Sold for $451,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company. Sold for $550,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company. Ever since its founding in 1906, Rolls-Royce has always sought after the highest standards of elegance and luxury. The Silver Cloud would have to be considered its standard-bearer and the image of the brand during the 1950s.
Utilizing the steel body shell manufactured by the Pressed Steel Company, the Silver Cloud line of automobile was very rigid, and yet, very simple in its design. This elegant simplicity would be at the heart of the replacement for the Silver Dawn.
Weighing in at nearly two tones and powered by a 4.9-liter six-cylinder engine producing 155hp, the car was by no means a sportscar, but it had the performance to combine neatly with the supple luxury. Yes, the car could reach a top speed of just over 100mph, but the car wasn't about that. It was about the experience of a journey immersed in opulent comfort.
The Silver Cloud I would begin production in 1955 and would continue through 1958. In total, 2,238 examples would be built in various guises. One of the rarest of all body designs built over the course of the production run would be number 7410, the Drophead Coupe.
In all, just eleven examples of the Drophead Coupe would be built for the Silver Cloud I chassis. What would make this example so rare was the fact it would come with left-hand drive and with an aluminum body instead of the steel. Chassis LSFE 451 would be one of those chassis that would bear upon itself one of the eleven designs.
The chassis would be even more extraordinary. Between 1955 and 1965 just about 200 examples would feature coachbuilt bodies. This would be one of them. Produced by H.J. Mulliner, design 7410 was considered one of the prime designs of the time.
This car was actually part of a pair ordered by music publishers, Chappell & Co. They were presented as gifts to Broadway composers Lerner and Loewe, who would be remembered for the score for My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, Gigi, Camelot and a number of others. Loewe would retire and would move to California in the early 1970s, coming with him would be LSFE 451.
In 1977, after some twenty years, Loewe would sell the Drophead Coupe to its second owner. Some time later, the car would change hands again, ending up in the hands of Jim Toole. Toole was a Rolls-Royce and Bentley enthusiast extraordinaire. Detailed and determined, Toole would take to restoring the car by himself.
Proving his talent and eye for detail, Toole would present the Rolls-Royce at a number of events and would often come away victorious. In 1983, the car would achieve the H.J. Mulliner Park Ward Trophy at the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club meeting in San Diego. Then, in 1991, the car would receive a First Place Senior Trophy at the Monterey National Meet. That same year, and at the very same event, the car would achieve the Guerrero Award given for Best Personal Restoration.
The timeless elegance of the car, and its numerous awards, would lead to the car being featured in a numerous forms of literature. The car could be found in Lawrence Dalton's effort Rolls-Royce: The Elegance Continues, as well as, in The Flying Lady.
Purchased from Toole, the new owner has maintained the car's form and look. Detailed, still bearing three pieces of original monogrammed luggage, its Continental Touring Kit and coming complete with original build sheets and historical file, the 1958 Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupe remains drop-dead gorgeous.
Offered as part of Gooding & Company's 2015 Arizona auction, the Drophead Coupe would draw initial estimates ranging from between $500,000 and $700,000. The final sale price would be $550,000.By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $917,253 (€710,000) at 2012 RM Sothebys. High bid of €917,253 at 2012 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) Sold for $1,347,500 at 2017 RM Sothebys. One of only one percent of all Silver Clouds were truly given bespoke coachwork. This drophead coupe wears coachwork by Freestone & Webb and is one of just three with this body style, two produced for the Cloud I and a third on a Bentley S1 chassis. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012
Sold for $917,253 (€710,000) at 2012 RM Sothebys. High bid of €917,253 at 2012 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) Sold for $1,347,500 at 2017 RM Sothebys. The last of three spectacular two place 'Honeymoon Express' dropheads built and the last Freestone and Webb body on a Rolls-Royce chassis. This car was delivered June 1958 to Arnold Morton who passed away in 1982 after selling the car to Charles Atma [Read More...]
Sold for $451,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company. Sold for $550,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was produced in a wide variety of styles throughout its decade-long production run, though only a handful were the H.J. Mulliner Drop Head Coupe with design number 7410. H.J. Mulliner modified and adapted the Drop Heads f [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2011
Sold for $60,500 at 2014 RM Sothebys. This Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Saloon came equipped from the factory with air conditioning and Sundym glass. It was delivered by Kumpf Motor Car Company, of Denver, Colorado and was originally owned by Daniel V. Edmundson of Ponte Vedra Beach, Flori [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
The Silver Cloud, manufactured from April 1955 to March 1966 in three different series, was the last Rolls-Royce model from Crewe made available as a separate chassis. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was eventually replaced by the Silver Shadow. Amon [Read More...]
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