1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Gurney Nutting ‘Owen Sedanca’.
For Sale: Chassis No. #GTZ9 is one of only twenty-two of these elegant Gurney Nutting coupés built for HR Owen.
Introduced in 1929 as successor to the Twenty, the 20/25hp up-dated the concept with significant improvements, featuring an enlarged (from 3,127 to 3,669cc) and more powerful cross-flow version of its predecessor's six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine. The latter's increased power allowed coachbuilders greater freedom in their efforts to satisfy a discerning clientele who demanded ever larger, more opulent and consequently heavier designs. Produced concurrently with the Phantom II, the 20/25 benefited from many of the larger model's improvements, such as a synchromesh gearbox and centralised chassis lubrication, becoming the best-selling Rolls-Royce of the inter-war period. Bodywork for the 20/25, was to the taste of the customer, and Gurney Nutting, Park Ward, Thrupp & Maberly, Mulliner and Hooper were among the many coachbuilders selected to clothe these fine cars.
The English coachbuilder, J Gurney Nutting & Co Limited was founded in 1918 and its first designs were displayed at the 1920 London Motor Show. In 1928 the Prince of Wales commissioned a Gurney Nutting ‘Weymann’ body on a 41/2-litre Bentley that featured a high waistline and shallow windows for added privacy. The so-called 'Prince of Wales' body style became a best seller, and in 1931 Nuttings was appointed “Motor Body Builders to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales”, an honour that endured until 1935. By the early '30s, Nutting had dropped the Weymann style of fabrication in favour of more rounded, traditionally-built coachwork and so began the company's heyday of Saloon, Coupé de Ville and Sedanca de Ville bodies on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis.
The decidedly elegant lines of this lovely Sedanca Coupé is a perfect case in point. It’s one of only 22 manufactured to the specifications of London Rolls-Royce dealer Captain H.R.Owen, and that consequently became known as 'Owen Sedancas'. It dates from early 1933 and reputedly was displayed on the company’s stand at the 27th ‘Salon de l’Automobile’ in Paris during October 1933 although the Magneto plate written in French is the only verification that may confirm this. It spent many years in America and was purchased by its current owner when it returned to the UK in the 1980s.
It’s been maintained to a very high standard by its long term custodian as evidenced by the engine bay which is show quality. It’s presented in two-tone University Blue (Cambridge over Oxford) a popular combination in the thirties with black-painted wire wheels and a light tan hood and interior. Previous work has been carried out to a very high standard and the engine was stripped and rebuilt, with some of the works carried out by Fiennes Restoration. More recent attention includes a complete Rolls-Royce specification rewire, the one-shot lubrication system has been completely stripped and rebuilt, the fuel system stripped too including the Autovac, suspension overhauled, new leather gaiters fitted, Walnut cappings re-veneered and new carpets made and fitted.
Even today the 20/25hp Rolls-Royce is delightful to drive remaining a favourite with collectors, and #GTZ9 with its original tool kit, in a classic colour combination and recently refreshed, seems a remarkable opportunity.