1928 ROLLS-ROYCE 20HP SIX LIGHT LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY PARK WARD Body No. 3169
Registration No. YX 9416
Chassis No. GBM 72
Engine No. U 7 I
Black over blue, with blue leather and blue cloth interiors
Engine: six cylinders in line, pushrod overhead valve, 3,127cc; Gearbox: four speed manual, right-hand lever; Suspension: beam axle to front, live axle to rear, half elliptic springs all round; Brakes: servo-assisted, mechanically operated four-wheel drum. Right hand drive.
GBM 72 is a perfect example of Park Ward's well-proportioned six light D backed limousine coachwork with which a number of examples of the 20hp were fitted. It comes from the very same series as one of the other 20hps in the collection and one would imagine was on test and bodied at a very similar time at the Park Ward coachbuilding house, it is perhaps ironic that both should end up together again after having had very different lives but with similarly tired outcomes.
Copies of the original records state that GBM 72 was ordered in very much standard chassis form, with the sole provisions for side lamp wiring to the front wings, a spare-wheel mounting bracket to the nearside and a luggage grid to the rear. Its instrumentation included an A.T. Speedometer with trip recorder and it was supplied to Park Ward for bodying on 4th July 1928, the complete car being ready by the end of September that year.
The history of the car is charted from new on the factory build sheets which confirm the original owner as Sir Robert Mond, being first registered in London on 24th September 1928. They go on to note transitions of ownership to Miss Lawrence of Baker Street on 31st January 1939, after the war from her to Mr L. Harpin of Wakefield. Later history is conveniently recorded through a continuation old buff log book, originally dated 1958, which confirms that by then the car was the property of Mrs Margaret Black of Riverside Garage, Monaive, Nr. Dumfries. It seems certain that the Rolls had been or was being used as a licenced vehicle, until at least 1960, when it is noted as being returned to private duty rates on acquisition by Charles Mulloy of the same village. A year later the car travelled south when sold to John Barrow of Wokingham, Berkshire on 12th July. Mr Barrow kept the car for 3 years, after which it passed to Timothy Nicholson of Bury St, Edmunds, on 12th February 1964. One year later the car was purchased by Roy Benton of Norwich, after which its history is not known, it can be dated as being in London on 15th January 1968, since an MoT certificate exists for its test that day. It may be expected that it joined the Sharpe collection shortly after this.
Sadly after years of storage its condition is poor. There is various surface corrosion to the aluminium bodywork and considerable wear and damage to its interior. Except for two instruments which are missing, the car appears to be remarkably complete and retains many of the period details with which it would originally have been built, such as the patent driver's indicating window, division glass with speaking hole, wheel discs, luggage rack and interior blinds, though a mascot has long since disappeared.
It is the extent of these original details, together with the wealth of information that is available from the excellent Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club that will make this car such an interesting project with excellent restoration potential.