1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Enclosed Limousine Coachwork by Hooper & Co Registration no. GT 3870 Chassis no. GOS-22
The introduction of a smaller Rolls-Royce, the 20hp, in 1922 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 'Twenty' proved eminently suited to town use yet could cope admirably with Continental touring when called upon. Its successor, the 20/25hp, introduced in 1929, up-dated the concept with significant improvements, featuring an enlarged (from 3.1 to 3.7 litres) and more-powerful version of the Twenty's six-cylinder overhead-valve engine. 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 and would become the best-selling Rolls-Royce of the inter-war period.
The Rolls-Royce 20/25hp was, of course, exclusively a coachbuilt automobile and most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the 20/25hp chassis. This example, 'GOS-22', wears formal, seven-seater limousine coachwork by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. The chassis was off test on 23rd March 1931 and early in the following year the completed car was delivered to its first owner, a Mrs Byard, in London. Intended for chauffeur driving, it was delivered complete with internal division.
In the same family ownership since 1964, the Rolls-Royce was in a 'distressed state' when purchased, the damage including a cracked engine block. It was stored until the early 1980s before undergoing an extensive and sympathetic restoration to factory specification while retaining as much of the original car as possible. All receipts pertaining to the rebuild are available, recording in excess of £30,000 spent. After completion the Rolls-Royce won a 'Best in Class' award at the Yeovil Festival of Motoring in 1991 and in 1992 was featured in Classic Car Weekly (article on file). Only some 8,000 miles have been covered since restoration, as evidenced by expired MoTs on file, and the car is described as in generally very good condition. Finished in black/green with black leather upholstery to the front compartment and grey West of England cloth to the rear, this majestic 20/25 is offered with copy build details, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 document.