1938 ROLLS-ROYCE 25/30hp SEDANCA COUPÉ
COACHWORK BY J. GURNEY NUTTING
Registration Number: Formerly UK Registered 6679 BH
Chassis Number: GZR 21
Engine Number: G 26 C
Brown with cane panelling, and tan leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, monobloc, 4,257cc (29.4hp RAC rating), overhead valves, coil ignition; Gearbox: four speed with sychromesh on third and top; Brakes: internal expanding, servo operated, four wheel brakes; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Right hand drive.
Introduced at the 1936 Motor Show, the Rolls-Royce 25/30hp model was a development of the earlier 20hp and 20/25hp. As had occurred with its predecessor, a further increase was made to the engine capacity which rose by just over half a litre to 4,257cc, carburation was simplified and the fuel was supplied by twin SU pumps rather than the 20/25's Autovac system. Steering was also improved by adapting a cam and roller system and the new model was also fitted with adjustable ride control shock absorbers operated from the dashboard. The 25/30 was noticeably faster than the previous model and had a top speed of around 80mph, being capable of cruising happily at 60mph or more.
The firm of J.Gurney Nutting was founded a year after the end of the Great War. In the early Twenties they began to be commissioned to build coachwork for Rolls-Royce chassis, and they received acclaim for their outstanding Sedanca de Ville designs, which became the choice of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, the Duke of York, later King George VI, and the Duke of Kent, earning the company the Royal Warrant between 1931-35.
Much of this success can be attributed to the brilliant designer A.F. McNeill, who penned some of the most graceful lines on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis, and was renowned at home and overseas for Sedanca de Ville and Sedanca Coupé styles, such this as offered for sale today.
This particular car is distinctive for the scuttle-mounted opera lamps and cane coachwork panelling with which it was originally supplied, and is reminiscent of earlier Brougham coach styles. Originally sold through H.R.Owen, GZR 21 was delivered new to a C.O.B. Rees of London and Paris, and remained with London owners through the war and until 1954. At some stage after this it must have been sold to America, where it seems it underwent a thorough restoration, for which it was subsequently awarded a first prize by The Classic Car Club of America.
This restoration has held up well, and the bodywork and interior remain in very good order. Whilst benefitting externally from a full complement of headlamps, driving light, long trumpet horns, and twin side-mounted spare wheels, the interior accoutrements include vanity mirrors and the rear boot has provision for carrying a trunk, as well as a tool tray, which is equipped with some tools. Mechanically it is reported to be in running order.
Residing in a private collection for nearly a decade, the Sedanca returns to the UK for sale, for the first time in many years, and in view of its handsome styling and rarity would clearly make an excellent basis, with some preparation, for future entry into concours events.