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Lot 224: Rolls-Royce 20/25 Three Position Drophead by Mulliner

Techno Classica, Coys (2 April 2011)

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. The 20/25 became the most popular of all pre-war Rolls-Royces.

This was with good reason as it had an increased engine size over its predecessors which provided the refined motoring expected of this period. It is still considered a delight to drive and remains a favorite among collectors.

Contemporary road tests commented on the exquisite precision of all the controls, one saying that the car behaved so beautifully that it was difficult to drive badly. Flexibility and braking were outstanding and the chassis proved surprisingly brisk, 0-50 taking approximately 20 seconds.

GWE 56 is a superb example of a Rolls-Royce 20/25 with rare 3 position drop head coupe bodywork, commissioned by Jack Barclay to their specification on 16th July 1934. The chassis was delivered to H. J. Mulliner on 11th October 1934 and the finished car sold to J.W. Ansell of Rainham, Surrey, on the 28th January 1935.

A comprehensive restoration was carried out during the 1980s after which the results were shown leading to concours wins including the Rolls- Royce of England Trophy for best pre war car at the national meeting held in Lancaster and the Rolls-Royce Trophy for best in class at the Grand Classic, Columbus Ohio.

GWE 56 was imported to the UK in 1988 joining a family collection of exceptional motor cars, kept in museum condition and maintained by an in-house engineer. The wonderful restoration was clearly to a very high standard as the blue and grey paintwork has an exceptionally deep lustrous shine and the grey hide interior is in wonderful condition. This fabulous motor car still retains its original engine, number X9W.

This is one of the most refined and finest driving Rolls-Royces that we have ever had the pleasure to offer, starting easily and riding smoothly and quietly. The three position drop head roof is easy to operate and provides a roof setting for any weather conditions. The combination of style, refinement and practicality makes a journey in this motor car a pleasure that is difficult to match.

Supplied with the UK registration documents, we are offering a unique opportunity to acquire such a beautifully prepared, historically important Rolls-Royce that would be welcomed by all major events worldwide.

Lot Details
Auction Techno Classica
Coys, Essen, Germany
Lot Number224
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)€121589
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberGWE56
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors