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Lot 354: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

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 purchased in 1987 from Balmoral Automobiles by one Phil Brentwood and shipped to the USA where it is believed to have been restored circa 1989/90 at a cost of $36,000. Described as in generally good condition, the car has not been used for the past year following the death of the owner, who acquired it in 1994. Accompanying documentation consists of a Swansea V5 document, numerous bills for maintenance/servicing in the USA and a quantity of invoices and expired MoTs dating back to the 1980s.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number354
Estimate£25000-£30000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£21000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£24150
Year1963
Condition rating3
Registration number874 HYP
Mileage-
Chassis numberSEV257
Engine numberSV128E
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors