Lot 132 - 1931 Rolls-Royce 20 / 25 Sedanca de Ville by Windovers
|£35,000 - £45,000
- Unique Windovers body
- Beautiful older restoration
- Fabulous art deco features throughout
First registered on 7th May 1931 and finished in pastel blue and black with black leather interior, GNS75 was initially ordered by J.J. Jones of 88 St. James's Street, London however the first owner was actually Hylton Ralph Murray-Philipson (Jnr) of Stobo Castle, Peebles. Stobo Castle had been purchased by Hylton Murray-Philipson Snr in 1905 and in 1924 he conveyed the estate to his son who was a pioneer aviator. Hylton's career consisted of being the C.O. of the City of Edinburgh Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, Conservative MP for Twickenham; Chairman of N.E. Marine Engineering Company and a member of the King's Bodyguard for Scotland and the Royal Company of Archers. Hylton Murray-Philipson suffered from ill health and died in 1934 aged 32 leaving GNS75 to his wife Monica and two young children. In 1939 Monica Murray-Philipson sold Stobo Castle to Wenefryde Agatha Scott, 10th Countess of Dysart and after 10 years of being a widow Monica married Colonel P.H. Lloyd of Stone House in Blaston. The Colonel and Murray-Philipson had business connections as they were both company directors of Manvers Main Collieries Ltd – Murray-Philipson in 1923/33 and Lloyd in 1940/47. In 1943 GNS75 is shown as being with her second family, that of John Stanley Coombe Beard of Grayshott Hall, Surrey. John Beard was an architect well known for designing over 100 cinemas in many styles, Baroque, Art Deco, Italian Renaissance, Greek Revival and even Egyptian. Interestingly in 1937 Mrs Beard made call to the police about an attempted burglary which resulted in the first arrest directly attributable to the new 999 service.
A rare, possibly unique and very attractively designed car incorporating many appealing features such as stylish wings, separate steps in place of running boards, slim bumpers, external visor and louvred bonnet and scuttle with beautifully proportioned coachwork. With a polished aluminium bonnet top and waistline and P80 'bullseye' headlamps with pillar spot lamp all adds to the overall gorgeous design with the incorporation of various Art Deco touches.
This 20/25 allows you to instruct your chauffeur from the privacy of the rear passenger compartment with the interior dividing screen while keeping an eye on progress with your own speedometer which is naturally mounted atop the built-in drink’s cabinet. Such unusual original features are what make this Rolls-Royce special, even the delightful Sedanca de Ville coachwork is rare with its split separate steps and Art Deco flourishes. The front compartment provides accommodation for the driver and a passenger with a removable roof section for open-air motoring and wind-up windows. The driver’s window also featuring a quick release lower section to allow hand signals to be easily executed. A right hand gear change allows for plenty of legroom and the large steering wheel is surmounted by a collection of hand controls. A large bulb horn lies easily to hand and the windscreen can be opened for ventilation. It is shaded by a glass visor and a spot lamp is within the driver’s reach. Gauges are also a feature of the rear passenger compartment, although separated by a dividing screen, the rear passengers can keep an eye on their own speedometer as well as being supplied with a clock, barometer and a circular thermometer. The clock, and possibly the barometer, appear to be later additions. The drinks cabinet has provision for holding several decanters and a few glasses in a Lazy Susan, although the glassware itself is no longer present. The leather upholstery looks to be in lovely condition throughout, exhibiting just the right amount of patina without looking tatty. The carpets, door cards and headlining are similarly well presented as are stylish Art Deco door handles and window winders, which place this Rolls-Royce squarely in the 1930s.
To the exterior, the Palladian radiator surround is topped with the Spirit of Ecstasy and the long bonnet is flanked by twin side-mount spare wheels. A pair of large Lucas tripod headlamps illuminate the road ahead and are assisted by a centrally mounted spot lamp, as well as the swivelling spot lamp near the driver. Twin horns complete the scene at the front of the car, along with a polished chrome-plated bumper. The Windovers Sedanca de Ville coachwork suits the car well and is beautifully proportioned. It features the unusual running boards, separate for front and rear passengers, as well as a useful luggage boot to the rear. Polished aluminium discs cover the wire wheels and the car runs on a full set of Paymaster tyres.
Lifting the long bonnet reveals the powerful, straight-six, 3.7 litre engine. The engine features coil ignition and is fed by an Autovac fuel pump and, unusually for a car of this period, there is a glass bottle of screen wash mounted on the bulkhead, which is likely to be a later addition coupled to a small modern electric pump which has been added for ease of use.
Supplied with a history file which includes historic photographs of restoration, instruction book and the original buff logbook coupled to the V5C registration document and copies of handwritten service records. The vendor informs us that the engine starts up easily every time and runs well. It is said to be a joy to drive and mechanically sound with its overhead valves, four-speed gearbox and powerful engine, this Rolls-Royce is certainly very capable and splendidly opulent. An imposing motorcar, which wears fabulously unusual coachwork and retains many original details.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.