Mystery Behind Chiswick Owner Of Vintage Rolls Royce

Information sought on local resident with unusual name


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A vintage car company has appealed to readers to help locate information about a former Chiswick owner of this rare vintage Rolls Royce which has been owned in its time by a shipping magnate, a foundry millionaire, and a former resident of W4 with an unusual name.

The 1928 GKM20 Rolls-Royce car was in the possession of Minoo Framroze Lally in the 1950s, whose address was 23a Arlington Park Mansions, Chiswick. The name is in the car log-book but so far the Real Car Co Ltd, based in Wales,
have been unable to get any information to add to the colourful history of the vehicle.

The car was originally a Hooper bodied limousine built for Sir Walter Runciman of Jesmond, Newcastle-on Tyne, and was re-bodied in the mid 1930s using a saloon taken from a Bentley- the work may have been carried out by Cooper Motor Bodies in Putney. This was an experiment to demonstrate the value of lightness and aerodynamic efficiency and to improve the speed of the vehicle.

The GKM20 in her Hooper body was delivered to its first owner, Sir Walter Runciman (1847-1937) at Fernwood House, Jesmond, a grand Italianate style villa which often hosted visits by members of both the political and nobility in society including H.H. Asquith and his daughter Lady Bonham Carter. The car would have cost about £1,800 in the 1920s.

Sir Walter had run away from home aged just 12 hoping to seek his fortune – which he did! He sailed the seas for 25 years then in 1885 settled on shore to start life as a ship owner – he established the Moor Line which in 1914 had 40 ships registered under the Runciman Flag. In 1906 he was knighted and from 1914-18 was MP for The Hartlepools and in 1933 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Runciman of Shoreston.

After his death in 1937, GKM20 was sold – it is believed that this is when the car had a change of coachwork but the car dealers are not sure who the owner was.

After WWII the logbook shows the Rolls Royce being with R E Barker, an engineer whose Bellevue Mills in Cradley Heath manufactured Spades & shovels and whose Foundry at Knottingley was supplying Bearings to local collieries.

Within three years Mr. L. Taylor of Nore Rd, Portishead took delivery of the car (in the 19th Century 29 Nore Road was home to John Fisher, a wealthy wine merchant who was a close friend and financier of Napoleon III.) He kept it until 1952 when GKM20 travelled back to Facit in Lancashire to be with J. A. Sanders. It then came into the possession of the Chiswick resident.

"Of all the owners of GKM20 the person that is a total mystery is a Minoo Framroze Lally of Arlington Park Mansions – we are hoping that surely someone must recognise this unusual name", says a spokesperson for the Real Car Company.

If anyone can shed any light on this please contact us at

* We have been contacted by local people to say that In 1949 a Mr M F Lally lived in 2 Westbury Road, Hanworth Mx.

Mr M F Lally (born in 1902) was married to a Mary Hawkins in 1951 

Mr Minoo Framroze Lally lived at 23a Arlington Park Mansions with Mrs Mary Lally in 1964 and 65.

Mr Minoo Framroze Lally would die in Hounslow in 1981.



July 11, 2014

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