s death. Lawton-Goodman bought the Whitlock car company, whose products featured its coachwork, but the firm’s main interest was commercial work, which it carried on into the 1980s. The number of Rolls-Royce chassis bodied by Lawton-Goodman is not known, but it cannot have been very many.
    Lawton-Goodman’s customer was one Falconer L Wallace and a Miss Wallace is recorded as first owner on the copy chassis card. In 1933 the car passed to a Major G H Barrington-Chance and from January 1943 was in the ownership of Malmesbury Council. It is not known when it was acquired by the Collection or when the original body was removed. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, ‘GLN74’ would make a fine Vintage tourer when fitted with appropriate bodywork. There are no registration documents with this Lot.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the mascot illustrated in the catalogue photo is not included in the sale, a town cap is supplied.