1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.

20/25 Shooting Brake

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1932
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    163
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

  • Wears a characterful, high-quality “woodie” Shooting Brake body
  • Benefits from a complete and meticulous professional restoration
  • Retained by the same owner from 1959 until 2012
  • Powered by its numbers-matching, 3.7-liter straight-six paired with a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission
  • A striking shooting brake with interesting features; perfect for sporting excursions

The Rolls-Royce 20/25 was engineered to be the smaller sibling to the marque’s larger Phantom II. Thanks to the increased engine output, coachbuilders could offer more lavish coachwork without the hazard of reducing satisfactory performance. Almost 4,000 examples were manufactured and sold between 1929 and 1936, making it one of Rolls-Royce’s best-selling contemporary models.

This 1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 was originally provided as a six-passenger Enclosed Limousine by Hooper. Factory documentation on file shows that the chassis was completed in early August, extensively tested, and then relayed to Hooper for bodywork on 18 August. It was delivered new on 27 September the freshly-knighted Liberal politician Sir Ronald Wilberforce Allen. Factory documentation on file lists all of Allen’s requested specifications. In recognition of his recent knighthood, the factory discounted Allen’s order by 20 percent!

The service file supports the idea that Allen retained this 20/25 until his sudden passing in 1936, after which it was retailed by Jack Barclay Ltd. Between late 1936 and 1955, the car was retained by at least two additional owners in the United Kingdom. By 1959, it had been acquired by a resident of Nile, New York, with whom it would remain until 2012.

It is unknown precisely when this Rolls-Royce’s attractive wood coachwork was fitted, but it was in this form that it was purchased by its next owner and present consignor. It was subsequently submitted for a complete professional restoration which was completed in 2018. The quality of the work was confirmed when this 20/25 was awarded Best in Show at the 2019 Woodies at the Beach Show, arguably the foremost event for such cars on the West Coast.

As presented today, this unique 20/25 wears a three-door “woodie” Shooting Brake body (with one door on the driver’s side, and two on the passenger’s) which has been mated to what remains of its original Hooper Limousine construction. The elegant and streamlined fenders, front cowl, dashboard, cabin divider, and interior trim have all been retained, enhanced by the aesthetic combination of the car’s Claret paint, chrome trim, and high-gloss wood finishes. The exterior is further complemented by an attractive set of color-matched wire wheels, rear fender skirts, and central fog light. The cabin of this 20/25 is replete with tan hides trimmed in matching claret piping and surrounded by exquisite burlwood trim throughout.

Importantly, the numbers-matching 3.7-liter straight-six engine remains intact, and the accompanying factory documentation notes the original serial numbers of the engine’s major components. The car’s four-speed manual synchromesh transmission is among the most attractive features of late-model 20/25s—truly elevating the enjoyable driving experience to new heights.

The shooting brake is among the most elegant of all purpose-built body styles, and this unique Rolls-Royce 20/25 is a peerless example which combines striking good looks with functional versatility.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.