19th Oct, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 7

1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupe
No Reserve

Sold for £56,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: IOM Registered
Chassis No: GBT80
MOT: Exempt

  • Original and attractive Close-Coupled Drophead Coupe coachwork provided by Carlton Carriage Company of London
  • Comprehensively restored while in the United States and multiple award winner whilst a resident there
  • Formerly part of the collections of both American F1 and race car driver Phil Hill and Rolls-Royce and Bentley connoisseur Stanley Barraclough
  • Matching chassis and engine numbers
  • Acquired by Robert Furniss Riding from the Stanley Barraclough estate sale in 1996 and now offered at 'No Reserve' from the late Robert Riding’s Estate, the vast majority of which has been left to charity with the RNLI as the predominant beneficiary

Rolls-Royce introduced the 20/25 in 1929 as a successor to the outgoing 20. Though the newcomer was primarily aimed at owner drivers, many examples were nevertheless sold to customers with chauffeurs. Power came from an enlarged version of the straight-six unit used in the 20. Now 3,699cc, it made for swifter acceleration and a higher top speed of up to 75mph. Bodywork for the 20/25, was to the taste of each individual customer, and Freestone & Webb, Gurney Nutting, Park Ward, Thrupp & Maberly, Mulliner, and Hooper were among the many coachbuilders selected to clothe these fine motorcars. Nearly 4,000 20/25 chassis were ultimately produced, making it the company’s best-selling model between the wars. Today’s Rolls-Royces are undoubtedly technological wonders in their own way, and the company, though no longer British owned, does at least conduct its manufacturing on English soil. Whether they match the majesty of their wholly British forbears is a matter of opinion, however.

Chassis number GBT80 was initially destined for bodying by Mann Egerton with six-light Saloon coachwork designated, however, in March 1932, the Norwich coachbuilders deferred delivery, with the chassis subsequently delivered to Carlton Carriage Company of London in May 1932. Provided with the attractive Close-Coupled Drophead Coupe coachwork the 20/25 presents in today, the 20/25 was supplied new through Garner & Lees of Conduit Street, London to the first owner, W. A. Hunt Esq of Sloane Street, London, SW1 and registered ‘GY 2058’. Post-war GBT80 was exported to San Francisco, thought to be sometime during the 1950s, passing through several custodians, with it known that American F1 and race car driver Phil Hill, Don Williams (formerly of Automotive Classics), and a Bill Schlenker owned the car stateside.

A body-off restoration was commissioned by Bill Schlenker, and with the restoration reaching completion in 1975, GBT80 quickly became an award winning example, achieving third place in the 1975 U.S.A National RROC Rally for pre-war 20/25s. Acquired in 1979 by a Charles ‘Chuck’ LaRocco Esq, the Rolls-Royce is thought to have been annually displayed at events on the West Coast, winning numerous awards and being maintained by Hill & Vaughn of Santa Monica. An unfortunate incident with a wet driveway resulted in a further restoration in 1980, with the engine also overhauled by specialists in San Jacinto (California) and invoices on file for the restoration accumulating to an approximate $65,000 dollars between 1979 and 1986.

Again achieving award winning status on multiple occasions, the 20/25 was thereafter acquired by Rolls-Royce and Bentley collector and aficionado Stanley Barraclough in 1989, who had formed and subsequently sold his Yorkshire Biscuits firm. Shipping GBT80 to the Isle of Man to join his illustrious collection of ‘Best of Breed’ Rolls-Royce and Bentleys, Barraclough was tragically killed at the age of 65 as a pedestrian in a road traffic accident in 1995, with his collection auctioned by Sotheby’s at their 1996 RREC sale – where GBT 80 was procured by Robert Furniss Riding. Now offered at No Reserve from the late Robert Riding’s Estate, the vast majority of which has been left to charity with the RNLI as the predominant beneficiary.

Under Robert’s ownership, the Carlton 20/25 has been subject to much maintenance and improvement work including overhauled front wheel hubs, relined brake shoes, repainting, rear brake overhaul, renewed starter equipment and servicing. Boasting matching chassis and engine numbers, GBT80 is accompanied by a large history file that includes a photograph album of restoration work; a vast quantity of invoices for work completed in America; a collection of invoices relating to the current ownership; RREC chassis card records; numerous pictures throughout the car’s life; copy of the Sotheby’s auction catalogue; Isle of Man tax discs; and the registration document for the Island. This decidedly attractive Rolls-Royce’s return to market for the first time in twenty-six years is surely an opportunity not to be missed.

PLEASE NOTE: The IOM Registration Number shown in the images is being retained by the estate, another IOM Registration Number will be attributed by the time of the sale.

PLEASE NOTE: We have been advised that vehicles registered on, and imported from, the Isle of Man are not subject to Import Duty. Nor is a NOVA application required for their re-registration in the United Kingdom.

About Robert Furniss Riding:

Born in 1940, the only child of only children parents, Bob was educated at Stockport Grammar School then read natural sciences at Christ Church, Oxford. He joined William Deacon’s Bank, and had a stellar ascent through it and its subsequent iterations ending up as Group Treasurer of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He grasped the opportunity of early retirement in 1990 and moved to the Isle of Man where he had been left a house by an aunt. But Bob was far from being inactive, throwing himself into the local community and taking on the turnaround of a local private bank as its Executive Chairman.

Sailing had been a preoccupation during his time in the City, but on coming to the Isle of Man, Bob switched his energies and focus to collecting “quality cars” – principally the products of Cricklewood, Derby and Crewe, but with some maverick exceptions such as Maserati and Caterham. Daimlers and Lanchesters also featured, and he had to move to a large country house to find garaging for the ever-growing collection. His cars were regularly campaigned at rallies for the appropriate marque and were often deserved winners of various trophies. He also got involved in the relevant enthusiast clubs, usually ending up as Chairman – and his list of appointments included the Chairmanship of the Manx Classic Car Club and the Manx Motor Racing Club.

Bob was always a keen supporter of local charities, particularly maritime and those involving young people, and many will have cause to remember with gratitude his generosity and his apparently bottomless well of technical knowledge on “quality cars”, so freely shared. Bob left his Estate predominantly to Charity with the RNLI being the Residuary Beneficiary. Thus, in effect, the entire proceeds of the car collection sale will be received by the RNLI.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 19th Oct, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 18th October 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 19th October 2022 from 9am
Additional viewing for lots 200-254 on Thursday 20th October 2022 from 9am

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