A Passion for Elegance | Lot 118
1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Sedanca Coupé by Gurney Nutting
CHF207,000 | Sold
19 June 2021
- Gurney Nutting’s most famous design of this era
- Wonderful proportions on the small 20/25 chassis
- Featured in Tom Clarke’s The Rolls-Royce 20/25
- Handsomely maintained restoration in excellent colors
- Accompanied by copies of original build documentation
As designs on the classic Rolls-Royce go, it is hard to equal Chelsea coachbuilder J. Gurney Nutting’s “Owen” Drophead Sedanca Coupé, which carried the name of the London dealer purportedly involved in its creation. The lines of this body were simply beyond compare, including an extremely long hoodline, a sweeping curved beltline molding, flowing open fenders, and a relatively short stern. In time, this would rightfully come to be considered a masterpiece of the era. It is a testament to the fine-tuned excellence of its proportions that the body looks not only beautiful and striking on the most familiar Phantom II Continental chassis, but also, as here, on the shorter 20/25 platform. In fact, the lines “scale down” absolutely superbly, creating something of a jewel in miniature.
Chassis number GXK6 was one of 19 20/25s bodied to the Owen design; it is specifically noted on its build documents as being ordered by H.R. Owen, Ltd., for their client Lieutenant George Clark of Foston Hall in Yorkshire, delivered with bonnet shutters inclined at a 16-degree angle and decorated with alloy mouldings for a rakish appearance. Its next known owner is recorded by Rolls-Royce as A. Farquahar, Esq., of London, from 1952 through 1954.
The Rolls-Royce Foundation noted that Ray L. Nation of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, acquired chassis number GXK6 by 1966. He owned it until 2005, when it was returned to the UK by restorer D. Joseph. The automobile was refurbished in his hands to its present appearance, in a rich, extremely dark Racing Green with complimentary Dark Green interior and Olive top, all very finely detailed. Afterward it was pictured in Tom Clarke’s standard reference on the model,
Two further owners followed before the automobile joined the current collection, in whose hands its older restoration continues to be lovingly preserved and maintained. A partial set of road and hand tools is found within the boot, and the car is accompanied by a thorough history file including copies of its extensive build documentation.
As the owner has noted, “the car is a pleasure to the eye from any angle.” Quite so.