In 1904, Frederick Henry Royce built his first car, the Royce. That same year he teamed with Charles Stewart Rolls and Rolls-Royce was born.
The Silver Cloud series was introduced in 1955; in 1962, the Silver Cloud III came to market. It was produced through 1965 and was the last Rolls-Royce with separate body-and-chassis construction suitable for custom coach-built bodywork. It featured a 6.2L VB with aluminum block and heads, a 9:1 compression ratio, and a four-speed automatic transmission.
This car was styled by coachbuilder Mulliner Park Ward on a modified Silver Cloud III chassis. The designer, Vilhelm Koren, was a Rolls-Royce employee hired to design the Bentley Continental II. Unique for the Silver Cloud III were the distinctive angled quad headlights.
This car was delivered in California to the family of a petroleum tycoon. At the time air conditioning was not yet available but was in high demand by California customers. So, Rolls engineers designed a dealer-installed system called a Texas boot unit. The interior is simulated pigskin, one of only two such interiors fashioned by Rolls-Royce.
This car is just one of 46 left-hand drive fixed-head coupes. The current owner imported it to Canada in 1998. Although it is in good overall condition, the leather had deteriorated from sunlight and a thorough restoration was undertaken.
In 1962, Rolls-Royce introduced the Silver Cloud III series. Major differences from its predecessor Series II Silver Cloud included a lowered bonnet line and quad headlights, along with a 15% increase in power brought about by a higher compression ratio and larger SU carburetors. Most of these cars were bodied with factory-built steel bodies, but there were a few sent out to custom coachbuilders for special bodies. This example has a 'Flying Spur' body by Mulliner Park Ward. One of the only 31 left-drives built, this example was purchased from the family of the original French owner last year, in 2006, and it had been very well-preserved, undamaged, and very original. It had been upgraded by Vantage Motorsports to its present condition. It may be the lowest mileage example in existence, and will be used on a regular basis rather than being stored and displayed.
Sold for $68,200 at 2006 Gooding & Company. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III was the final generation of the Silver Cloud. In comparison to its predecessor, the Silver Cloud III had quad headlights and a lowered hood and front fender lines. Production continued until 1966 with a total of 2860 being constructed. Production of the standard sedan version had ended a year prior with the last of the Silver Clouds being custom built by coachbuilders.
This 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Sedan was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, Ca. It was offered without reserve and estimated to sell for $50,000-$60,000. It is powered by a 6230cc overhead Valve V8 engine and matted to a four-speed automatic gearbox.
This car was constructed for the North American market; as such it has a left-hand drive configuration and factory air-conditioning, power windows and power steering. The car has had three owners since new. It has been treated to a complete restoration which included a recondition of the transmission and engine. The interior and trim were removed and brought back to factory original condition. The body was stripped to the bare metal and built to factory quality standards. The car was finished in Mason's Black over Rolls-Royce Burgundy.
A few modifications have been made to the car since new. The air conditioner was converted to a R-134a refrigerant and given a more efficient compressor with new drier, hoses and belts. Other modifications include a digital cruise control and wide-whitewall radial tires. In the trunk is a CD changer which works nicely with the amplifier and upgraded sound system.
At auction this car did find a new owner for $68,200. It is a wonderfully restored car with about 500 miles since the overhaul. It has many modern conveniences while still staying true to its era and original design. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
The Silver Cloud III H.J. Mulliner Convertible, with only 96,756 miles was originally delivered to Mrs. Esther Johnson (the current owner's mother) in late 1963. It has never been outside the family's ownership. It had deteriorated over the years and had been improperly repaired, but has now been restored by Vantage Motorworks to its present extraordinary condition. It is an excellent example of only 25 left-hand drives ever produced.
This is one of 27 left drives ever built. This 38,000 mile factory air-conditioned specimen was first acquired by the current owner in 1997 in entirely original near-mint condition. It was originally delivered October 31, 1963, by the Beverly Hills, CA franchisee, finished in acrylic white with black top and sides. There is no evidence of any collision damage or previous corrosion. The books and tools were and are complete.
