Lot 611: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III
To many connoisseurs the Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars of the Fifties and early Sixties were the last cars displaying the traditional craftsmanship for which Rolls-Royce had become world-famous. Their separate chassis allowed an uncommon elegance of coachwork design, either by the Crewe factory itself or by independent coachbuilders such as H J Mulliner, Park Ward and James Young; the unitary construction of body and chassis of all subsequent models all but ended such a traditional association. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S series, announced in April 1955, employed such a chassis, to which was mounted Standard Steel coachwork. Incorporating coil spring/wishbone front suspension with semi-elliptic rear springs and a single radius arm to locate the live rear axle, it also featured centralised lubrication and all round drum brakes. Power was provided by the 4,887cc straight six engine of the Bentley R Type Continental producing an estimated 158bhp; notably for the first time Rolls-Royce and Bentley models shared the same state of tune which, via the four-speed automatic transmission, allowed a top speed of 100mph. The evolution Silver Cloud II and S2 models of 1959 used Rolls' new light alloy V8 engine but otherwise differed from their predecessors only in having a long life chassis lubrication system, standard power steering, increased front braking effort, a reduction in rear roll stiffness, a new ventilation system and a revised facia. With a capacity of 6,230cc the V8 was also notably lighter and produced around 200bhp. For the Silver Cloud III/S3 models introduced in October 1962, quickly distinguishable by four headlamps, the specification remained unchanged bar another increase of around 20bhp which lifted top speed to 115mph. With just 59,000km recorded from new as witnessed by an assortment of bills and invoices dating back over the preceding decades, this well presented example has spent much of its life cosseted in a garage in Switzerland where it was little used, with the last few years spent in the south of France. The interior of the car is good order throughout and is commensurate with the mileage. The blue leather carries a pleasant patina with the walnut showing a well polished grain. All electric windows work well and show no signs of slowing. The exterior 'Squadron Blue' paintwork is in very good overall order and sits well with the car. It has been well maintained without regard to cost and has just benefitted from the fitting of a replacement exhaust. Interested parties should note that the current registration is being retained by the vendor and a new, age-related, number plate will be issued.
Concours & Auction Weekend|
Coys, Blenheim Palace
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