1940 Rover "Twenty"  Chassis no. 054-0003
Lot 317
1940 Rover "Twenty" Drophead Coupe Chassis no. 054-0003 Engine no. 0510018
Sold for US$ 57,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
1940 Rover "Twenty" Drophead Coupe
Coachwork by Tickford

Chassis no. 054-0003
Engine no. 0510018
• 2,512cc inline six-cylinder
• Four-speed manual transmission

• Concours quality restoration
• Rare open Tickford coachwork
• Unique in the US

On September 1, 1939, Hitler's blitzkrieg rolled into Poland and World War II began. Less than six weeks later, on October 11, the very 1940 Rover Twenty offered here became the last of its series produced, as the British manufacturer turned fully to military production. This car is also the final of three Tickford Drophead Coupés produced on the Twenty chassis during the short 1940 model run. Rover built aero engines and supported early development of the pioneering jet engine designed by Sir Frank Whittle during the war. The Twenty chassis would not be reintroduced when Rover passenger car production resumed after peace was declared in 1945.

From new, this most remarkable and historic Rover has been held by only its first owner—recorded as "Stenning" — and members of the two families who have subsequently provided stewardship for the automobile. The vendor's late father purchased the Rover from the car's second owners, the Kent family.

While their styling was generally carried over from 1939, the very limited run of 1940 Rover Twenty models were distinguished by standard steel disc wheels and the addition of vent windows to the Tickford DHC doors. Concealed beneath a streamlined metal cover, the spare tire on this Rover is mounted near the left-hand front fender (standard placement was at the rear).

Incorporating full-width rear seating, the four-passenger Tickford Drophead Coupé with coachwork by Salmon & Sons is fitted with gorgeous woodwork inside. The fully folding convertible top can be rolled back and furled mid-way, for an open "Coupe de Ville" appearance.

The Rover Twenty was also known as the "20" or "20-hp." All three appellations derive from the 19.8 taxable horsepower rating of the model's 2,512-cc six-cylinder engine. This nominal rating, based on cylinder count and bore, was used to determine license fees. Spanning a 115-inch wheelbase, the Twenty was the most powerful and expensive Rover series of its period.

A four-year comprehensive rebuild of this rare Tickford DHC was conducted by Tim Walker Restorations, Ltd. during 2002-2004, with Alpine Eagle of Clanfield, Oxfordshire completing the car during 2005-2006. Kept since in California, the Rover has never been shown in a Concours setting.

The Rover is accompanied by the original factory owner's literature and toolkit, in addition to full restoration records, including photos and invoices, and is offered with a California title.
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