2019 Shannons Sydney Late Autumn Classic Auction
Lot
35

1923 Rolls-Royce 20 HP Open Tourer

$110,000

Sold

Specifications

Engine In-line 6-cylinder, 3127cc
Gearbox 3-speed manual
Body Work Open Tourer
Colour Polished Aluminium & Green
Interior Green
Trim Leather
Wheels Wire-spoked
Brakes Disc/drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

Rolls-Royce supplemented the Silver Ghost with an entirely new six-cylinder model codenamed the Goshawk in the years following the First World War, a car designed to appeal to the owner-driver market.  Introduced in 1922 and well suited to the prevailing economic conditions of the day, the Twenty proved a remarkable success, becoming the first in a line of smaller horsepower models sold alongside the Phantoms in the period leading up to the Second World War.  The Twenty was an innovative design, featuring a six-cylinder monobloc engine displacing a little over 3-litres, a one-piece detachable cylinder head and was the first Rolls-Royce engine to feature overhead valves.  Initially equipped with a three-speed centre-change gearbox, a four-speed unit was added from 1925 onwards, along with all-wheel brakes.  The chassis was a simpler version of the Silver Ghost’s, riding on a 129-inch frame with semi-elliptic suspension front and rear.  Identifiable by the horizontal shutters on the radiator, the Twenty had been intended by its makers for light tourer coachwork but all too often they were burdened by the additional weight of cumbersome limousines, sedancas and landaulettes.  On the plus side, the motoring press and customers were impressed by the smooth new engine, silent running and superb build quality – indeed, Rolls-Royce successfully introduced a new class of clientele to ‘The Best Car in the World’.  In total some 2,885 examples of the Twenty were introduced before its replacement, the 20/25, was launched in 1929 and approximately 125 examples made their way to Australia when new, the majority of them bodied by local coachbuilders.