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1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupe

A Handsome Coachbuilt Disappearing Top Drophead Restored to High Standards. Interesting History.

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Exterior Color Black and French Gray
Interior Color Red Leather
Mileage 77033 Miles
Engine 3.7 Litre 6-Cylinder no. AP8
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ1573


1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupe by Carlton
s/n GGA29, engine no. A8P
Black and French Grey with Red Leather Interior

Introduced in 1929 to replace the 20 H.P., the 20/25 was Rolls-Royce’s new small model. Introduced to answer critiques of the 20 being too slow, the 20/25 featured and enlarged version of the excellent six cylinder engine, and an updated version of its robust chassis. The 20/25 was continuously developed, with increases in compression ratio resulting in more power by 1932. Synchromesh was fitted on top and third gears in 1932 as well, demonstrating the philosophy behind Henry Royce’s famous quote: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”

On January 11, 1934, Arthur Jeffress' chauffeur collected this handsome convertible from Rolls-Royce's Lillie Hall works. As their records confirm, Mr. Jeffress was the son of a wealthy Virginia tobacco merchant who was born in the UK in 1905. His father died in 1925, leaving him a small fortune. "Art" as he was known, epitomized the Roaring Twenties lifestyle. He was by all accounts a flamboyant party boy. His generosity is said to have known no bounds, but above all he was interested in fashion and design. In his later years, he was a prominent art dealer and collector. He must have been delighted when he took delivery of the Rolls-Royce and it can safely be assumed that he had been actively involved in its styling and conception. He'd chosen local coachbuilders, The Carlton Carriage Company of Willesden, North London to build the body, perhaps so that he could supervise its construction.

It would seem that his American origins had ensured that he was familiar with the latest coachwork designs in the U.S. as it could be said that the body has much in common with convertible coupes that graced the luxurious Lincolns, Packards and others of the day, right down to the Golfer's/Doctor's door in the side of the body. The car is extremely well-proportioned, and its disappearing top leaves its lines unhindered. From new, it was accented by hood louvers that stretched back on to the cowl and wore twin side mount spare tires, and its paint scheme was as it is today in two tone black and grey. The car must have been a head turner in the more austere times of the early 1930s, likely exactly the effect that Art Jeffress was aiming for.

The car passed through the hands of five owners in the UK after Mr. Jeffress before it was sold to Herbert Siegel in Illinois in 1964. It appears to have had three long term ownerships from then until now. In 2004 the car was restored, and is complete with copies of the original build sheets.

The car is in very attractive condition. The paintwork was done to high standards and makes a strong impression, with only a few chips at the edges of panels, the occasional superficial crack, and an area where it has been polished through on the inside of the front right fender by the spare tire. The hand-painted coachline is well-executed and the brightwork is in very good condition, with some minor surface swirls and light pitting on the door handles. The glass and lights are excellent, including the imposing headlamps. The polished wheel covers are also excellent.

The interior was also restored to high standards, with fresh leather on the seats as well as refinished wood, which is excellent. The carpets are in very good condition and the leather is virtually unmarked except for the driver’s armrest which has patina. The steering wheel, instruments and dashboard controls are in excellent shape.

The engine compartment was restored to nice standards and is clean overall, but not at show level. The rumble seat was restored to equally high standards as the interior, as was the top. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a special bodied disappearing top Drophead that has been nicely restored and has illustrious early history. It runs and drives well and comes with copies of the original build sheets.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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