1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
There were two wheelbases available on the Silver Wraith, the 127 and 134 inch. There were over 1200 examples built on the 127 inch platform and about half that amount on the 134 inch wheelbase. Under the hood was a 4.9 liter six-cylinder engine that was adequate enough to carry the vehicles along at a comfortable 80 mph. A four-speed manual gearbox was standard until 1952 when it was replaced with a four-speed automatic unit.
The Silver Wraith's were available as complete cars with factory coachwork or as 'chassis only'. The 'chassis-only' assembly allowed the buyer to completely customize their vehicle and have it finished by one of the renowned coachbuilders of the time, such as H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Hooper, and Freestone and Webb, to name a few.
Hooper Ltd. began bodying Rolls-Royce vehicles in the early 1920s. They built a reputation around their limousines and chauffer driven town cars, some the nicest designs in the business.
This 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with chassis number ELW60 is an Empress Limousine with design number 8390. It is one of only 13 Hooper Company coachbuilt examples built on a Silver Wraith chassis. The body is built from hand formed aluminum over a wooden skeleton. A chrome accent piece runs the entire beltline of the vehicle. The chauffeur's compartment is finished in silver-grey leather while the rear passenger compartment is matching silver-grey cloth. Hand polished woodwork can be found throughout the interior. The passenger's center console is equipped with a telescopic mirror and independent climate controls.
This Silver Wraith was created for the Chairman of the Libby Ball Bearings Company, Mr. Gwinn. Soon after its completion it was sent to the United States where it resided a Chicago Collection for a number of years. It was later purchased by a collector in Florida. The Silver Wraith stayed in the collection for 25 years before being purchased by its current owner. A mechanical and cosmetic restoration began in the 1990s and completed nearly 10 years later.
At the 2006 RM Auction in Meadow Brook, it was estimated to fetch between $80,000 - $120,000. It found a new home at a price of $118,250.
There were nearly 2,000 Silver Wraiths constructed. This example is one of only 13 Hooper examples. In 2010, this Empress Limousine by Hooper was offered for sale at RM Auctions 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' sale in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was estimated to sell for $75,000-$100,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car has been sold for the sum of $93,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||RM Auctions at Meadow Brook|
|Auction||RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island|
|RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island||1956-1959|
|RM Auctions at Meadow Brook||1955-1959|