No less than 3,827 examples of the 20/25hp Rolls-Royce chassis left the Derby production lines, all destined for bespoke coachbuilders who vied eagerly for custom among the nobility and old money. Ownership of a Rolls-Royce had long been a social statement since the marque was dubbed as The Best Car in the World. The smaller and less expensive 20/25hp model brought Rolls-Royce products to a wider market, although there was no compromise in quality for the smaller car. The 20/25hp was powered by a smooth, six-cylinder engine of 3.7 litres with pushrod-operated overhead valves. Engineering quality reflected Rolls-Royces reputation for building The Best Car in the World and a comprehensive dealer network serviced the marque, working closely with the factory in providing only the most meticulous service for their demanding clients. Direct contact between owner and manufacturer was actively encouraged and Rolls-Royce ran its own chauffeur training school, its aim being to ensure that their products received the best of care at all times.
J Gurney Nutting & Co. Ltd., were relative newcomers to the craft and traditions of motor car coachbuilding. Established just after the end of The Great War, their superbly elegant designs for Sedanca de Ville and Sedanca Drophead Coupés, executed by their design team, had an immediate impact and the company thrived in the mid-thirties from Royal patronage and other notable and discerning admirers of the coachbuilders art. Working closely in conjunction with H R Owen of Berkeley Street, W1, Gurney Nutting built arguably the most elegant Three-Position Drophead Coupés, bearing the Owen name.
The first owner of this car, W Evans, ordered his car in 1933 and the car finally came off test in January 1934. Subsequent history is not at this stage recorded but what is very evident is that this car has been through careful ownership and retains considerable originality. It is offered for sale by a long-standing and respected Rolls-Royce enthusiast. The coachwork is attractively liveried in coffee and cream with brown coachlining and wire wheels. It has clearly been the subject of major restoration and general finish is very good indeed. The car is equipped with superb accessories including Lucas P100 headlamps, a centre-mounted Lucas passlamp and twin, externally-mounted, chrome horns, while the scuttle-mounted search light is by Stephen Grebel of Paris. The car sports RAC, RREC and RROC club badges. Under bonnet detail is exceptionally good with original jack, wheel spanner and hammers all fitted. We are advised that the Autovac works correctly as one would expect from a detailed restoration. The brown pleated upholstery is very smartly presented as are carpets, hood and hood lining. Chrome and nickel fittings are well presented and the car carries a Jack Barclay Ltd dealers plaque on the dashboard as well as on the door sills and a further dashboard badge advises that this car was an RROC National Award Winner in 1989.
The traditional Gurney Nutting rear trunk houses a complete set of small tools, all as new, while the lower trunk area contains foot pump and tyre levers. The rear spare wheel is enclosed, again in Gurney Nuttings best fashion, while the rear aspect is completed with pork pie rear and number plate lights.
We are advised that the car performs well and, in our opionion, will be equally suited to the excellent Continental tours organised by the RREC, while being high on the judges score sheet in concours délégance competition at both RREC and RROC international gatherings.
This highly attractive and most sought after example of the Rolls-Royce 20/25hp is offered with Swansea registration document and current MoT certificate.