The automobile was resold to its third owner and a decision was made to return the exterior to its original shade, and to complement it was white Connolly hides piped black to match the carpets and mohair roof.
This 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon, chassis number LSDW35, is a late-production example that has had just two owners since new. It is an original left-hand drive example. The first owner was Richard Bernard 'Red' Skelton, the actor, artist, comedian, and Radio/TV personality. It is finished in Black with burgundy hides. It has Mouton floor mats, rear picnic tables, a rear lighter, and rear-seat air conditioning. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
One of 25 genuine left-drives built, this example was shipped from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Rolls-Royce Motors, Ltd. Service Department at Hythe Road, London for the original owner in August, 1977, at 58,000+ miles, 'to be returned to mind condition.' His extensive original files accompanying the vehicle show that it was completed to the owner's exacting specifications approximately three years later. The present odometer reading is 70,084 and the performance and handling are characteristic of a 12,000 mile specimen. The car is finished in Mason's Black with Parchment Connolly hides that work along with a black convertible top.
This is a never corroded or collision damaged example of 25 left hand drives built. It was originally delivered to Beverly Hills, California on October 16, 1963 and resold shortly thereafter to the famed New York Metropolitan Opera tenor, Sergio Franchi. In 1989 there was a concours quality re-trim of the interior in Connolly VM846 Tan hide with matching 5202 Tan Everflex roof. A thorough refurbishment of the chassis, suspension and undercarriage was carried out at the same time. In 2007, in very well preserved and cared for order, it became part of the collection of Academy Award winning actor and highly regarded automobile enthusiast, Nicolas Cage. Correct handbooks, complete small and large tools and copies of the factory history accompany this car.
Prior to World War II, Rolls-Royce made only chassis with the bodies being supplied by custom coachbuilders. In 1946, they introduced all new Rolls-Royce and Bentley models, completely different from the pre-war cars. These remained essentially the same until an all-new car, the Silver Cloud, was introduced in 1955. This model features a 4.9 liter six-cylinder overhead valve engine coupled to a GM Hydramatic transmission. Most were factory produced with steel saloon bodies, although some chassis were produced for custom coachwork.
In 1959 the Silver Cloud II was produced, which was essentially the same car with the addition of the 6.2 liter overhead valve V8 engine. The final version introduced in 1962 was the Silver Cloud III. The only obvious change was a slightly different front end incorporating four headlights. It remained in production through 1965.
This Silver Cloud III was found languishing in a storage unit where it had resided for months. A severe oil leak was evident by the puddles on the floor. The current owner acquired the car in 2002, not running with bad brakes, and certainly not ready for prime time. It has since been completely restored to its original glory. It is enjoyed regularly and in 2011 was driven to the Rocky Mountains touring Colorado, including driving it to the top of Pikes Peak. It is finished in Masons Black over Platinum with grey leather seating. Interior wood trim is English Walnut with American Walnut burl veneers.
Sold for $104,500 at 2016 Gooding & Company. This Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon was built to United States specification and left the factory with optional power windows, air-conditioning, and a radio with electric aerial. The first owner was a Tampa, Florida resident who took possession in October of 1963. It is finished in its original factory color of Mason's Black and currently has black leather interior and refinished burled wood veneer trim. It has burled walnut twin picnic trays for rear passengers, a sliding veneered map tray for driver and front passenger, a lockable glove box, and an open cubby box. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
This Silver Cloud is one of only two left drive specimens of this aluminum bodied Sports Saloon built and the only one known to exist. It was recently acquired from the estate of it's second owner, televangelist Reverend Ike.
It was originally supplied to Mr. Julian S. Friedman of San Francisco, CA by Jack Barclay and an extensive correspondence file shows the demanding nature of the commission to provide this vehicle.
It is finished as originally supplied in James Young T.6747 blue as selected from three color samples provided and complemented by specially ordered Baroda Blue VM 9040 Connolly hides. This example spent its entire life in California and the odometer presently reads under 23,000 miles and is likely correct although not documented.
