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1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp Tourer  Chassis no. 57S9 Engine no. G232 image 1
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Lot 11
1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp Tourer
Coachwork by Windovers Registration no. NN 4637 Chassis no. 57S9 Engine no. G232
20 March 2016, 13:00 GMT
Chichester, Goodwood

Sold for £48,300 inc. premium

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1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp Tourer
Coachwork by Windovers

Registration no. NN 4637
Chassis no. 57S9
Engine no. G232


*Early example of the model
*Respected, high quality coachbuilder
*Matching chassis, engine, and registration numbers
*Eligible for VSCC events

Footnotes

'This model was introduced to meet requests for a smaller, less expensive car in keeping with the trend after the First World War towards smaller cars for a wider market. Construction was simplified - but standards of workmanship were not compromised.' - Edward Eves, Rolls-Royce, 75 Years of Motoring Excellence.

Changing times after WWI eventually forced the abandonment of Rolls-Royce's 'one model' policy, an all-new 20hp car joining the existing 40/50hp Silver Ghost in 1922. The 'Twenty' reflected Henry Royce's interest in contemporary trends within the American automobile industry, incorporating unit construction of engine and gearbox, the latter featuring the modern innovation of a central ball change, and 'Hotchkiss drive' rear axle. The engine, Rolls-Royce's first with overhead valves, was a six-cylinder unit displacing 3,127cc. When four-wheel, servo-assisted brakes were introduced in 1925, a four-speed gearbox with right-hand, gated change replaced the original three-speeder.

The Twenty's introduction 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; it proved eminently suited to town use yet could cope admirably with Continental touring when called upon. A total of 2,940 had been produced when the Twenty was superseded by the 20/25hp model in 1929.

This early 20hp chassis, estimated as the 179th produced, was ordered in January 1923 and sent to coachbuilder Windovers of Huntingdon for bodying as an open tourer with dickey seat. It was delivered by Windovers on 8th June 1923. The car's first owner was E J Noble Esq of Birch House, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, followed by E Robinson of Liss, Hampshire (1935) and Peter Cooper of Macclesfield (1962). Nothing else is known of its early history, though the grey metallic paint is believed to have been applied in the 1950s.

In 1964, the Rolls-Royce was purchased from Brunton (Engineers) of Leek, Staffordshire by Mr Tom Farr, who owned the Haverhill Rope Twain & Sack Company in Haverhill, Suffolk. His friend Peter Norfolk, another Haverhill resident, maintained the car, and these two gentlemen regularly drove it on the annual Beamish Rally in County Durham during the period 1972 to 1987, as well as on many local runs.

In 1989 ownership passed to Peter Norfolk, from whom the Rolls-Royce was purchased by Kingsley Curtis and his friend, Martin Berry, in February 1999. Since then 'NN 4637' has been used for a few local rallies, seeing only occasional use, and has required little or no work during this period. Owned solely by Kingsley Curtis since 2006, the car comes with a good history file, copy build sheets and a V5 registration document.

Additional information