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Lot 419: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon

Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (19 June 2010)

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.

This Silver Cloud III was chauffeur driven while in the ownership of five different companies from new until 1975 before passing into the private ownership of one Harry Vincent, of Yorkshire in April that year. The car was next owned by Mrs Diana Hunting, of Nottingham (from March 1977) and acquired from her in January 2001 by the present owner, an RREC member. Restored in 1983, it has been kept garaged and in good running order, and regularly maintained using genuine Rolls-Royce replacement parts. In 2001 it was repainted in the current black over silver livery while only recently the water pump was replaced and the bumpers re-chromed. Currently registered 'ZV 582' in the Republic of Ireland, the car has covered circa 120,000 miles from new and is offered with service history, Irish registration document and UK Swansea V5. An immobiliser is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
Lot Number419
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£19000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£21850
Condition rating0
Registration numberZV 582
Chassis numberSAZ41
Engine numberSZ20A
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors