1929 Rolls Royce 20/25: Luxurious “Baby” of the Great Depression

1929 Rolls Royce 20/25: Luxurious “Baby” of the Great Depression

EngineInline 6Horsepower75 hpDrive TypeRWDWeight1192kgMaximum speed120 km/hF/R BreaksDrumTransmission4-speed manual

The 20/25 was one of the essential pre-war Rolls-Royce models built between 1929 and 1936. It was quite popular during that period, which helped the company to survive the economic difficulties of the Great Depression. The car featured a sleek and sophisticated design and was owned by wealthy and affluent customers, becoming a status symbol during this period.

Source: Historics Auctioneers

From 1906 to 1924, Rolls-Royce successfully produced its famous Silver Ghost. However, in response to new trends in automotive design, the company decided to create a smaller vehicle with a 3.1-liter engine to appeal to customers during the Great Depression. This new release, called the “baby” Rolls-Royce, was smaller and more efficient than the company’s previous models. It had all-wheel power brakes and a 4-speed gearbox and the engine capacity was later increased to 3.7L in 1929, which allowed for a maximum power of 75 hp and a top speed of 120 km/h. Interestingly, many thought it seemed a little clunky. Even though the controls were reasonably light, maneuvering the car at high speeds required some skills beforehand. 

The origins

Source: Drom

The production of the Rolls-Royce 20 hp, aptly named “Baby,” began in 1922. Designed for driver-owners, the vehicle became very popular with the growing middle class – doctors, lawyers, business people, etc. It was equipped with a 3127 ccs inline 6-cylinder engine, which developed a maximum speed of 62mph. Eventually, the 20/25th appeared as a successor to the 20th and targeted the same customer sector. The company’s engineers increased the power and performance of the latter by increasing the bore from 3 to 3.25 inches, resulting in a 17% power unit increase from 3127ccs to 3675 ccs.

Interestingly, opinions about this pre-war model of the British brand were controversial: some considered it legendary, others – mediocre. This was the brand’s second pre-war entry-level model built exclusively in Derby, UK, from 1929 to 1936. A 1931 Autocar report described it as “a reliable car with an unprecedented level of superiority over usual cars.” In addition, many famous professional racers chose this model for everyday driving. For the entire production period, the vehicle was updated several times. The production butch for this period was 3827 vehicles; amazingly, more than 70% of them are still driving! On the other hand, turbulence in Europe on the eve of the Second World War led to the ceasing of the production of “20/25”, and since then, there was not a single serious attempt to make a compact automobile.

The 1929 model year

Source: Supercars.net

Rolls-Royce’s automobile line of the 20s and the 30s also included less expensive cars for personal use. This new approach helped the company to expand its customer base and produce automobiles for driver-owners. Thus, the 20/25 was a model, a successor of the previous 20th, made only in Britain (Derby). Its chassis was the same as its predecessor except for the new 3699cc inline-6 engine with dual ignition. It was equipped with mechanical drum brakes with a booster, a 4-speed gearbox in one block with the engine, partially synchronized later in 1930, and Bijur centralized lubrication of the chassis. In the pre-war period, Rolls-Royce produced only chassis, so all company vehicles received their bodies from various famous ateliers. The 20/25 chassis went to various British studios, as well. The maximum dynamics were possessed by 2-door coupes and convertibles, which accelerated to 120 km/h. 

Did you know?

Source: Drom

The British brand does not indicate the power of its automobiles, marking them “sufficient.” However, 20/25 of 1929 was the last Rolls-Royce technical specifications reported by the brand. In the future, the company did not provide technical information regarding its automobiles.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1929 Rolls Royce 20/25: Luxurious “Baby” of the Great Depression

EngineInline 6Horsepower75 hpDrive TypeRWDWeight1192kgMaximum speed120 km/hF/R BreaksDrumTransmission4-speed manual

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