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1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by James Young
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. GLJ8

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, up-dated 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. Most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the 20/25hp chassis, the four-door drophead coupé body on 'GLJ8' being the work of the highly acclaimed James Young. Accompanying (copy) chassis cards reveal that 'GLJ8' was sold to Willcocks (Cleveland) Limited for their client, one H G Bunting of Mill Hill, London NW7. Only one further owner is recorded: Lt Commander Wyndham Goodden, who acquired the Rolls-Royce in 1946 and was its owner until at least May 1952.

A State of Ohio Certificate of Title on file, in the name of Fred Brown Inc and dated 1975, is evidence that the car was later exported to the USA, while a Swiss registration document (cancelled 1987) in the name of Peter Dillier shows that the car had by that time returned to Europe. There is a photographic record of a restoration showing the body being re-timbered for Dillier, and there are invoices on file from Barry Simpson Restorations dated 1990/1991 for this work, which also included a bare metal re-spray and much work to the running gear. The engine had been rebuilt in 1987/1988. By 1995, this globetrotting Rolls-Royce was in Ireland, where it currently resides, as evidenced by a registration document dated 1991 on file. The history file also contains copies of Jack Barclay Ltd's documentation when they sold the car in 1948, and copies of invoices issued by Paddon Brothers to Dr R Dixon-First, its owner later in the 1950s.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department