1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce 1933 20/25 Drophead Coupe by Carlton
On January 11, 1934, Arthur Jeffress' chauffeur collected this handsome convertible from Rolls-Royce's Lillie Hall works. As their records confirm, Mr. Jeffress was the son of a wealthy Virginia tobacco merchant who was born in the U.K. in 1905. His father died in 1925 leaving him a small fortune. "Art" as he was known, epitomized the Roaring Twenties lifestyle. He was by all accounts a flamboyant party boy. His generosity is said to have known no bounds, but above all he was interested in fashion and design. In his later years, he was a prominent art dealer and collector. He must have been delighted when he took delivery of the Rolls-Royce and it can safely be assumed that he had been actively involved in its styling and conception. He'd chosen local coachbuilders, The Carlton Carriage Company of Willesden, North London to build the body, perhaps so that he could supervise its construction.
It would seem that his American origins had ensured that he was familiar with the latest coachwork designs in the U.S. as it could be said that the body has much in common with convertible coupes that graced the luxurious Lincolns, Packards and others of the day, right down to the Golfer's/Doctor's door in the side of the body. It is an exquisitely proportioned automobile, with the considerable advantage of a top that disappears and leaves its lines unhindered. From new, it was accented by hood louvers that stretched back on to the cowl and wore twin side mounts, its paint scheme was as it is today in black over grey. The car must have been a head turner in the more austere times of the early 1930s, likely exactly the effect that Art Jeffress was aiming for.
Five British owners were the successors to Mr. Jeffress before it left the U.K. and was sold to Herbert Siegel in Illinois in 1964. It appears to have had three long term ownerships from then until now. In 2004, the car is known to have been restored. Today, the car is undoubtedly much as it was when it was first delivered. Its upholstery is now a sumptuous red and it sports polished wheel discs, a detail which its original owner would almost certainly have approved. This car has just completed a full cosmetic restoration.