Chassis No. GKM30 is a delightful 20 which was off test on 12th December 1928. The car’s coachwork is produced by Henry Binder, one of the most notable Parisian coachbuilders of the time. Binder designs are regarded as some of the most attractive and elegant, with only twenty bodies being fitted to a Rolls-Royce 20. GKM30 is a stunning example of their work. As a 4-door, 4-light saloon it is distinguished by its elegant proportions.
The car was supplied new to A.R.R.F. Limited and displayed on the Rolls-Royce stand at the 22nd Salon de l’Automobile, held at the Grand Palais on the Champs Elysees, Paris, in 1928. The build cards indicate the steering column as ‘raked’ (allowing a low body line); Dunlop Wellbase wheels; two Rolls-Royce side wheel carriers; and a Rolls-Royce luggage grid. Being a late 20, the car benefits from a 4-speed gearbox, and four-wheel servo assisted brakes.
On 15th April 1929, the car was delivered to Mr Hardy Erdmann of Folly Ranch, Wyoming, USA. He owned the car until 1941 when it transferred to Charles S. Shoup, later to become the President of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club. Correspondence from Mr Shoup recalling his ownership of the car confirms that it had painted Grebel headlamps, a tubular folding front bumper, wheel discs and the R-R emblem on the radiator had been covered by a silver plate.
A succession of owners then followed until 1991, when the car returned to the UK, very much as described by Mr Shoup. In 1992, GKM30 was purchased by David Else who continued to own the car until 2018. Mr and Mrs Else embarked upon a highly detailed and fastidious restoration of the car returning it to first class order. They also thoroughly researched GKM30 which has resulted in the most wonderful history file, composing of correspondence with previous owners; photographs of its restoration; and a highly detailed account of every task undertaken, journey made, and fuel consumed. This documentation is vast and demonstrates a dedication to the car like no other. It also outlines how the car has been extensively toured.
Today, GKM30 is finished in dark burgundy/black with biscuit hide. It retains many notable features including the Grebel lamps; lizard skin inlay to the door cappings; vanity units to the rear; under running board storage boxes; and beautifully sculptured door hinges. Overall, the car is in exceptionally good order and performs very well indeed. 20s of this quality are few and far between.