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Lot 477: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 6.2-liter aluminum V-8 * 4-speed automatic transmission * One of 54 Silver Cloud III's wearing 'Flying Spur' bodywork * Comprehensively restored by marque specialists in 2010 * Prize winning show car Facing increasing competition from faster rivals and with development of its aging 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 aluminum-alloy V8 engine. In 1962, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and its Bentley S3 equivalent debuted, employing the 6.2-liter V8 engine introduced on the 'Cloud II/S2 - though with larger carburetors, 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 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 very special Silver Cloud III was delivered on December 15, 1964 to K. Bates, Esq. of the Howarth Construction Co., Ltd in Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom. Delivered in a combination of Regal Red with beige hide upholstery, the same scheme the it wears today, 'SHS 341C' was fitted with such options as a Hirschmann electric aerial, power windows, and luggage straps. More significantly, rather than being clothed in standard factory Standard Steel coachwork, this chassis received coachwork to Mulliner Park Ward's body design number 2042a style often referred to as the 'Flying Spur'. While the build sheet lists 'Park Ward, Ltd.' as the coachbuilder, Bernard King in his book The Flying Spur notes that all 'Flying Spur' bodies were produced by H.J. Mulliner & Co. Ltd., a point that is slightly confused by the merger of H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward into 'H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Ltd.' in 1961. In total, 54 (52 in the '6-light' configuration featured on this car) Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud IIIs were ordered with the unique 'Flying Spur' body, but unlike on their Bentley S1, S2, and S3 cousins, the body style was never referred to as such when fitted with the RR radiator. This sporting design found favor with Rolls-Royce's changing clientele, shifting as it was from traditional landowners and industrialists to more flamboyant stars of film and stage. After Mr Bates, Esq. sold the Rolls-Royce, it passed through four subsequent owners before turning up in the collection of Phillip Brooks of Alexandria, Virginia in 1991. It was in Mr Brooks' care for the next 20 years, during which time it was filmed for a feature in a 2003 episode of the TV show Great Cars, before ending up with the vendor in 2001. Upon taking possession of the car, a thorough and detailed restoration was begun. Marque specialist Jim Henry completed the cosmetic work on the car, including a repaint in its original color scheme and refurbishing the interior wood, while Doug Seibert, another well-respected Rolls-Royce guru, completed the mechanical refurbishment. Emerging from restoration in 2010, it was shown at a number of local Concours d'Elegance, taking numerous first place finishes. More than five times as many Bentleys Continental Flying Spurs were built than Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud IIIs with similar coachwork. One of the few Rolls built with sporting pretensions, it remains in very good condition, starting and running smoothly during a recent inspection by a Bonhams' specialist. One of the last coachbuilt Rolls-Royces (the Cloud III's replacement, the Silver Shadow, had a monocoque chassis that made custom coachwork prohibitively expensive), it will undoubtedly turn heads no matter where it is taken.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
Lot Number477
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$106000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$121600
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberSHS341C
Engine numberSS170H
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4