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Lot 472: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon

Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (10 September 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. First registered in the name of a Rolls-Royce director, this Silver Cloud III was owned in 2001 by actor Richard O'Brien, best known for writing the cult musical comedy 'The Rocky Horror Show', who spent some 30,000 on it during his ownership. In 2002 O'Brien exported the car to New Zealand, where his family had emigrated from the UK in 1951, from whence it returned to this country in 2010. Finished in Royal Blue with cream leather interior, the car is described by the vendor as in generally good condition and offered with sundry restoration invoices, current road fund licence, MoT to 29th September 2011 and Swansea V5 document.

Lot Details
Auction Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England
TypeCar
Lot Number472
Estimate£20000-£25000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1964
Condition rating
Registration numberEYY 164B
Mileage-
Chassis numberSEV487
Engine numberSV243E
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors