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Lot 272: 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Flying Spur Saloon

Les Grandes Marques a Monaco, Bonhams (16 May 2005)

This left-hand drive Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III features the elegant H J Mulliner-designed ‘Flying Spur’ four-door coachwork which debuted on the Bentley Continental in 1957 and became available on a Rolls-Royce chassis for the first time shortly after the introduction of the Silver Cloud III in 1962. Virtually all Flying Spur coachwork was, however, built on the Bentley Continental chassis and only a handful - estimated at between 15 and 20 - were made for the Rolls-Royce chassis. The arrival of the unitary-construction Silver Shadow in 1965 signalled the end of the true coachbuilt Rolls-Royce, making these exclusive, hand-built, last-of-the-line Silver Clouds all the more desirable.

Rolls-Royce had envisaged the Bentley Continental as exclusively a two-door car, but late in 1957 the decision was taken to sanction the production of a four-door variation by H J Mulliner. Introduced on the S1 Continental and known as the ‘Flying Spur’, this design was a collaborative effort by Rolls-Royce’s in-house styling department and HJM, and bore a strong resemblance both to the two-door Continental and to existing coachbuilt four-door styles on Rolls-Royce and (non-Continental) Bentley chassis. To the Continental’s existing qualities of pace and elegance, the Flying Spur added four-door practicality, a more spacious interior and generously proportioned boot.

The Flying Spur body style continued on the V8-engined S2 Continental and was revised to incorporate the S3’s four-headlamp front end following the latter’s introduction in 1962. Owner of Park Ward since 1939, Rolls-Royce had taken over H J Mulliner in 1959, and by the time chassis number ‘LSEV119’ was completed in 1964, the pair had been merged as H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd, thus securing the future of Britain’s two largest surviving coachbuilders.

One of only nine left-hand drive Silver Cloud III Flying Spurs built, chassis number ‘LSEV119’ was displayed at the 1963 London Motor Show at Olympia and sold new in Beverly Hills, California, USA to first owner Mrs Katherine Williams, who kept the car until it was purchased by the present (second) owner in 2000. While in the current ownership the car has undergone a total, no-expense-spared restoration to ‘Pebble Beach’ concours standard, the bodywork being restored by a specialist in Turin (at a cost of €100,000 alone) and the mechanics by Rolls-Royce in Monaco. Finished in silver with red leather interior, the latter equipped with electric windows and air conditioning, the vehicle presented in faultless, mint condition in every department. Monaco titled, the car is offered with original documentation including warranty, owner’s manual and instruction book for the Blaupunkt radio. Also included in the sale is a service history with Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills Ltd relating to Mrs Williams’ ownership between 1964 and 2000, all invoices relating to its subsequent restoration together with a CD-ROM of images recording the process in detail and even the period L.A. road maps! A truly magnificent and unique automobile, worthy of the closest inspection.

Un des seulement neuf exemplaires conduite à gauche Silver Cloud III Flying Spur construites, châssis no. ‘LSEV119’ fut présenté en 1963 au Salon d’Olympia à Londres et fut vendu neuf à Beverly Hills – Californie, USA – à sa première propriétaire, Madame Katherine Williams, qui l’entretenait de manière scrupuleuse chez le concessionnaire Rolls-Royce local. Elle la conserva jusqu’en 2000, date à laquelle le propriétaire actuel la racheta par l’intermédiare d’un courtier et la ramena en Europe. La voiture bénéficia alors d’une restauration totale, sans limite budgétaire, pour arriver au niveau des plus belles stars de Pebble Beach. La carrosserie a été restaurée par un spécialiste à Turin, totalisant pour ce seul travail près de €100’000, et la mécanique a été exécutée par Rolls-Royce Monaco.

Présentée en gris argent avec un sublime intérieur cuir et double moquettes rouge, elle est équipée des quatre vitres électriques et de l’air conditionné, qui bien entendu fonctionnent, ainsi que d’une radio Blaupunkt d’origine et de son livret d’utilisation d’époque. Le futur propriétaire se verra remettre le titre de circulation monégasque, le papier de garantie d’origine Rolls-Royce, l’authentique manuel de l’utilisateur, la quasi totalité des factures d’entretien depuis 1964, exécuté par Madame Williams chez Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills Ltd et toutes les factures de restauration ainsi qu’un CD Rom présentant les photos des étapes de la restauration depuis la mise à nu du châssis. Vraiment une magnifique automobile qui sera même offerte avec ses authentiques cartes de Los Angeles d’époque.

Lot Details
Auction Les Grandes Marques a Monaco
Bonhams, Monaco, Monte Carlo
TypeCar
Lot Number272
Estimate€200000-€220000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1963
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberLSEV119
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors