This elegant RR Twenty saloon exemplifies what was most fashionable in the mid 1920’s; the divided V windscreen, the four-speed RH gear lever, four wheel servo-assisted brakes and a sumptuous interior with Bedford Cord seats and braided trim reminiscent of carriages in a former age. It is delightful to drive having moderately light steering, easily selected gears and discrete modern indicators.
The Twenty is rare with 2940 being made over 1922-29 and represented a departure for Rolls Royce from the larger cars produced after the First World War. This ‘baby Rolls’ originally had only 3 gears and back wheel brakes; it was not until late 1925 that four-wheel braking was fitted giving an increase in deceleration that warranted warning badges being fitted to the rear. This car has unusually a facility for two spare tyres, one at the side and one at the rear that could be omitted when luggage was carried. This car (Chassis GZK 64; Reg CL 8819) is totally original with only the internal fabric and carpets having being replaced and the light grey and black coachwork being repainted over its 94 years. It has its original engine, G1686, and the correct softly-polished nickel-plated lights and radiator, with the double red RR emblem of the pre 1934 cars, surmounted by the Silver Lady.
The build sheets indicate that the first owner was J H Sexton, a fashionable leather shoe manufacturer in Norwich. He specified Mulliner bodywork and an interior in Bedford Cord, perhaps wishing to escape from leather. Ten years later he sold it to Mr Geoffrey Brett, a Cabinet Maker who lived next door, perhaps one way of appeasing an envious neighbour. It remained in the Brett family and was probably stored away unused after the War; an elegant 20’s Rolls Royce was not the car to be seen in during austere post-War times. It does not appear in records again until the early 80’s when it had to be re-registered with the Authorities, fortunately with the original plate, CL 8819. It was then owned by Mrs Sheila Sudborough JP of Northampton who kept it until she died in 1995. It was then purchased by Mr Antony Ford of AM Productions, Rugby who later sold it to The Real Car Company, well-known vintage RR dealers in North Wales. They sold it to John Cassells of Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 2002 who only used it sparingly and it was back with The Real Car Company in 2019 having covered only 3000 miles in his ownership.
We purchased it last year and have undertaken mechanical work on the engine including replacing a damaged piston, fettling of the electrics and tidying of the interior and bodywork. The car is not overly renovated and still retains one or two minor blemishes from its long life. The light grey coachwork with burgundy lining (not as light as it appears in the photographs) perfectly complements the sumptuous grey interior. It is now satisfactory all round and available to a new owner who appreciates an elegant time-warp and the sheer pleasure of owning and occasionally driving a 20’s car.