2020 Shannons Sydney Summer Classic Auction & Rare Number Plates
Lot
52

1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 HP Mulliner Saloon

$40,000 - $50,000

No Reserve

Specifications

Engine In-line 6-cylinder, 3669cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Engine No. F8L
Chassis No. GXB81
Body Work Saloon
Colour Black & Maroon
Interior Grey
Trim Cloth
Wheels Wire-spoked
Brakes Drum

Vehicle Report

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Description

In the years following the First World War, Rolls-Royce supplemented the Silver Ghost with an entirely new six-cylinder model codenamed the Goshawk, a car designed to appeal to the owner-driver market.  Introduced in 1922, the Twenty proved a remarkable success, becoming the first in a line of smaller horsepower models produced alongside the Phantoms in the period leading up to the Second World War.  With its performance increasingly hampered by heavy formal coachwork, a more powerful replacement for the Twenty arrived in 1929, designated the 20/25.  By increasing the bore and stroke, Rolls-Royce’s engineers raised the engine capacity to 3.7-litres, improving both power output and torque.  Other changes included four-wheel braking with a servo and an independent handbrake, while later models also benefited from an all-synchromesh gearbox and Borg and Beck clutch.  The 20/25’s chassis retained its predecessor’s semi-elliptic front and rear suspension but featured pedal-operated centralised lubrication.  Early cars were built on either 129-inch or 132-inch wheelbase chassis but the longer frame was standardised shortly after production commenced.  With every chassis bodied to individual order, the 20/25 wore a wide range of coachwork, from open tourers to formal limousines.  The combination of high quality mechanicals coupled with a smaller chassis, proved remarkably popular in a period of economic uncertainty.  The 20/25 was the most popular Rolls-Royce model built between the wars, with 3,824 produced by 1936 – indeed, aside from the long-running Silver Ghost, it was the best-selling model of the pre-war era.  Surprisingly few 20/25s were exported when new and only 24 were destined for Australian customers when new, the ranks of survivors in this country climbing to around three times that number today.  The model remains an excellent choice for the enthusiast wanting the same superb engineering and build quality of a larger Phantom in a more wieldy (and easier to garage) size. 

History

  • Very usable classic Rolls-Royce
  • Original period coachwork
  • Offered at No Reserve
According to Tom Clarke and David Neely’s excellent reference book “Rolls-Royce and Bentley In The Sunburnt Country” chassis GXB81 came off test in January 1934 and bodied by Birmingham coachbuilder Mulliners Ltd as a saloon.  The first owner is recorded as being Edward B Montesole and the UK registration mark ‘AXN-271’.  A period photo of the car is illustrated in Lawrence Dalton’s book “Coachwork on Rolls-Royce 1906-1939” on page 405.  Sold to Australia post-war, the car initially belonged to a Dr H A Fisher of New South Wales, registered as ‘CJS-200’, then passed to Jack Joynes in the 1960s, who carried out some restoration work and re-registered the car as ‘EJJ-007’.  Passing to Gunnar Sundell in the 1970s, the car spent around ten years in storage and was sold by his estate to the current Sydney-based owner twelve years ago who has since recommissioned the car back to good running condition.  Work has including overhauling the carburettor, the brakes, rebuilding the fuel tank and fitting a stainless steel exhaust.  The interior was improved with new timberwork and the bonnet repainted.  The current owner has kept the 20/25 garaged and routinely maintained by Rolls-Royce specialists (including John Vawser and Paradise Garage).  Regularly exercised on club runs, the car is an eminently usable, very affordable example of this ever-popular model and will be sold unregistered, with an original handbook and a history file supplied.  
 
Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.

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