Arizona

Arizona Biltmore
16 - 17 January 2014
Lot 113

1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Wingham Four-Door Cabriolet by Martin Walter

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$66,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

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Chassis No.
GLP 10
  • Unusually beautiful coachwork on the 25/30 chassis
  • One of only three built to this design
  • Formerly owned by Don Criteser
  • Recent full servicing; ideal for touring
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115 bhp, 4,257 cc overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic spring suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes with separate handbrake shoes for rear drums. Wheelbase: 132 in.

Rolls-Royce’s present Ghost model continues a time-honored company tradition of offering two models—a large Phantom, intended mainly to be driven by chauffeur, and a smaller “owner-driver” model—that have both been engineered with the same silent smoothness. During the era of the Phantom III, between 1935 and 1938, the owner-driver model was the 25/30. It was equipped with an enlarged, more powerful version of the inline six-cylinder engine that was used in the previous 20/25. This engine could produce approximately 115 brake horsepower at 4,500 rpm and could offer a top speed of approximately 80 mph.

Unfortunately, British coachbuilders of the day rarely knew how to carry out elegant coachwork on a shorter chassis. As a result, many of the original bodies fitted to the 25/30 were squared-off, high-roofed, and, quite frankly, ugly. Rare is the “little Rolls-Royce” with coachwork of exceptional elegance, such as seen here, in this Wingham Four-Door Cabriolet that was bodied by Martin Walter Ltd., of Folkestone, Surrey.

Martin Walter’s design for the Wingham featured a convertible top design that was created, patented by, and licensed from German coachbuilder Gläser. Martin Walter specifically used the cabriolet for this model because of the European origins of its top design, which had thicker padding and lining for all-weather use and was also incredibly easy to fold and erect by the standards of the time. Other noteworthy features of this coachwork included the unique design of its front quarter windows and the way the top curves to match the beltline, resulting in a harmonious shape.

The Wingham was a tremendously successful design, as it was employed by Martin Walter on a variety of chassis. It is believed to have been used on three Rolls-Royce 25/30s, of which this car, chassis number GLP 10, was one. It was reportedly commissioned by the Rootes Group for one of their directors and was acquired in the early 1970s by well-known Oregon collector Don Criteser, who restored it a decade later and kept it in his stable for some 30 years before selling it. Chassis GLP 10, which has 55,436 recorded miles, has been well-maintained in its present California ownership, and it is finished in a striking combination of silver and maroon, with a new maroon canvas top and wool carpets.

The owner reports that the car’s engine has been entirely gone through, the transmission has been serviced, and the brake system was rebuilt, with all mechanical work being completed by a Rolls-Royce-certified mechanic, and all gauges and instruments work perfectly.

This 25/30 is ideal for touring and ready for its next “owner-driver.”

Offered without reserve.