The next major model change took place in 1955 wîth the introductions of the Silver Cloud. It was fitted wîth the current 4,887cc engine, but a totally new pressed-steel body was designed and the streamlined, elegant and perfectly balanced look of this car made it an instant success. Most cars were fitted wîth an automatic gearbox although a few were manual.
The rear brakes were combined hydraulic and mechanical wîth the usual Rolls-Royce gearbox-driven servo. Front suspension was by unequal length wishbones and coil springs wîth rear semi-elliptic electrically controlled dampers. A top speed of 106 mph was possible.
The press called the new Silver Cloud the 'finest car in the world' and said, 'There is little doubt that these find new cars will carry on the maker's tradition and reputation.' They were right: orders came from all around the world, wîth an unprecedented number from America, where it proved to be extremely popular in Hollywood.
The Silver Cloud II, launched in 1959, retained the same body as the Silver Cloud I, but was powered by a completely new V8 engine of 6,230cc. Coupled wîth automatic transmission as standard, the Silver Cloud II set new standards of refinement and performance. The 'Autocar' wrote: 'Only by adopting advanced production methods and thereby increasing yearly output can a superlative machine like this be made today at a price its clientele can afford. The Rolls-Royce is one of very few surviving top quality cars; the maintained standard of overall excellence is rewarded by full order books, and a world reputation which has never stood higher.'
In 1962, a lower bonnet line and twin headlamps were introduced and the Cloud III was born. Engine power was upped by 15% and the top speed rose to 117 mph. The compression ratio was increased and the 1-inch SÚ carburetors replaced by 2-inch units.
A 1963 road test stated: 'It is a pity that a connoisseur's car like the Rolls-Royce remains far beyond the dreams of the vast majority of the World's motorists, but good to know that cars of this quality can be built still and that there is a healthy market for them. They set a standard that is really appreciated best when one returns to driving lesser cars.'
The Silver Cloud range prompted the immortal line used in its advertising, 'At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.'Source - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The last of the Rolls-Royce separate-chassis cars from Crewe, the Silver Cloud was the main vehicle manufactured by Rolls-Royce from April 1955 until March 1966. The Silver Cloud replaced the Silver Dawn and was eventually replaced by the Silver Shadow. A major update from the pre-war models, the main design work was accomplished by J.P. Blatchley.
With a simple steel box section, the chassis was welded together and was very rigid while construction was still split into chassis and pressed steel and aluminum coachwork. It wasn't until the Silver Shadow that the uni-body construction arrived.
Weighing a total of 1.95 ton's, the Silver Cloud measured 5.38 m long and 1.90 m wide. Transmission was a four-speed automatic with an engine that was a 4.9 L six-cylinder unit. Suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear while the brakes were servo-assisted hydraulic drums.
In 1959 the Silver Cloud II was introduced with minor changes externally, but with the addition of a 6.2 L V8 engine with now pushed the vehicles weight to 2.11 tons. The top speed jumped to 183 km/h while the biggest improvements were showcased in acceleration and torque. Essentially the Silver Cloud with a different engine, the Rolls-Royce new 6.2-liter light-alloy V8 has been said to have been inspired by Cadillac's 1949 OHV unit.
Identical in everything but the nameplate, and of course, the Rolls-Royce radiator and mascot, the Silver Cloud II favored the companion Bentley S-Type Series II. 229 units of this model were long-wheelbase limo's with division window and handcrafted coachwork, though most of these vehicles had the ‘standard steel' sedan body. Though falling behind the rising standard of chassis refinement, the 1959-1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II was still the ‘Best Car in the World'.
In 1963 the Silver Cloud III was unveiled with slightly updated external tweaks and a remodeled interior. The weight of this newest model was reduced by almost 100 kg which resulted in boosted engine speed and slight performance. Very similar to the later Silver Shadow, the headlights were updated to a four-headlamp layout.
A total of 2,238 units of the Silver Cloud were produced during its production time.By Jessica Donaldson
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