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Centenary Celebration - OCT 22

Centenary Celebration of the Official Launch of the Rolls-Royce 20hp Car, 8th October 2022

A notice in ‘Spirit & Speed’, and on the RREC Forum appeared: “THE TWENTY CENTENARY INVITATION SAT 8TH OCT. 2022”. John and Tara Fasal invited 20 H.P. owners to bring their car to their home to celebrate 100 years to the day since the launch of the 20 H.P. If the car was not running, or even if you did not own one, you would still be welcome. In whatever case, bring a picnic. R.S.V.P.

Mermie and I fitted the latter category and arrived just after 10 am. John’s 1922 20 H.P. Barker tourer 42G0 was in place behind the house.1. This car was originally owned by Maharana Sir Fateh Singh of Udaipur.

Three other cars had already turned up 2. and parked by the hedge around the field:– Bob Roberts’ 1926 Bryden & McKay saloon GUK76 from Australia – he had already attended the RREC Annual and Northern rallies, as well touring Ireland. Johnnie Gallop brought his 1929 coupé GFN80 from Wiltshire, while Tony Brown 2A had driven in heavy rain on motorways in GFN58 coming down the day before. Twenty-one cars came of twenty-five that had RSVP’d.

Peter Vacher’s 1925 Windovers cabriolet de ville GSK15 built for Maharaja Sahib of Bharatpur arrived on a low loader, 3. its polished coachwork clearly had not been out in the rain. Steve Plimmer oversaw the unloading and drove it to be level with John’s 42G0. John commented to me in an email after the event that he had purchased GSK15 from the Maharaja of Bharatpur in March 1969 but was unable to bring it out of India. Never did he dream that it would stand alongside 42G0 fifty-two years later.

Quintin Komaromy arrived in his Caffyns limousine GHJ72. 4 or 4A Rob & Jane Pedler had crossed London to attend in their Barker tourer GSK80, 5. They were joined by Ralph Bunger in his Barker tourer 66H9, 6. & 6A who had driven it from Essex.

A small marquee had been erected to one side, which along with two cakes commemorating the event, revealed Bernard King by a pile of the new book on the 20hp, 7. co-written with Ben Grew. Ben joined him later, having come in a Bristol 407, having parted with 66H9 to Ralph Bunger. Bristols had been his interest before Rolls-Royce cars entered his life. 8.

Yet another polished alloy car, Richard Pascoe’s 1926 Windovers tourer GCK3, 9. parked next to 66H9. GCK3 had originally been ordered by a member of the Bengal Lancers, but apparently never went to India. Peter Vacher’s 1928 ¾ coupé GYL67 had been rebodied based on a Barker ¾ drophead coupé owned by Bill McAlpine. 10. Guy Baird’s 1926 Park Ward limousine GCK43 looks a patinated Black but was originally a very dark Red.

Two more Park Ward bodied cars were: Patrick Clancy’s 1927 Weymann landaulette GXL27 and Rowan & Rebecca Moss’s 1923 saloon limousine GA35. 11. Patrick’s car has a Weymann body, which I didn’t know Park Ward had built; also unusually a landaulette. 12. Ending the line at this end was Kishan de Silva’s 1924 Barker tourer GDK21,13. restored for Roger Bunn some years ago. Brian Packman had parked his 1926 Salmons ‘Tickford’ all-weather cabriolet GCK65, with the top down. 13A

14 or 14A Picnics started appearing. Ralph Bunger’s passengers in 66H9, Jean-Pierre Boiroux, past Chairman of the French Section and Mme Caroline Duquesne had brought the Champagne. 15. John Fasal’s family and guests were enjoying sandwiches and a tempting chocolate cake, as well as wine and fizz.. 16.

Some went into the house to see other cars, including the Patiala Silver Ghost Barker skiff 32PP, 24. or to hear John’s Steinway player piano. Peter Vacher demonstrated unusual features of GSK15. 17. 18. The most obvious were the Bosch electric horn and police style bell, but there were also Klaxon and small boa horns. If these fail, there are triple rubber covered bumpers to nudge sacred cows. Double window winders provide fly screens or Purdah glass. 19. 20. The car came to UK dismantled completely including cutting up the chassis. The restoration had been a tour de force. It had won its class at the Annual Rally at Cottesbrooke Hall in 1999.

After a line-up between 42G0 and GSK15 for a group picture, we retired to the marquee for cake cutting. John Fasal welcomed us and thanked those who had contributed to the event’s success. 21. He cut one of the cakes 22. While Peter Vacher was allowed to cut the second before both were borne away to be distributed. 23.

John commented to me afterwards that more than half the people who attended had contacted him in appreciation of the event, and remarked upon its camaraderie and ambiance. He felt that it had paralleled early Club meetings with an intimate and friendly atmosphere that all enjoyed.

Colin Hughes