Bore:3 1/4" (1905), 4" (1905/6)
c.c.: 3600 (1905), 4000 (1905/6)
Clutch: Leather lined cone type
Gearbox: Heavy model-3 speed, light model-4 speed (overdrive fourth)
Suspension: Semi-elliptic front. Platform rear
Brakes: Transmission foot brake. Handbrake operates on rear wheels
Wheelbase:Light model (8'10") Heavy model (9'6")
No Made: 40
Cylinder dimensions were identical
for all models (with
the exception of the hp 10)
and all engines had the same valves, pistons, oil pumps and so on.
With the radiator of classic Grecian
shape, the new Rolls-Royce sported a feature
which was to become a hallmark of the marque. The two entwined Rs made their
debut about a month later,in January 1905, on the title page of the first catalogue by
C S Rolls and Co.
To promote his fledgling company,
Royce entered a 20hp in the 1905 Isle of Man race.
His expected success would certainly bring about increased sales in the new cars.
The Rolls-Royce 20hp exactly matched
the requirements for the Tourist Trophy. Rolls
suggested he ran two of this model; one to be driven by himself and another one in the
hands of Percy Northey.
Immediately after the start he was
in trouble. Trying to save petrol he had been coasting down a hill
when he ruined the gearbox in an attempt to re-engage gear. While he tried to find out if the defect
was a result of his carelessness or of sabotage, Percy Northey finished the race with the second
highest speed and runner-up to an Arroll Johnston.
Despite not attaining first place,
the result could be considered a significant success for
a company founded twelve months previously. Further, Rolls recognised several points for
improvement which were changed in the cars taking part in competition.
For weight saving reasons chassis and axles were forged from chrome-nickel steel.
Instead of the usual three-speed gearbox a new one of four speeds was used; third gear was direct
drive and fourth gear a sort of overdrive.
In 1906 Rolls headed again for the
Isle of Man to take part in the second Tourist
Trophy. Two Rolls-Royce 20hp cars were entered, the second, again, entrusted to
Percy Northey. Both cars were carefully prepared for this event and fitted with
knock-off wire wheels instead of the wooden artillery wheels which had been fitted
the year before. Northey ran into trouble when he hit a bridge and bent the front axle.
Rolls triumphed by finishing first at an average speed of some 4 mph (6 km/h) higher
than the speed of the next entrant.
Wishing to consolidate his success
and to open up new vistas,
Rolls shipped two motor cars to the USA in December 1906.
His choices were a Rolls-Royce 20hp and a 30hp. Both were exhibited at the
New York motor show and the Rolls-Royce 20hp made the headlines when
Rolls beat all American competition at a Five Mile Sprint on
New York's Empire City Track.