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J. Fasal: The Rolls-Royce Twenty

Car of the Month - August 2000
Rolls-Royce 20 H.P., 1925, #GSK15,
"Huntingdon" Allweather by Windovers


Rolls-Royce 20 HP, Windovers Huntigdon

During the period when India was part of the British Empire the extraordinary wealth of more than but a few Indian princes did allow them to order most remarkable motor cars. In some cases vast fleets of Rolls-Royce motor cars graced Palace Mews and it was quite common to find eccentric ideas incorporated into motor vehicles. For example fabulous details are to be found in John Fasal's most carefully researched book „The Rolls-Royce Twenty“.

Certainly His Highness The Maharaja of Bharatpur ranked prominently among Rolls-Royce's valued clients. Over the years he ordered no less than five Rolls-Royce 20 H.P. – though the Twenty with chassis number #GSK15 wasn't intended to be used mainly as his transport. Sold via Rolls-Royce Ltd., Bombay, the chassis card for order no. 2060 showed #GSK15 to be for: Her Highness The Maharani Sahiba of Bharatpur. The coachbuilder Windovers was entrusted with the task of bodying the car with a „Huntingdon“ Allweather incorporating a multitude of extras. With hood erected an Allweather protected almost as good as a limousine whereas the completely folded down hood made the car a cabriolet; it could be converted into a sedanca de ville too.

Rolls-Royce 20 HP, Windovers Huntigdon

The body was polished aluminium throughout. Polished nickel radiator shutters were specified as well as polished aluminium Barker discs to all 6 wheels. A bell was ordered in addition to an extra Bosch horn– perhaps holy cows shouldn't be shocked by too loud a warning. Positioned in front of the radiator was a blue police light – with the ruling family's coat of arms etched into the glass. Rear doors surprise with twin handles; one is operating sundym glass windows (extremely dark tinted glass) whereas by the second a frame filled with fine silver wire mesh can be used to protect against insects. Similarly two orifices in the division allowed the choice of fitting a handle either to raise or lower sundym glass or a fine wire mesh as the preferred mode of separation. 


Rolls-Royce 20 HP, Windovers Huntigdon

In usual Rolls-Royce custom the car („no front wheel brakes“ were ordered) had been delivered as chassis cum engine. That was charged at £1,100. Another £1,250 were added as body price – and from then on the list of extras began. This Rolls-Royce might be considered as having been a good investment however, because it is known that it was in use for more than 40 years, serving as a state motor car on official duties even during the 60ies. Presumably this particular Twenty is a fine example of eccentric extras as well as an example how correctly F. Henry Royce had stated: „The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten!“

Rolls-Royce 20 HP, Windovers Huntigdon


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