Sold for £37,125
(including buyers premium)
Registration No: NE 7996
Chassis No: GOK47
Unveiled in 1922, the 20hp was a second string to the Rolls-Royce bow - a shorter, more economical sibling to the Silver Ghost which broadened the marque’s reach to span both the very rich and seriously wealthy. Instantly distinguished by its horizontal radiator shutters, the newcomer was constructed around a ladder-frame chassis with a 129-inch wheelbase. Power came from a 3,127cc straight-six, OHV monobloc engine mated to a three-speed manual gearbox. Suspension was by semi-elliptic leaf springs all-round. Braking was initially on the rear wheels alone, while steering was by worm and nut. Progressively updated to feature a four-speed gearbox and servo-assisted all-wheel braking, the ‘baby’ Rolls remained in production until 1929, by which time some 2,885 examples had vacated the company’s Derby factory. Lighter and more responsive than the Silver Ghost, the 20hp was capable of exceeding 60mph.
First registered in Manchester as ‘NE 7996’ on 21st May 1926 and entrusted to local firm Cockshoot & Co. Ltd for the fitment of the 'Doctor’s Coupé' coachwork, Cockshoot order 1044, ‘Coupé Limousine’ on the build records, consisted of a ‘fixed leather back and top’. The car was one of the earlier 4-speed models. Order with a ‘luggage grid, steel artillery wheels, spare wheel to the nearside’, it had two seats and a rear Dickie seat. The first ownership was with a Mr Alan Macbeth Esq. of Broadway, The Firs, Bowdon, Cheshire. During the period 1930-1931, there are records from Rolls-Royce and Mr Macbeth's ownership, showing repairs, including accident repairs to the car, a new starter motor retainer and a new exhaust system.
On the 8th of July 1931, Mr E.H. Smith became the custodian of chassis GOK47, before Preston Rural District Council acquired the vehicle in December of 1940, purposed to be part of the war effort at home. Allocated, appropriately enough given its body style, to a GP so that he could do his rounds and later converted into an ambulance, the Rolls-Royce survived World War Two with a Theodor Prock taking possession of the 'Ambulance' in 1947 for his Tudor Barn Garage in Preston, having it converted to a 'Goods Van'. In 1947 the logbook records a change from 'ambulance' class to 'goods van'. There is a photograph on file, showing the discarded ambulance body with the 'Tudor Barn Garage' and 'Breakdown' script also sign-written on the side.
With ownership passing to a Mr McTighe of Moston, Manchester in 1975, the 20hp was seen at the premises of John Buckley & Co, Moss Mill, Royton, Oldham, being returned to its original configuration. The completely new body utilised what could be salvaged. The screen pillars were of Cockshoot's own design of cast brass, and along with the screen rail, were in perfect condition after 50 years. In 1994 it is documented to have been converted to a Drophead by John Bradshaw. Passing between four keepers resident in Worcestershire, Lancashire and Cheshire over the next thirty years, the Doctor’s Coupe entered the current ownership during 2005. Relocating to Oxfordshire and christened ‘Rosie R’, the Rolls-Royce has transported the vendors all over Britain as well as to Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Holland.
Numerous rallies and club events have been documented since 2006. Judged ‘Best Car in Show’ at the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club’s 2008 South of England Rally. The most recent was an appearance at the RREC event at Burghley House in 2019. Since the pandemic, the 20hp has been more sparingly used. Coupe Limousine to Ambulance, to goods van, Coupe to Drophead, ‘NE 7996’, pleasingly, is understood to retain its original engine and still rides on artillery wheels, sports a Dickie seat and retains the headlamp dipping mechanism. Apparently well-documented in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry’s archive (photos and drawings on file), this delightful 20hp is offered for sale with the V5C Registration Document, a buff logbook, RREC copy chassis records and sundry other paperwork.
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All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.
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Auction: Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire, 26th Apr, 2023
Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.
An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held in the beautiful surrounds of the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire.
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Tuesday 25th April 2023 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 26th April 2023 from 9am
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