It is believed that Rolls-Royce made only three Shooting Brakes, two of which are still in existence. This 1955 Silver Dawn with coachwork by Radford and chassis STH29, was the last of the three built to this specification. The cars were the result of an official agreement between Rolls-Royce limited and Harold Radford (the Coachbuilder). Limited to produce just three examples of the famous, low production Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Sports Saloon model, with coachwork specially designed for both town and country use.
The adaptations included an opening tailgate which was created by allowing the rear window to open upwards and the lower section of the luggage compartment to open downwards. A few of over 75 fittings included reclining seats, washbasins, picnic accoutrements and more. This may have been a forerunner of the modern 'Hatch-Back.'
The STH29 is probably the most significant of the three built as it was the actual car prepared for the October 1954 Earls Court Motor Show. It was built for display on the Harold Radford stand.
The car is original with some restoration having been done over the last 50 years, but always in keeping with the restoration of a unique and historic Rolls-Royce.
The launch of the Silver Dawn in 1949 confirmed the public's acceptance and demand for the standard steel body, as only a few were fitted wîth specialized coachwork.
After the war Rolls-Royce decided that if increasing volume was their main objective, then the manufacture of complete motor cars was required. This meant designing a pressed steel body and modernizing some of their production methods.
The company was initially cautious. It didn't know what the public reaction would be to the first non-coachbuilt cars, but they were well received and demand for the Silver Dawn was strong, especially in America to where the first cars were exported. These cars had the straight six 4,257cc engine.
A new market emerged at home too wîth the Silver Dawn becoming available in the ÚK in 1953, by which time it had the bigger bore 4,566cc engine, automatic transmission availability and big boot coachwork.
The 'Autocar' described the Silver Dawn as an 'expensive car designed for the connoisseur who requires an all-round excellence second to none and is prepared to pay for the best that money can buy in quality of manufacture and finish'.Source - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.