1927 Rolls-Royce 20 HP Cabriolet by Seegers et Sohn
$50,000 - $60,000Offered Without Reserve
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 6 - 7 MARCH 2020 - The Todd and Peggy Nagler Collection - Offered on Saturday
- Offered from the Todd and Peggy Nagler Collection
- Part of the collection since 1963; widely shown and toured
- Rare example with unique German coachwork
- Extensive and fascinating history, restoration, and maintenance file
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Very few of the 20 HP Rolls-Royce chassis were fitted with coachwork outside the United Kingdom. Among the exceptions was this car, chassis number GAJ37, which was coachbuilt by Seegers et Sohn of Leipzig with what Rolls-Royce build records described as a “sporting” cabriolet body. The completed car was delivered to its original owner, Otto Schindler, also of Leipzig, on 9 October 1928.
During World War II, the car remained in Germany, eventually winding up in Hamburg. After time with several British military officers, it was eventually imported stateside by a dealer in Wisconsin and found its way into the hands of Frederick Hart, a Rolls-Royce enthusiast in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Perhaps it was inevitable that Charles Nagler and his son Todd would become aware of this “local” Rolls, and equally inevitable that it would be added to the family collection in 1963. Photographs show that the car remained very complete and intact as acquired. Research followed, including correspondence with the library in Leipzig, a former Seegers employee, and the known former owners of the car in England. Much of this correspondence and documentation today remains in the car’s history file, including a sketch made from memory by the Seegers craftsman.
Restoration was undertaken in the mid-1960s, utilizing correct parts acquired from a variety of respected sources, including the stock of fabled British coachbuilder Rippon and US importer J.S. Inskip. The Naglers’ typically detailed work included researching the original design and materials for the coachbuilder’s plaque! Afterward the car was shown at Expo ’67 in Montreal and in both CCCA and RROC competition, achieving Senior status with both organizations, as well as at the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance. It continued to be constantly improved, however, with the fitment of stainless-steel exhaust in 1977, new upholstery in 1985, and a new Frank Cooke cylinder head in 1986.
In 1990 Charles Nagler wrote, “Over the past 27 years we have driven the car thousands of miles while attending hundreds of car meets and tours. The 20 Horsepower has proven [itself], and will continue to be a joy to have and drive.” That it has, for two generations now, and over 55 years—a tradition that will now pass to a new caretaker to continue.