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1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
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1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith information
Christie's Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
Engine Num: M 240C
This 1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Gurney Nutting was offered for sale at the 2007 Christies auction of 'Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center.' It is finished in dark blue with beige leather interior and beige soft top. Power is from the six-cylinder engine with overhead inlet valves and maximum horsepower of about 126. There is a four-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the top three ratios and four-wheel hydromechanical drums with mechanical servo.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn automobiles were built using a standardized pressed steel body on a very large and well engineering chassis with front independent suspension. In keeping with tradition, Rolls-Royce created a model available in just chassis form allowing the custom coachbuilders to create unique creations to specific customer specifications. These were called the Silver Wraith. Coachbuilders such as H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Hooper, Webb, and Freestone, among others, were given the opportunity to create versions of the Silver Wraith. Gurney Nutting was well known for their formal models, dropheads and saloons. Their first vehicle they created for Rolls-Royce was a Sedanca in 1924. Production of the Silver Wraith would continue for twelve years ending in 1959, with a total of 1700 examples being produced during that time. Only a few of those were created by Gurney Nutting.
This example is very elegant, with a drop-top that folds into a recess behind the rear seat. The windows and top are hydraulically operated, which was a unique feature during this era. The interior features picnic tables in the front seat backs and a Becker period radio.
The vehicle's early life was spent in Great Britain. It later came to the US where it has spent the remainder of its time. It has been treated to a cosmetic restoration since 2002 including a bare metal respray, new top, new interior, wood stripped and refinished, chrome replated and the engine bay cleaned up.
At auction this car was estimated to sell for $80,000 - $100,000. Sadly, a buyer willing to meet the vehicles reserve was not found and the car left the auction unsold.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007