Lot 285: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupé
To many aficionados, the range of cars produced by Rolls-Royce and Bentley through the fifties and sixties were the last of an era in traditional luxury motorcar manufacture for which the marques were made famous. The separate chassis allowed in-house designers to pen the most elegant of designs, while outside coachbuilders such as H J Mulliner, Park Ward and James Young were able to demonstrate their own interpretations of luxury and sporting style. Announced in 1955, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S series utilized the separate chassis technology, and were clothed in Standard Steel coachwork. Powered by the 4.9-liter 6-cylinder engine of the Bentley R Type Continental producing an estimated 158bhp, the car was capable of approximately 100mph. The transmission was a four-speed automatic. Brakes were servo-assisted hydraulic drums and suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear. For the series II cars, introduced in 1959, little changed externally, but beneath the hood resided a new light alloy 6.2-liter V8 engine, capable of over 110mph with far greater torque. Better braking system and standard power steering joined the revised fascia in the short list of revisions. In the fall of 1962, the Silver Cloud III and S3 were introduced, easily distinguishable by the four headlamp arrangement. Variants of the Continental were penned by several coachbuilders, but by far the most unique designs came from Rolls-Royce's in-house H J Mulliner, Park Ward: four headlamps styled in a slanted fashion, thereby coining the epithet 'Chinese Eye'. The example offered here in the most elegant of color combinations: black exterior over tan leather, highlighted by black piping and burr walnut accents, and has enjoyed a place in Reggie Jackson's collection for several years. A late production 1966 car, with the option of air conditioning, it has recently been fitted with new canvas top, and comes with a complete set of tools and original jack. This exquisite Continental Grand Tourer is described as in excellent mechanical condition. Having graced several fine collections in the past, this fabulous automobile offers the new owner a last truly coachbuilt car that can be enjoyed as it was over 40 years ago on the sweeping sun-drenched roads of Continental Europe.
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Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail, Carmel, Calaifornia, U.S.A.
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