1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Vignale Sedan
Coachwork: Vignale
Chassis #: LCLW14
Engine # L13C
Sold for $198,000 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was the company's first post-war model. It made its debut in late 1946 and given a chassis similar to that of the Silver Dawn and Mark VI Bentley, though with a 7-inch longer wheelbase. The Wraith was designed to accept the traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the Mark VI's 'standard steel' bodywork. Only the bore and stroke dimensions were shared with the pre-war overhead-valve Wraith engine, the major advantage of this 'F-head' layout being its large valves and generous water jacketing around the valve seats. Production of the short-wheelbase Wraith continued until 1952, with a total of 1,144 examples built. The long-wheelbase version continued until the introduction of the Phantom V in 1959, by which time 639 chassis had been completed.

This particular example was ordered by Joseph J. Maschuch, Esq. of Maplewood, New Jersey (incorrectly noted as New York on the build sheets). The long-wheelbase Wraith was given a one-off body by Vignale. In the front, the grille is flanked by a pair of sealed beam P100s while a smaller set of hooded foglights capped the front fenders. The rear window and C-pillar were swept back and the rear window was retractable. The cabin necessitated a long rear overhang to accommodate the full sized trunk.

Under the hood, the block, head, dynamo, starter, air cleaner, carburetor, and inlet manifold were all painted green. As per the original owner's request, all visible pipes under the hood were to be chrome plated. Inside, the car was fitted with an air conditioning system. There is fine cabinetry in the rear compartment which concealed a full bar and a center mounted television. It was given a Becker Mexico radio and all of the windows were power operated, as was the front seat. The chauffeur's compartment was trimmed in black leather, while the rear compartment was given grey broadcloth. Under the right rear passenger seat is a toilet with a gold painted toilet seat, although it is understood this was only used as a champagne cooler.

The current caretaker has cared for the car for over a decade. It retains the original interior but has been cosmetically refreshed over the years.

Vignale was famous for clothing numerous Ferraris and other Italian sports cars, but this Rolls-Royce is the only one for which the Italian carrozzeria would ever pen the coachwork.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Limousine
Coachwork: Hooper
This 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith has coachwork by Hooper. It is powered by a 6-cylinder engine that displaces 4887cc and is mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox. It is painted in black with brown leather front seat, brown cloth rear seat and beautiful wood appointments. Passenger luxuries include rear seat radio, bar, tables, and jump seats. It is also equipped with nice wide white wall tires, P-100 headlamps, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-elliptic springs, and servo-assisted drum brakes.
1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine
Coachwork: James Young
Chassis #: DLW 125
Sold for $110,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach.
This Rolls-Royce Limousine wears Limousine style coachwork by James Young in design number WRM 30. In total, James Young built just 28 Silver Wraith chassis in this style. Examples were displayed at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1953 and 1954, and at the 1953 Paris Salon de l'Automobile.

This Limousine was given an authentic restoration in the 1990s and has since earned numerous awards at RROC meets. It is finished in Mason's Black exterior, wool broadcloth interior in the rear compartment and leather in the front, and trimmed in polished and veneered burled walnut. There is a cocktail cabinet with Waterford crystal decanters in the passenger compartment. Power is from a 4566cc overhead valve six-cylinder engine fitted with a single Zenith carburetor. There is a four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel Servo-Assisted drum brakes.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
The Silver Wraith, launched in 1947, was an evolution of the pre-war Wraith and was offered in the traditional chassis form ready for the fitting of Bespoke coachwork. The 4,257cc overhead-inlet, side-exhaust engine developed before the war was used, as well as a modified coil and wishbone independent front suspension. Hydraulic brakes were used for the first time on a Rolls-Royce with hydraulic brakes.

The Silver Wraith was constantly refined during its production. The engine was replaced with the 'big bore' 4,566cc in 1951 and automatic transmission was offered as an option in 1952.

Once again the press raved about the car. 'All the world knows that Rolls-Royce carry on an unremitting search for engineering perfection in everything they undertake. The qualities which made their aircraft engines famous, and their cars the finest procurable, are the result of hard work scientifically conducted, and of a painstaking attention to detail from the large to the most minute. And now a new range of cars is about to appear it is believed that the new cars are the best that Rolls-Royce have ever built.'

1954 Rolls-Royce Silver WraithThe Silver Wraith was described like this: 'In common with all Rolls-Royce cars, the Silver Wraith has an indefinable something about it, a delicacy of behaviour, which escapes definition in written words. it is a car for the connoisseur in cars'.

Source - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
At a time when most of England was suffering post war and didn't have much use for a luxury motorcar, Rolls Royce decided to no longer produce cars in strictly separate series. Instead they would create as many parts of the engine, chassis and gearbox that would be identical for the different makes, and therefore easily interchangeable. The British economy had suffered due to raw materials shortages, prohibitive purchase tax and petrol rationing. The Silver Wraith was the embodiment of the new company philosophy of a reliable car with components that could be easily maintained.

Considered by many to be the most technologically advanced Rolls Royce model in history, the Silver Wraith was an exceptional graceful and elegant automobile. Introduced in 1946 the Silver Wraith was produced at the Crewe factory. The first post-war Rolls-Royce model, the Silver Wraith rode on a 127-inch wheelbase that was based heavily on the pre-war Wraith with coil sprung independent front suspension and semi-elliptic rear with a live axle. Also based on the Wraith, the engine featured a cylinder head with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and an initial capacity of 4,257 cc and 135 horsepower.

The capacity was increased to 4566 cc in 1951, and to 4887 in 1954 on the long-wheelbase models. The Wraith's braking system was a hybrid hydro mechanical system with hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears that utilized the mechanical servo from the pre-war cars, which was patented by Hispano-Suiza and built by Rolls Royce under license. For the first time on a Rolls Royce hydraulic brakes were used.

In 1951 Rolls Royce announced the long, 133-inch wheelbase chassis. A total of 639 of these units were produced until 1969. The final short-wheelbase models were made in 1953. At first only a four-speed manual gearbox was available but in 1952 a General Motors automatic option was added to the list of offerings.

The Silver Wraith was the final Rolls-Royce model that would be delivered in 'chassis only' form with the intent to be bodied by independent coachbuilders. The number of specialist coachbuilders was quickly declining over the years. Many of the Silver Wraith bodies selected used 'formal limousine designs'. The Bentley Mark Vi was offered for customers that wanted to purchase their car with a standard body already fitted. The Silver Wraith differed from the Mark VI in the fact that it wasn't a complete car, merely a rolling chassis. The Silver Wraith outlived the Mark VI and continued to survive until 1959 by undergoing modernizations like automatic gearbox and power assisted steering. The Silver Wraith would be the final Rolls Royce that showed a vast variety of coachwork styles.

The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith has filled many official capacities over the years including the Royal Dutch State Limousine in 1958, the Royal Danish Ceremonial Car 'Store Krone' also in 1958, the Irish Presidential State Car from 1947 until now. Other official uses include the Ceremonial State Car for the Brazilian President in 1952. The

The Silver Wraith had numerous movie cameos over the years including 1968 'The Love Bug', 1975 'The Return of the Pink Panther', 1989 'Batman', 1992 'Batman Returns' and even the recent 2012 film 'The S


By Jessica Donaldson

1954 Rolls-Royce Models

Concepts by Rolls-Royce

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