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Inspecting / buying and looking after a 20hp Rolls-Royce

We are often asked by a prospective purchaser “Is that a good car to buy?” or “Can you recommend someone to help me inspect the car?” The answer depends on how knowledgeable is the purchaser; one can give a list of things to look out for if they are reasonably familiar with the 20hp, or one can recommend a professional appraisal if they are new to the marque. A professional appraisal will cost several hundred pounds, but could save many times that if, for example, the engine turns out to be in poor condition and needs £10,000 of remedial work! Many people rely on a knowledgeable friend to inspect the car, but that has the potential to destroy a friendship if the car turns out to be worse than expected.


Tom Clarke, in his book The Rolls-Royce 20/25 HP, has written an interesting item Checking a car to buy, which is applicable to all small-hp Rolls-Royce cars.

He has also written Good use of a 20/25 which is full of tips on how to look after a small-hp car. Tom has kindly given permission to reproduce these items here for the benefit of owners and prospective owners of 20hp cars, see below.

Tom’s book (3rd Edition) runs to 407 pages and was published in 2009; it is now out of print, but is available
second hand from the usual web sites.