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Lot 235: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupé

The Monaco Sale, Bonhams (11 May 2012)

The size and grandeur of the car... deceive one about the performance which would do justice to many a car of more sporting pretensions. The finish, both in detail and the broader sense of equipment and trim, is superb.' - Motor magazine on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. 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. As well as the factory-bodied cars, bespoke creations from James Young and the recently merged firm of H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd (by this time Rolls-Royce-owned) continued to be available on the 'Cloud III chassis for those discerning enthusiasts wealthy enough to afford them. Indeed, as the factory did not offer a convertible or drophead coupé, a coachbuilt car was the only option if one's preference was Rolls-Royce-style fresh air motoring. First introduced in 1958, H J Mulliner's was the most successful of its type, lasting into 1963; more modern 'straight-through wing' designs became the preferred style thereafter. Of the latter, by far the most striking were those bodied in a style originated by Park Ward. This design by Norwegian Vilhelm Koren, with its influential continuous front-to-rear wing line, first appeared on the Bentley S2 Continental in 1959 but did not become available on non-Continental models (both Bentley and Rolls-Royce) until after the arrival of the Silver Cloud III and S3 in 1962. These 'Chinese Eye' models - so called because of their slanting headlamp nacelles - constituted the majority of coachbuilt variants completed between 1962 and 1966. An original left-hand drive model, this 'Chinese Eye' Silver Cloud III was ordered for use in the USA and first owned there by Mr Kenneth T Gordon of Essex Falls, New Jersey. Special features specified include a power-operated hood, electric windows, Radiomobile electric aerial, plain Sundym glass, 'Made in England' nameplate, windtone horns, Firestone whitewall tyres and the heavy gauge frame. The car comes with its factory 'History Book' containing copies of the specification, build and maintenance documents. Restored ten years ago, the Silver Cloud has been in the current owner's possession since that time and is now equipped with air conditioning. Offered with French Carte Grise, the car currently displays a total of some 80,000-plus kilometres on the odometer and is described as in generally very good condition indeed. Desirable and rare in this colour combination, we recommend close inspection of this beautiful Rolls-Royce convertible.

Lot Details
Auction The Monaco Sale
Bonhams, Monaco
TypeCar
Lot Number235
Estimate€125000-€165000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1965
Condition rating2
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberLCSC53B
Engine numberXB26CS
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2