In addition to building the finest luxury vehicles, Rolls-Royce was noted for aircraft engines which it began to develop in 1914 during World War I. The company helped the allied effort during World War II with the production of magnificent Merlin V-12 and Griffon engines from its Crewe, England facility. After the last aircraft engines had been manufactured, the facilities were stripped and re-equipped for automobile assembly. Among the first cars to-be-built was the Silver Wraith in 1946. Chassis were shared with the Bentley Mark VI, though the Silver Wraith was never fitted with standard steel coachwork. Customers were offered a choice of coachbuilders to design and individualize their particular car - among them Park Ward, Mulliner, Hooper, and Freestone & Webb, such as this one-off standard wheelbase Saloon Limousine.
In classic Rolls-Royce tradition, the Silver Wraith was at the same time both old and new. It was an evolution of the pre-war Wraith offering a new chassis while fitted with a 4257cc (260 cubic-inch) six-cylinder producing 130 horsepower developed before the war. A four-speed manual gearbox was mated to the engine with its shifter mounted on either the floor or column. Hydraulic brakes were used for the first time. The front suspension was comprised of coil springs with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Disc wheels and whitewall tires replaced wire wheels. Silver Wraiths continued to be built through 1959.
This car was a gift to the Rolls-Royce Foundation by Dr. Robert Brod in 1996. Most unusual are the dual side-mount spare tires on a post-war car.