Wed, 14th Oct 2020 13:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford

 
  Lot 63
 

1923 Rolls-Royce 20HP Tourer

Sold for £50,625

(including buyers premium)


Lot details

Registration No: NN4637
Chassis No: 57S9
MOT: Exempt

  • One of only two Rolls-Royce 20s ever to be graced with a Windovers body built to drawing No.944a
  • Delivered new to Mr Edmund James Noble, director of the Steetley Lime company and matching chassis plus engine numbers
  • Offered with books dating back to the third owner, copies of the original instructions and test records, 20HP handbook plus tax discs back to 1991
  • Subject to a comprehensive refurbishment of the engine and ancillaries in 2018, plus overhauls of the clutch, brakes and front shock absorbers
  • Understood to have had in excess of £36,000 invested and a rare opportunity

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 of 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 when 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.

This imperious, matching numbers Tourer (chassis 57S9) hails from 1923, and is one of only two Rolls-Royce 20s ever to be graced with a Windovers body built to drawing No.944a. The sister car belonged new to the inventor of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, but has not been heard of since 1986. 57S9 was delivered new to Mr Edmund James Noble, director of the Steetley Lime company, and it was in 2018 that in excess of £36,000 was invested in comprehensively: refurbishing the engine and ancillaries; overhauling the clutch, brakes and front shock absorbers; updating the electrical and lighting systems; and installing new tyres, inner tubes and tube savers. The vendor now gauges the coachwork, Grey paintwork, engine and transmission as all being in ‘good’ condition however the paintwork does carry Patina and is offering this splendid vintage Rolls-Royce complete with log books dating back to the third owner, copies of the original instructions and test records, 20HP handbook, tax discs back to 1991, and sundry items of correspondence, invoices and photographs. A rare opportunity.

PLEASE NOTE: This lot needs a new Bendix spring and due to this needs to be started on the handle.

 

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