Vintage & Prestige

1923 Rolls-Royce 20HP 2 Door Cabriolet by H.J. Mulliner

£85,000 | Location: United Kingdom

A delightful little car with a one off body by H.J. Mulliner of Bedford Park works in Chiswick. This car comes to us with a fascinating history having been delivered in 1923, it belonged in 1930 to Katharine Hanbury of the Allen & Hanbury's pill & medicine making dynasty. A travel diary comes with the car making for fascinating reading of a trip taken from the family seat Malwood Castle in the New Forest to their summer home, The Villa Della Pergola in Alassio on the Italian Riviera. It minutely details the travels & the assorted dirty or clean Hotels stayed in & places visted including a weeks sojourn at the famed Villa D'Este. The dialogue makes for amusing reading; "Lyon a vile filthy town that took 45 minutes to drive though...." etc.  "But on the whole it was lovely & the little Green Rolls ran most beautifully." Well worth reading the account as a snapshot of 1930's continental travel to the Riviera & back, via assorted Swiss passes & the ferry from Le Havre, where no doubt the little 20 was winched aboard on a windlass as was the custom prior to the advent of roll on roll off.

The car is in impeccable order having undergone a major rebuild over the last 10 years including a bare metal respray & full engine rebuild. It is thus in mechanically excellent condition with taut, play-free steering & a willing & silent engine. Being an early car, it has the pleasant three speed gear box. The car is being sold due to the octogenarian ages of the current owners who keep it garaged in the company of a 20/25 shooting brake by Binder. The shooting brake is often see at the local refuse dump whereas the little 20hp tends to be used for more salubrious activities such as picking up lobster lunches from the local port.

The interior of the car is spacious in the extreme. The passenger seat hinges forwards allowing very easy ingress to the rear seats which are of a commodious nature. The hood is easily erected being a cantilever affair that cunningly folds forwards. Front & rear windows are wind up making this an all weather cabriolet; very snug in the wet. The rear windows are of two pieces hinged together. One winds the folded pair half way up & then folds up the upper section.

A plethora of bills & correspondence comes with the car along with a copy of the afore-mentioned travel journal and some period pictures of the car in Italy etc with the girls in unmistakeably 1930's attire.

This is a particularly well proportioned, useable spacious & pretty little 20hp. A useful luggage rack is fitted to the rear of the car should one wish to drive in the direction of the Riviera. The car sits on straight sided dunlop wheels, the fronts of which are unencumbered by the coming fashion for new fangled front wheel brakes. Interior leather is green hide replaced during the restoration along with light brown carpets edge bound in green.

The throttle pedal on the car has almost no wear on it whatsoever giving credence to the belief that it is a very low mileage chassis. The indicated 54,000 miles may well be correct.  Certainly the car runs & drives in a tight, taut, rattle-free manner with a lash-free drive train & none of the sloppiness one experiences in high mileage cars.  The rear wheel brakes are well adjusted & pull the car up sharply.  A full set of period instrumentation is in situ including an altimeter; useful no doubt when ascending the Simplon Pass. The car runs cool & exhibits between 20 & 30 lbs of oil pressure as per factory spec.

Neat & tidy under the bonnet, the car pleasingly retains its Ghost style bakelite coil cover. A Nickel Klaxon is mounted to the bulkhead. Residing in far southwest Wales, the car may be viewed there by prior appointment. Alternatively, we can collect the car & bring it to London for ease of viewing. The current owners are quite attached to it & plan to go on using it right up to the point of its sale.

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