1932 ROLLS-ROYCE 20/25 PULLMAN LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY BARKER
Registration No. NVS 429
Chassis No. GBT 20
Engine No. E4F
Prussian blue with black wings and brown interior.
Engine: six cylinder in-line, overhead valve, 3699cc; Gearbox: manual four-speed with synchromesh on upper two ratios; Suspension: beam axle to front, live axle to rear, half eliptic springs all round; Brakes: servo assisted mechanically operated four-wheel drum. Right-hand drive.
The Rolls-Royce 20hp of 1922 has been described as a Vintage luxury car in miniature and provided for the company's customers who wanted not so much a cheaper car than the mighty 40/40hp Silver Ghost or Phantom, but a smaller one.
In its early days the Twenty, most refined of automobiles, was considered to be in essence a town car, particularly suited to the heavy, wonderfully crafted formal coachwork of the time. It began life with a 3.2 litre overhead valve monobloc six-cylinder engine with a detachable cylinder head and centre-change three-speed gearbox, but in 1925 was given four speeds with right-hand gate change and in 1929 went up to 3.6 litres to become the 20/25. The 'baby Rolls' greatly outsold its big sister, succeeding in its market and went on to provide the basis of all future six-cylinder cars from the company right through to the late 1940's.
Established back in the 18th century and well connected at the court of St James, Barker built carriages and coaches for royalty for decades, supplying more than 20 of them to Queen Victoria. It was inevitable they should become involved with Rolls-Royce and for the first 30 years of the century the two companies flourished side-by-side.
The build records for this 20/25 show it as a Pullman Limousine delivered to a lady owner in London in January 1932. It may have been a car already in stock, for delivery was promised in just seven days! A second spare wheel and carrier was specified, as were locks to the bonnet and a speedometer registering both miles and kilometres. The car was ordered for 'UK use - town and country'. Four owners are recorded until 1953, but its history until more recent times remains to be researched. The present owner has preserved receipts for work carried out on the car since the 1980's and these will be made available to the purchaser.
The car has not been used for some while and will require a little recommission - although should be an enjoyable motor car once tested and on the road again.