1925 Rolls-Royce 20hp Drop Head Coupe

From a deceased estate; restoration well advanced; lots of potential and loads of history

Chassis GPK 68 was despatched from Rolls-Royce on 27th October 1925 by rail, destined for Barker and Co to have their Pullman limousine De-Ville coachwork fitted.

A supremely elegant chauffeur-driver design, its first customer was Mr Cornelius or Lutwyche Hall, Shropshire, a previous Rolls-Royce 20 owner who paid £1,185 for the chassis and an additional £560 for coachwork. It was first registered 31st December 1925 and delivered early in the new year.

It is thought to have changed hands through London dealer - Millers Garage in 1932, moving in the trade before selling to the London Power Company in 1933. Rumour says that at some time, it was owned by the Duke of Somerset passing to a Mr M Hankey.

In the late 1930s, it went through the hands of Southern Motor Works, reknowned for updating 1920's Rolls' with Ranalah coachwork.

MotorSport Magazine quoted of Southern Motor Co - "We recently had an opportunity to inspect some of the reconditioned Rolls-Royces in which the Southern Motor Co. of 72, Lark Hill, Clapham, London, S.W.4 specialise. Outwardly these cars, mostly 1927 chassis, appear to be 1938 models. The reconditioning embraces rebuilt wheels, new Dunlop or Michelin tyres, and raised, chromed radiators.

The bodies we saw were beautifully finished and of modern outline, with high bonnets, dropped waist lines and built-hi luggage lockers containing the spare wheels."

Post-war, it moved to Scotland with Sir Francis Walker until he passed away in 1968, remaining with the family until the early 1980s. Photos taken in 1988 show it looking very smart in two-tone blue livery, by this time living in Germany.

Shortly after, it was involved in an accident while on a trailer, and we don't know its subsequent history until it appeared in a Brookes auction in 1996 in a sad state, following the accident which severely damaged the bodywork. Offered basically as a rolling chassis, with body panels, it failed to sell, although was subsequently sold by Christies the same year for £6,900.

It changed hands again in 1996 and once more a year later to a gentleman living just a few miles from Lutwyche Hall. He had the bodywork professionally rebuilt along the same Ranalah DHC design as fitted by Southern Motors in the 1930s. New woodwork and panelling was completed to a professional standard by Alwyn Lee Coachbuilder, the work having been completed by March 1998.

On offer from a deceased estate, we are unable to ascertain what further works have been undertaken. The file tells us that kingpins were overhauled following which it has barely if ever been driven. The engine turns freely and was running sweetly when last sold and the boot comes filled with trim parts, window winders etc so we are not sure what, if anything, is not present.

The history file is impressive, and includes a copy factory build record, current V5C and various bills and history of Southern Motors.

There is plenty to do, but some minor fitting up under the bonnet, paint and a retrim will see the car nearly completed.

Well worth close inspection, this 'period' rebody has a lot on offer, and looks like a good winter project.

For more information - contact matthew.parkin@brightwells.com

Reg No: YM3978
Chassis Number: GPK 68
Engine Number: G1407
Engine Size: 3164
Docs: V5C; purchase receipt, 1 old MOT, Photographs, Invoices, copy of Build Sheet and History

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £12,000-15,000

Lot 27

Lot ended

Wednesday 03/08/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

£13,552
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