1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Cabriolet De Ville first owned by Major General Sir Miles William Arthur Peel Graham
Dame Vera Lynn with the Rolls-Royce in her home village of Ditchling in Sussex
A majestic 1931 Rolls-Royce which for many years carried Dame Vera Lynn to the opening of Ditchling Fair in her home village, in East Sussex, comes to sale with H&H Classics for an estimate of £25,000 to £30,000 on October 19th, at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
James McWilliam of H&H Classics who sourced the car says: “Icon and entertainer Dame Vera Lynn lived in the same village as the car’s current owner and annually attended the Ditchling Village Fair (Sussex) riding in 'GX 7255'. She can be seen with the car in a photograph taken at the Village Fair in 1982. “
Dame Vera lived for many years in Ditchling, a village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. There, she was both a neighbour and a much loved national treasure. The village is contained within the boundaries of the South Downs National Park. It lies some 10 miles back from the White Sussex and Kent chalk cliffs of which she sang of in ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’, a song that lifted spirits hearts and minds during WWII. She died on the 18th June 2020 aged 103.
The car’s coachwork is by Thrupp and Maberly Ltd of London. It was first owned by Major General Sir Miles William Arthur Peel Graham and has been in its current family ownership in Ditchling for over 60 years, driven around the Ditchling area by its GP owner as he carried out his rounds.
Launched in 1929, the Rolls-Royce 20/25 was powered by a 3669cc OHV straight-six engine allied to four-speed manual transmission. Usefully faster than its 20hp predecessor, the model remained in production until 1936 by which time some 3,827 had been sold. Capable of supporting a wide variety of coachwork, the 20/25hp's substantial ladder frame chassis was equipped with all-round semi-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension, four-wheel drum brakes and a mechanical servo.
In its current family ownership for around 60 years, and with connections to the 'Forces Sweetheart' Dame Vera Lynn, this is very elegant and distinctive Black and Yellow 1931 Rolls Royce.
Utilising chassis GFT34 and engine number Z3J, the 20/25 was registered as a 'Cabriolet De Ville Closed'. 'GX 7255' was originally in the ownership of Captain (later Major-General Sir) Miles Graham, latterly the Tote Board Chairman.
The Rolls then passed to the Onsite Flooring Company. Later purchased in 1960 for £120 in part exchange for a Standard Avon Special from a dealer in Paddington, with instalments being £10 per month for six months.
In 1962 the car was sold again, in order to purchase a Mini for General Medical Practice use, however, the Rolls was bought back for the same princely sum of £200 when that owner went to Hong Kong in 1965.
The car has been recently serviced and mechanically checked (there is a photographic capture of the £2,292.47 invoice). Offered with the driver's handbook, the Autovac handbook, a collection of old MOTs and invoices dating back to the 1960s. Accompanied by an original 1930s 'Buff' logbook and a copy of the chassis card record.
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