Main Index

Books
Detailed
information

Models
Each Model ever
build

Highlights
Coachbuilders,
Special Cars...

Cars of 1998
Cars of 1999
Cars of 2000
Cars of 2001
Cars of 2002
Cars of 2003
Cars of 2004
Cars of 2005
Cars of 2006
Cars of 2007
Cars of 2008
Cars of 2009
Cars of 2010
Cars of 2011

Car of the Month
Selection

More Books:

Making a Marque

Rossfeldt: Rolls-Royce and Bentley / From the Dawn of the 20th Century into the new Millennium

 

 

Car of the Month - January 2021
Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P., 193, #GSR65,
Town Car by Brewster


 

Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.

Rolls-Royce's activities in the American market from infant stage onward were interlinked with the New York based coachbuilder Brewster & Co. That well-established company delivered coachwork of exceptional quality; a considerable number of attractively designed bodies were erected on Rolls-Royce chassis. In the beginning such were units imported from the UK, later the chassis came from the factory of Rolls-Royce of America, Inc., at Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.

Brester & Co. from 1914 had acted as agents of Rolls-Royce. In 1925 Brewster was taken over by Rolls-Royce of America. Frederick Brewster who previously had held the majority of shares remained with the coachbuilder. As a director of what had become a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce of America he had to arrange for many compromises because his patriarchal attitude with a strong component of social welfare and incredibly careful attention to customer relations didn't meet full approval by the new owners. The latter were particularly keen on what nowadays would be called "shareholder value"; profits however were hard to earn with a relatively low production figure (and that almost collapsed after the 1929 Wall Street Crash).

Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.

How independent Frederick Brewster's judging has been is exemplified by the choice of his personal Rolls-Royce motor car. He did not opt on a US-made model but preferred to select a model produced in the United Kingdom. Any Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P. that was exported to the USA can be listed as a rarity. The 'Baby Rolls-Royce' models were not too attractive for American customers with their preference for engines of large capacity. Rolls-Royce of America from 'home-made production' offered just that with Phantom I powered by a power plant of ca. 8 litres capacity. And the Phantom I did not suffer from an almost prohibitively Customs' tariff because no import-duties were due. It was result of comparison as regards the technical advantages of the Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P. and careful consideration of the conditions in which that car would be used which led Frederick Brewster to choose as the car for him and his wife a 20/25 H.P. That car was bodied with exquisite coachwork by his company. His was a proper choice because as regards technical layout the 20/25 was on a par with the level of the recently launched Rolls-Royce Phantom II. And that new model showed more innovative development with a wealth of new features when compared with the Phantom I from US-production. With the intention to get a Town Car is was clever to opt on the small 20/25. A major factor was that lower weight of an engine of 3.6-litres capacity instead of a massive 8-litre-unit made for much easier handling. In combination with inaudible operation and slightly decreased overall dimensions such were decisive factors for town traffic whereas high power output would have been an advantage but for overland tours.

Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.

A close inspection shows many top-class accessories from US-specific drum-type headlamps and specially shaped fender lamps through locks selected from English supplier Yale to an 8-day-clock fitted to the separation, with trade mark 'Brewster' plus a hint of 'Swiss' made, i.e. coming from that country with the best clock-makers in the world.

Rolls- Royce 20/25 HP Brewster Clock

Top of Page  

 

Only the best was accepted as good enough for what Brewster arranged to import from Europe as his personal motor car. There is good reason to believe this Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P. #GSR65, bodied at 'his' coachbuilding had to pass the final test three times at least? Many years later the car found its way to a new owner from New Zealand and became subject of an adaptation: The spare wheel was re-located from tail to side-mounts to enable the installation of a luggage rack to carry a suitcase. In such form the car more recently came into the custody of a dedicated collector from Germany.

Rolls-Royce 20/25 HP