Classic Roller fetches record price


06-12-2000

A classic Rolls Royce bought second-hand for 1,000 more than half a century ago has sold for 50 times as much at auction 250,000 miles later.

Alexis Brookes bought the used Rolls Royce just after the Second World War and has since driven it the equivalent of ten times around the world. Now it has been sold for what is believed to be a record price of 50,500 - nearly three times the expected figure of 17,000.



Back in the 1940s, 1,000 could have bought Mr Brookes four new Fords. But he chose a Roller, and wife Laura, 78, and their three children all learned to drive in the stunning motor.



Mr Brookes, 90, a retired Cambridge lecturer, recently decided to call it a day and sell off the open-topped car.



The turquoise blue Rolls Royce 20/25 was sold to a private collector from London when it went to auction at the Old Warden Aerodrome at Biggleswade, Beds. And experts say there is no reason why the faithful motor, built in 1932, which hasn't broken down once, shouldn't run smoothly for another 50 years.



A sad Mr Brookes said: 'I'm getting on a bit now and we found we just weren't getting the use out of it quite so often as we did. I will miss it a tremendous amount. It's part of the family - my children grew up with it.'



He and his wife have come to rely more on their Toyota or on Mr Brookes' 30 year old folding Eurobike.



Classic car auction manager Julian Shoolbeifer said 50,500 could be a record price for an unrestored Rolls Royce 20/25.



He said: 'It's an absolutely exceptional price and I am very happy for the family, and I'm also happy for the buyer because he's got a wonderful car.



'It says a lot about the engineering of vintage Rolls-Royces and confirms that for many years they were the best cars in the world.



'It's very exciting when something like this comes through the door. There aren't many drop head 1932 Rolls-Royces still around that are this pretty.'





By Stuart Leithes