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, 'GDP12', 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 car was off test on 19th December 1929 and early in the following year was delivered to its first owner, The Rt Hon Lady Newborough whose husband, it is said, was never seen without his top hat. Intended for chauffeur driving, it was delivered complete with internal division and a communications system.
Purchased by the vendor at Bonhams 2012 Beaulieu Auction. The previous custodian had owned the Rolls-Royce for 15 years. Restored circa 1992, 'GF 7403' is said to be extremely sound both mechanically and bodily, as well as a joy to drive, being described as in generally very good condition, whilst in the current ownership the car has benefitted from a new clutch and is only reluctantly for sale due to the owner wanting to fund the purchase of an exciting new project. Finished in black with matching leather upholstery to the front compartment and grey cloth to the rear, this majestic 20/25 is offered with a Swansea V5 document.