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Car of the Month Selection

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Wood: Rolls-Royce and Bentley: Spirit of Excellence


Car of the Month - May 2009
Rolls-Royce 25/25 H.P., 1935, #GLG31
Gurney Nutting "Owen" 3-Position-Drophead Coupé

  Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P

Capt. Harold R. Owen registered the design of this car in 1932 with No. 778898. It needs to be added though that "…A.F. McNeil of Gurney Nutting almost certainly refined it into a workable idea…"  stated by Tom Clarke in his book "The Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.". There did occur some friction later because H.R.Owen was keen to insist on royalties if other coachbuilders’ creations showed close relation to the design that he had registered.

The coachwork on #GLG31 was one of 23 more or less identical bodies erected by Gurney Nutting on the 20/25 H.P. chassis to this famous "Owen" D.38 design. Usually these cars were delivered through H.R.Owen Ltd who owned Gurney Nutting. The design was one of the most coveted body styles on Rolls-Royce from the pre-war period; indeed a considerable number were built on the Phantom II chassis, too.

Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P

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If to copy shows a high degree of acclaim then this attractive styling met with much acclaim. Many other coachbuilders built 3-position-drophead coupes with lines inspired by the “Owen” design. The idea lasted well into the period of the successors, i.e. Rolls-Royce 25/30 H.P. and Rolls-Royce Phantom III. More remarkable might be that during the 30ies certain coachbuilders up-dated elderly 20 H.P. and early 20/25 H.P. by substituting old-fashioned or damaged coachwork by highly 'en vogue' 3-position drophead-coupés and thus such cars got a new life.

Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P

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