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Lot 203: Rolls-Royce Silver Coud III

Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Pre-war Motor Cars, Bonhams (13 June 2009)

Facing increasing competition from faster rivals and with development of its ageing six-cylinder engine nearing its end, 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 aluminium-alloy V8 engine. Although wider and shorter than the 'six' it replaced, the new power unit fitted relatively easily within the engine bay, relocation 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. Launched in 1962, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and its Bentley S3 equivalent employed the 6.2-litre V8 engine introduced on the 'Cloud II/S2 - though with larger carburettors, new distributor and raised compression ratio - and came with a four-speed GM-derived automatic transmission as standard equipment. Most obvious among many changes from the preceding models was the adoption of four-headlamp lighting, the absence of sidelights from the wing tops, and a slightly lower radiator shell. Inside there was improved accommodation with separate front seats and increased room for rear passengers. Notable as the last mainstream Rolls-Royce to employ a separate chassis, the Silver Cloud III proved immensely successful both at home and abroad, remaining in production until the autumn of 1965. An original UK car, first registered 'RRY 1', this right-hand drive Silver Cloud III was later exported to the USA. It returned to this country some 18-20 years ago and has been in barn storage ever since. Offered for restoration, the car has been started and we are advised that it runs and stops. The engine is believed to have been overhauled in the USA, the brakes also, but there are no receipts for the work. Copies of the original factory build sheets accompany the car, which is sold strictly as viewed. No reserve.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Pre-war Motor Cars
Bonhams, Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire
Lot Number203
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£2800
Hammer Price (inc premium)£3220
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberSCX405
Engine numberSX202C
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors