Over the past eight decades the 20/25HP Rolls-Royce has earned an enviable reputation of being among the most dependable, satisfying and highest-quality pre-war models of all. Produced from 1929 to 1935, it represented the Marque’s determined effort to move away from massive formal cars, routinely chauffeur-driven, to the newly-fashionable owner-driver market for the wealthy private owner-driver.
Of course it embodied Crewe’s routine programme of continuous mechanical development and improvement throughout its run, but the fundamentals of its superbly-crafted three and a half litre straight six driving through a four speed gearbox of amazing refinement remained the same.
By the late 1920s the trend for ever-heavier coachwork on the Rolls-Royce 20 HP had inevitably had a detrimental effect on performance. Rolls-Royce’s solution was to increase the comparatively small six cylinder engine’s capacity from just over three litres to 3,699cc which, together with a stronger crankshaft allowing increased rpm, raised its output to 25hp.
As with the 20 HP, the 20/25 was warmly received and proved immensely popular, soon more than doubling sales of the big Phantom II. Various detail improvements were made to the 20/25 during its seven year production life including rises in compression ratio in 1930 and 1932; the latter year also saw the introduction of synchromesh for the third and fourth gear ratios, thermostatically controlled radiator grille shutters, a one-shot centralised lubrication system and an electric fuel gauge.
This particular 20/25 is one of the finest examples of its type to be found. It combines the supreme elegance of the HJ Mulliner 3-Position Drophead coupe, with twin side-mounted spares with a state of condition which cannot be realistically faulted in any way.
The car was supplied to the previous owner by pre-war Rolls-Royce specialists Porters in Kensington during the 1980s, whereupon arguably one of the most comprehensive restorations available at any time was completed by Ristes Motors in Nottingham, who are famed internationally in pre-war Rolls-Royce circles.
No stone was left unturned on the restoration of this entirely original vehicle and the result has continued to shine amongst its peers at Rolls-Royce events over many years at the hands of its former owner, a senior member of the RREC.
The car has just completed a new comprehensive engine rebuild, again by Ristes Motors, and as such, it is still running in, offering the new purchaser decades of reliable flawless performance ahead.
Fitted with a full set of tools and fitted luggage, this in every way is the complete car, and collectors looking to own the definitive pre-war Rolls-Royce and enjoy all the glory that represents, quite frankly need look no further.