"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 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 Royce's interest in contemporary trends within the American automobile industry, incorporating unitary 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.
This example of Rolls-Royce's successful smaller companion to the Silver Ghost has the four-wheel, servo-assisted brakes and right-hand change, four-speed gearbox introduced on the 20hp model in 1925. Chassis number 'GWL22' wears limousine coachwork by the highly respected firm of Windovers. Founded in 1856 in Huntingdon but from 1924 based in North West London, Windovers diversified into the manufacture of motor bodies in the early 1900s, concentrating on quality marques chiefly Daimler and Rolls-Royce at first before adding the likes of Alvis, Armstrong-Siddeley, Lagonda, Lanchester, Mercedes-Benz, and Bentley to its portfolio in the 1930s. Understood to have been supplied new to a Miss Robinson, the Rolls-Royce is said to have been placed in dry storage at the beginning of WW2, remaining off the road until circa 2012. By the time the car was offered for sale at a UK auction in March 2018, it had been returned to running and driving condition.
In the present ownership for the last 18 months, 'YV 9249' has only been driven in good weather since acquisition. The Autovac and carburettor have been overhauled, and the car is described by the private vendor as running very well and ready to drive anywhere. Vehicles of this age that have survived in unmolested original condition are great rarities, and as such this exceptional 20hp Rolls-Royce is guaranteed to receive more attention than any restored example.