1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V

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Lot 679
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé
Registration no. NFF 368 Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V

Sold for £ 76,300 (US$ 91,458) inc. premium
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by J Gurney Nutting

Registration no. NFF 368
Chassis no. GHW45
Engine no. P7V

Footnotes

  • The Rolls-Royce 20/25hp was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile. Most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the 20/25hp chassis. Some of the most widely admired - like that of the car offered here - were the work of J Gurney Nutting, a company associated with quality marques - Bentley in particular - from its earliest days and a supreme practitioner of the coachbuilding craft in the late 1930s. Founded in Croydon, Surrey in 1919, Gurney Nutting had bodied its first Bentley before moving to London’s fashionable Chelsea district in 1924, and within a few years was established as the Cricklewood firm’s foremost supplier of bodies after Vanden Plas.
    The fledgling coachbuilder was fortunate in being able to recruit the established designer A F McNeil from Cunard, an acquisition that enabled it to forge an enviable reputation in the face of competition from long-established rivals within only a few years. Gurney Nutting’s work had a sporting flavour from the outset and succeeded in attracting the attention of society’s upper echelons; the Prince of Wales and Duke of York were clients, and the firm gained its Royal Warrant in the early 1930s.
    Daimler and Rolls-Royce had been added to the Gurney Nutting portfolio in the mid-1920s, and the fruitful association with the latter continued into the succeeding decade. Gurney Nutting’s most famous designs of this period were the limited series of fabulous ‘sedanca coupés’ commissioned by the London-based Rolls-Royce and Bentley agents H R Owen Ltd. Chassis number ‘GHW45’, the car offered here, is one of the exclusive handful of Rolls-Royce 20/25hp models bodied in this unusual, yet most elegant, three-position drophead coupé style, each of which was unique.
    ‘GHW45’ was delivered to Gurney Nutting on 21st October 1932 and sold new via H R Owen’s Berkeley Street showrooms to first owner, The Comtesse de Pret-Roose, of Gaddesby Hall, Leicester (wife of Count Jacques de Pret-Roose MC, Captain in the 12th Royal Lancers). The car was erected on the long-wheelbase chassis and fitted with louvred bonnet, having been ordered for the recorded purpose of touring in the UK. Tom C Clarke’s book, The Rolls-Royce 20/25hp, records the original registration mark as ‘JJ 626’ and notes that the car was resident in the USA in 1993. It was acquired for the famous ‘Rosso Bianco’ Collection in 1994. Included in the sale are copy order form and chassis cards; copy Swansea V5 registration document (issued 1994); and a previous owner’s logbook of servicing and maintenance work carried out during the period August 1971 to September 1977 recording a complete engine rebuild in 1974.
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V
1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. GHW45 Engine no. P7V
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