Offered from the estate of the late Mike Berry 1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30hp 'Tickford' All Weather Saloon Coachwork by Salmons & Sons Registration no. 775 XUY Chassis no. GRP32 Engine no. A23G
Latest in the line of 'small' Rolls-Royces that had begun with the 'Twenty' back in 1922, the much revised 25/30hp arrived in 1936. The newcomer was a development of the immediately preceding 20/25hp model that had been introduced in 1929 featuring an enlarged (from 3,127 to 3,699cc) and more-powerful cross-flow version of its predecessor's six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine. Apart from the latter, early 20/25 chassis were identical to those of the last 20s, both models being produced during 1929. Thus the 20/25 inherited the right-hand gearchange lever and servo-assisted brakes introduced on its predecessor, as well as Phantom-style radiator shutters. Produced contemporaneously with the Phantom II, the 20/25 benefited from many of the features - such as synchromesh gears and centralised chassis lubrication - developed for the larger model.
Eventually the trend towards increasingly weighty coachwork prompted Rolls-Royce to revise the 20/25 for 1936. Raising engine capacity to 4,257cc provided the required power increase while the policy of using more proprietary components begun towards the end of 20/25 production saw the new 25/30 adopt a Stromberg carburettor and SU fuel pumps. In its superlative build quality and all other respects the new Rolls-Royce 25/30 remained much as its immediate predecessor. The model lasted until the introduction of the Wraith in 1939 by which time 1,201 cars had been built.
The Rolls-Royce 25/30hp was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile and most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the 25/30hp chassis. Originally delivered to Man Egerton and intended for enclosed limousine coachwork, chassis number 'GRP32' was in actual fact completed with four-door, four-light coachwork by Salmons & Sons of Newport Pagnell at the behest of the purchaser, one L H J Storey. Salmons & Sons was one of the most commercially successful of all British coachbuilders and originators of the 'Tickford' all-weather saloon body, of which this is a fine example. The body features Salmons' patented, quick-action, wind-down hood mechanism, which enables the car to be transformed from a snug saloon into an open tourer in moments while still offering a great deal of wind and weather protection to the occupants. It is worth noting that Mike Berry also owned a 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 with similar 'Tickford' coachwork, which was sold by Bonhams at the RAF Museum, Hendon in April 2012 (Lot 359).
The car's ownership history is somewhat incomplete, though there are invoices contained within the substantial history file for an engine rebuild in November 1960 from Chandos Motors of London SE23 made out to a Mr Sullivan, and another from Redmond's Garage of Savannah, Georgia to one Jim Kempner dated October 1968. (The Rolls-Royce is believed to have gone to the USA in the early 1960s). A bill of sale on file indicates that Mike Berry bought the car in the USA from David Toms in November 1988, while a Salmons Tickford Enthusiasts registration form dating from 1989 states that the car was 'undergoing restoration' at that time. There are related invoices on file for an engine rebuild and associated parts, and the car also comes with current road fund licence, MoT to July 2014 and Swansea V5C.