In our current possession is also an extraordinary Rolls-Royce Light 20. This rare and beautiful car was produced in 1905 and is one of only two surviving examples of the model. It was the third such car to be built and the first production model; it is hence one of the earliest surviving Rolls-Royce motor cars. It was first registered by Charles Rolls in December 1905 and discovered in 1945 at Henry Royce’s old home in Knutsford, Cheshire. Although this actual car was never raced, the model, the only true early sports car produced by Rolls-Royce, was raced in Ireland, Isle of Man and the USA. A Light 20 was victorious in the 1906 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race and won various sprint races in New York. These victories gained Rolls-Royce cars an early reputation for speed and reliability. When Rolls-Royce introduced their Silver Ghost model in 1907 the company ceased production of all other models. No more than forty examples of this early 20 horsepower model were built.
Although the Royal Automobile Club typically only display one car at a time, due to the small size of the Light 20 it was able to be exhibited in another section of the building. This allowed us to show-off two very different and yet beautiful examples of Rolls-Royce craftsmanship. These two cars were also taken to the Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance at Blenheim Palace, where they attracted much attention.
A reception was held for Jonathan himself in the Royal Automobile Club to coincide with the cars’ display. It was a wonderful evening where staff, clients and friends could reunite and have a drink in a stunning setting. We would like to say an enormous thank you to the generous and welcoming staff at the Royal Automobile Club and we look forward to filling the rotunda with another car in the future.