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Lot 221: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (5 March 2011)

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. Delivered on 27th July 1965, this restored Silver Cloud III incorporates many original special features including air conditioning, electric aerial, cold weather shields to the door locks, and a five-gallon auxiliary fuel tank for long-distance touring. The car is supplied with an extensive service history dating back to 1984 and recently was treated to a major service that included overhauling the carburettors, brakes and brake servo. Attractively finished in Tudor Grey with tan leather interior, this late 'Cloud III comes with both large and small tools (the latter in the boot tray) and is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to March 2012 and Swansea V5 document. A believed-correct total of 118,000 miles is currently displayed on the odometer.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Oxford, England
Lot Number221
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£20500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£23575
Condition rating2
Registration numberEYT 638C
Chassis numberSKP269
Engine numberSP134K
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4