Lot 469: 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Convertible
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner
Introduced early in 1955 as replacements of the aging Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley R-Type, the all-new Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type sported sleeker bodywork on a new box-section chassis incorporating improved brakes and suspension, while enlargement to 4,887cc and the adoption of a six-port cylinder head boosted the output of the dependable inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine. Development of the latter though, was nearing its end and Rolls-Royce turned to V8 power as the 1960s approached.
The V8 was, of course, the predominant power unit in Rolls-Royce�s most important export market - the USA - so it was only natural that the Crewe firm would study the best American designs - principally those of Chrysler and Cadillac - for inspiration. Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their �Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though the duo�s performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminum-alloy V8 engine. Although wider and shorter than the �six� it replaced, the new power unit fitted relatively easily within the engine bay, re-location of the steering box from inside to outside of the chassis frame being the most obvious alteration to the previous arrangements. Externally the new models appeared virtually unchanged, while beneath the skin Rolls-Royce�s own four-speed automatic transmission was now the only one on offer and power steering was standardised.
As well as the factory-bodied cars, bespoke creations from James Young and the soon-to-be-merged firms of H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward Ltd (the latter already owned by Rolls-Royce) continued to be available on the �Cloud II chassis for those discerning enthusiasts wealthy enough to afford them. Indeed, as the factory did not offer a convertible or drophead coup�, a coachbuilt car was the only option if one�s preference was Rolls-Royce-style fresh air motoring. First introduced in 1958, H.J. Mulliner�s was the most successful of its type, lasting into 1963; more modern �straight-through wing� designs became the preferred style thereafter. Immensely successful both at home and abroad, the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 remained in production until the autumn of 1962.
Previously registered �ESK 749� in the UK, this right-hand drive Silver Cloud II Convertible bears the dealer plaque of Rolls-Royce agents Frank Dale & Stepsons. The car is finished in silver over black with dark red upholstery and black hood, and comes complete with spare wheel, jack and pump.
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