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Lady Lyons is a rare and grand 1937 Rolls Royce 25/30

limousine, with coachwork hand-built by Barker of London.

Probably the finest wedding car in New Zealand she has

seatingfor up to 6 passengers to ride in luxury

and comfort. She has a glass division between the driver's

compartment and the main cabin. You will feel like royalty in

this fabulous vintage motorcar, something really

special for your wedding day, and perfect for some very

memorable photographs.













Original sale of chassis: 4 January 1937

Original sale of coach: 27 April 1937

Sale prices:  Chassis                        883 pounds 9 shillings and 11 pence

                        Coach                     1,100 pounds

                        Radiator mascot             3 pounds

                        Tank filler extension       1 pound 1 shilling

                        Total                        1,987 pounds 10 shillings and 11 pence.

First registered in UK: 5 June 1937.

Last UK registration: YXG701.  Current NZ registration: JEU178.

Chassis No. GRO80 (Works No. 8280) - long wheel-base.

Constructed: 14 January 1937; testing of chassis completed 20 February 1937.

Engine: No. V-23-K: Rolls Royce 6 cylinder in-line, 4.257 litres, bore 89 mm, overhead valves, forced lubrication, conventionally aspirated with single SU down-draft carburettor supplied via twin SU electric pumps.

Power output: 29.4 horsepower (RAC rating) at 2000 rpm.

Oil pressure: 24 lbs per square inch.

Maximum torque: 156 lbs at 1250 rpm.

Fuel consumption: 41 pints per hour; 18 gallon single fuel tank.

Gear-box No. V-22-K: Rolls Royce 4 speed manual.

Electrical system: 12 volts; battery 60 amperes.

Clutch: Rolls Royce single dry plate.

Suspension: Semi-elliptic springs with Rolls Royce hydraulic-arm operated shock dampers front and rear. A centrifugally controlled pump causes the damper loadings to be automatically adjusted according to road speed; and in addition there is a manual control on the steering column which allows selection of soft, normal, or hard riding.

Brakes: Internally expanding, servo-assisted drums, on all four wheels. With independent mechanical hand brake on the rear wheels.

Wheels: well-base 19 inch wire wheels with Firestone white-wall tyres.

Wheel-base: 132 inches; track 56 5/16 inches.

Chassis lubrication: The whole chassis is centrally lubricated by a foot-pedal operated pump located below the dashboard, using engine oil from a reservoir attached to the fire wall.

Cooling: water cooled with radiator shutters automatically operated by a thermostat to maintain 85 degrees centigrade.

Instruments: S.Smith & Sons.

Permanent jacking system: Single screw jack attached to front chassis under radiator; twin rear screw jacks under ear axle. Removable jack handle attached to right fire-wall.

Weight fully fuelled and equipped: approx 3000 lbs.

Guarantee: Unlimited duration (causes for exclusions – fair wear and tear, mis-use, neglect or accident, overloading, incorrect alterations or repairs, incorrect tyres or wheels, and continued running with known defects).

Colour: Masons Black.

The engine and gear-box were fully reconditioned in 2014 with 34,301 miles showing on the tachometer, a new head and pistons having been fitted. New stainless steel valves and valve seats were fitted in 2018.

Coachwork (limousine with sliding glass division)

Hand crafted by Barker & Co, Olaf Street, Notting Hill, London WII.

Sent to coach-builder: 18 March 1937, final testing of coach 10 June 1937.

Body: Aluminium, with steel guards, and polished stainless steel bright-work.

Headlamps: Lucas P100.

Seats: 2 in front of division, 3 on rear coach, plus 2 fold-out occasional seats.


The completed vehicle was first sold to Mrs Frances Salmon (nee Abrams) who resided in the regal Albert Court Building, 24 Prince Consort Road, Kensington, London SW7, for use as a chauffeur driven town car.  Frances and her husband  Alfred Salmon (died 1 October 1928) were 1st cousins as their mothers were sisters & scions of the Gluckstein family.

The Salmon & Gluckstein families were the founders of the famous tea & coffee firm of J. Lyons & Co, a spin-off from the Salmon & Gluckstein Tobacco Company. Lyons Tea (“A Packet for every Pocket”) started a chain of tea shops known as Lyons Corner Houses, beginning with one in Piccadilly in 1894. The company also ran high-class restaurants, founding the Trocadero in 1895, and hotels including the Strand Palace which opened in 1909, the Regent Palace (1915), and the Cumberland (1933). The business operated world-wide, including New Zealand. But by the 1960 it was losing money and began to sell some of its businesses, selling the last of them in 1994. The J. Lyons & Co papers are stored in the London Metropolitan Archives. The car is now named ‘Lady Lyons’ as a living tribute to this fine old company and family.

A famous employee of J. Lyons & Co was former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher who worked for the company as a chemist, developing methods of preserving ice cream, before becoming a barrister and then a Conservative MP.

The direct descendants of Frances and Alfred served on the company's Board of Directors until 1981 - Neil Lawson Salmon being the last to do so. 

Mrs Frances Salmon was the great-grandmother of the well known television chef Nigella Lawson - Nigella's mother, Vanessa Salmon, was the grand-daughter of Mrs Alfred Salmon.

Prior to living at Albert Court in Kensington, Alfred & Frances Salmon spent their early married life at 115 High Street - this was during the time of Jack the Ripper and in 1888 Alfred signed a petition requesting extra police patrols in the Whitechapel area during this period of fear.

Frances Salmon died in 1946 having survived Alfred by almost 20 years.

It is unknown as to how long she actually owned the car or who the second owner was in the UK.

The car was then sold on 3 March 1982 to a collector, Edward L. Kiely Jnr  (375 Wayne Drive, Rockford, Illinois USA), who died in 2003.

The car was then sold to his son Gary W. Keily Snr (239 Stonehedge Lane, Rockford, Illinois, USA) for $5000US on 20 February 2004. He spent over $64,000US (D & D Classic Auto, 2300 Mote Drive, Covington, Ohio, USA) on the car up to 9 June 2007, when it was valued for insurance purposes at $78,000US.

The car was then sold and returned to the United Kingdom in 2014, where further engine reconditioning work was carried out by the purchaser, The Real Car Company of Bethesda, Wales, UK.

The car was sold on 5 April 2015 for 32,000 pounds by The Real Car Co., to the present owner, Ignition Enterprises Limited of Christchurch, New Zealand, who imported the car. It arrived at Lyttelton in June 2015 after a sea voyage of 8 weeks. It is now used principally as a wedding car in Christchurch.