1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Enclosed Cabriolet  Chassis no. GFN 35 Engine no. D9A
Lot 229
1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Enclosed Cabriolet Chassis no. GFN 35 Engine no. D9A
Sold for £45,500 (US$ 76,431) inc. premium
Lot Details
1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp Enclosed Cabriolet
Coachwork by Barker & Co.Ltd.

Registration no. ZV 5837 (Eire)
Chassis no. GFN 35
Engine no. D9A


  • 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.

    GFN 35 was ordered on 8th June 1928 by Herbert B. Ewart of fashionable West Eaton Place, London, SW1. He commissioned Barker & Co. Ltd of South Audley Street to build enclosed cabriolet coachwork, (Body No. 6021), in the style of that fitted to the Prince of Wales’s Phantom Rolls-Royce. A record on file shows that a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, chassis no. 1611, a cabriolet by Rothschild, was traded in against the new small Rolls-Royce. (Fasal and Goodman’s standard work, The Edwardian Rolls-Royce, records that car in the ownership of Major General Sir Henry Ewart of Hythe, Hants, in 1921). The completed car was invoiced in January 1929 – a long time in the making – and finally delivered in April that year. It was originally registered UL 6654 with London County Council. Subsequent history is limited, the car having dropped off the Rolls-Royce factory ‘radar’ almost immediately and the company records therefore telling us little.

    In 1973/74 the car was restored by highly regarded Rolls-Royce restorers, Wilkinsons of Derby, and was at that time owned by Rolls-Royce aficianado E.J.Brooks. GFN 35 has been in the present enthusiast ownership in Ireland for about 18 years, during which time it has been actively used in both Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Ireland Section events. The car, a nicely matured restoration, is smartly and traditionally presented in dark green over black livery with nickel fittings and the interior furnished with black leather to the front and beige West of England cloth to the rear, with new carpets recently fitted. The complex and high quality coachwork configuration offers every possible option from a fully convertible tourer to a snug enclosed car for more formal or wet-weather motoring – ideally suited to the varied climate of the UK or Ireland.

    GFN 35 is described as being in good mechanical order, having had an engine overhaul in recent times. It comes with a number of old test certificates and details of past changes of ownership, together with copies of the original Factory Order and Build Sheets. The 20hp Rolls-Royce is considered by many to be the jewel amongst vintage Rolls-Royces and is of course well catered for by the 20 hp Register within the R-REC.