Lot 633: 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Hearse
Coachwork by Scottish Co-operative Society
Rolls-Royce’s first post-war model, the Silver Wraith debuted in late 1946 and employed a chassis similar to that of the Silver Dawn and MkVI Bentley, though with a 7” longer wheelbase at 10’ 7”. The ’Wraith however, was only intended for traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the MkVI’s pioneering ‘standard steel’ bodywork. Powering Rolls-Royce’s post-war range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine of cast-iron, monobloc construction with aluminium cylinder head featuring overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. A four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was standard initially, an automatic option (for export models only at first) not becoming available until 1952, at which time the engine was enlarged to 4,566cc and a long-wheelbase version introduced. Manufacture of the short-wheelbase ’Wraith ceased in 1952, by which time 1,144 chassis had been completed.
This standard-wheelbase, right-hand drive Silver Wraith Hearse was sold new in 1950 for bodying as a hearse by the Scottish Co-operative Society, which was Rolls-Royce’s biggest customer at that time. The vehicle was used as a motor hearse in Glasgow before being sold to Yorkshire where it was used by Yorkshire Television in the first episode of the ever-popular Emmerdale (Farm) ‘soap’ broadcast on the 25th June 1972. Subsequently the hearse was shipped to America where it was used by an antique furniture company for deliveries of their products. In the latter role it was finished in bright yellow livery and bore the name ‘Lady Margaritta’. The ’Wraith was shipped back to the UK in 2001 and then underwent a full restoration at Cocherane’s, of Durham, re-emerging in 2005 as the beautiful hearse it is today. We understand that the engine was overhauled and is in good running order, and that the vehicle has been used regularly. Presented in very good condition throughout, ‘JGA 135’ is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to October 2008 and Swansea V5 registration document.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
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|Registration number||JGA 135|
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