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.
The Rolls-Royce 20/25 offered here today, chassis number GXO14, was delivered new via Mann Egerton to a Mrs. M. Buckley with Landaulette bodywork. By 1988 GXO14 was in the ownership of a Mr G. Harding, the current vendors father, who is offering the car to market from single-family long term ownership. Offered at a very reasonable reserve, what a remarkable and elegant way to travel.