1928 Rolls Royce 20HP Barker All Weather Cabriolet
Chassis number: GBM39
Registration Number: YX4095
This car was bought new from the Barker London showrooms by
a Mr Henry Copley of Radlett, Hertfordshire in December 1928.
The chassis, costing £1020 16s 9d had been delivered by goods
train to Barkers on May 17th 1928 and they had used it to trial
new features which were submitted to Rolls Royce for potential
incorporation in future vehicles.
The car is equipped for Continental touring and has a
speedometer reading in both mph and kph, plus the familiar
Barker dipping headlamp mechanism had been adapted by the
incorporation of a second bar joining the headlights. This had
the effect of twisting the headlights to the left for UK use or by
simple adjustment tipping to the right for Continental driving.
A further innovation was the incorporation of the rear view
mirror in the front sidelight.
The Cabriolet de Ville bodywork offers the best of all worlds. It
can be used fully closed with wind up windows & division, as a Sedance as
shown in the photographs or as an open tourer with the hood down.
The car was restored in the 1990's from a shabby but very original garage find for which there are pictures on file. An assortment of bills from this time & since come with the car. Recent work includes the fitting of a Tim Payne overdrive with the installation being done by Ben Smith in Devon. It is beautifully installed with a blue light glowing on the dash when the overdrive is engaged. it is wired such that to engage the overdrive one simply presses the button on top of the gear lever which is also used to select reverse. It is the best & cleverest overdrive installation I have seen on one of these being intuitive & easy to use with the button falling readily to hand rather then having to fumble for a dash mounted switch.
The maroon over black paint hs a pleasant patina of use with few minor stress cracks etc as might be expected. The interior leather in beige is in excellent condition. A single occasional seat folds out of the bulkhead allowing for an additional passenger to be carried.
All interior woodwork is original & the dash is configured with an oval center in what must be a very early eample of Barkers signaure dash board treatment. The car comes with an Enots gun for lubrication & has a battery cut off switch in the running board. A period publication comes with the car showing the car in 1929 standing on an unmetalled street, we preume in Radlett.
The Japanned leather roof is in very good condition & is a masterpiece of ingenuity. It is easy to erect or lower with all the fittings & fixtures working exactly as when it left Barkers. Roof up the car is very snug. Roof down the front occupants are well protected if the wind up windows are raised & the division put in the up position. The windscreen folds open allowing for a pleasant draft of air to keep one cool on hot days.
The wheels have original ace wheel discs in situ & the wheels are shod with tyres of recent origin. A shell spare fuel can is located on the running board.
This car runs particularly well cruising easily on the motorway at a genuine GPS checked 55 to 60MPH as a result of the overdrive being fitted. Indeed it is considerably faster then many 20/25's I have driven. The steering is light & play free; the engine silent & pulling well. All in all it is a delight to drive.
We have sold a number of these Barker All weather cars over the years & I have to say it is possibly my favourite coach work on a 20hp.