1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29
Preview lot
1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd. Registration no. AXV 7 Chassis no. GHA29
£60,000 - 80,000
US$ 78,000 - 100,000

Lot Details
1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25  Chassis no. GHA29
1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.

Registration no. AXV 7
Chassis no. GHA29
*First owned by Sir Malcolm McAlpine
*Believed unique coachwork
*Original registration number
*Featured in 'Coachwork on Rolls-Royce'
*Restored in the 1990s

Footnotes

  • 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, updated the concept with significant improvements, featuring an enlarged (from 3,127 to 3,669cc) and more-powerful cross-flow version of the Twenty's six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine. The latter's increased power allowed the bespoke coachbuilders greater freedom in their efforts to satisfy a discerning clientele that demanded ever larger and more opulent designs. Produced concurrently with the Phantom II, the 20/25 benefited from many of the larger model's improvements, such as synchromesh gears and centralised chassis lubrication, becoming the best-selling Rolls-Royce of the inter-war period.

    The Rolls-Royce 20/25hp was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile and most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the 20/25hp chassis. The example presented here wears two-door, four-seater coupé coachwork by Park Ward Ltd. Founded in 1919, Park Ward had had forged its not inconsiderable reputation bodying Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and other quality makes, and in 1933 received the ultimate 'vote of confidence' when Rolls-Royce bought a minority stake in the Willesden-based coachbuilder, taking full control six years later.

    Chassis number 'GHA29' was ordered on 20th October 1933 by Auto Auctions Ltd for their client, Sir Malcolm McAlpine, son of the founder of the eponymous civil engineering and construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine. The 1933 London Motor Show had reflected the growing interest in streamlined designs - often referred to as 'airline' - among both volume manufacturers and independent coachbuilders; this elegant look, with its characteristically flowing lines, being the archetypal automotive styling trend of the 'Art Deco' period. Almost certainly unique, 'GHA29' is pictured (when new) in 'Coachwork on Rolls-Royce' by Lawrence Dalton (page 245) and remains essentially unchanged today.

    The (copy) chassis card lists two subsequent owners: Major R S Paterson of the BAOR (from August 1946) and Mr N Hanson of Nottingham (from September 1953). Also on file is a continuation logbook listing the following owners: C Scott-Paton (1958) and Thomas Scott McDonald (1961) while accompanying paperwork suggests the car was owned by one Brian Sim 1973 and a Clare Wright in 1976.

    There is also sales invoice dated 1995 from Charles Howard to Frank Dale & Stepsons, who sold the Rolls-Royce to one L Maury later that same year; other invoices record works carried out on the car by FD&S for Maury circa 1995. In Tom C Clarke's book, 'The Rolls-Royce 20/25HP', 'GHA29' is recorded as in France in 1997, and the car is believed to have been owned by Mr Maury until it was purchased by the preceding owner in Switzerland in 2016. That owner is reported to have spent circa £10,000 on a service, complete rewire (using correct cabling), set of five new tyres/tubes, new sun visors, work to the one-shot lubrication system, etc, though it should be noted that there are no invoices for this work.

    Fitted with an overdrive for relaxed cruising on long journeys, 'GHA29' is handsomely finished in black with dark blue leather interior, and is described as in generally good condition. Accompanying documentation consists of that mentioned above plus a V5C Registration Certificate and current MoT.

    With its rakish looks, streamlined tail, 'highline' front wings, louvred bonnet and shallow windscreen – complete with peak – this stunning car would be judged a very special Rolls-Royce in any company.
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