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Lot 375: Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

Rolls-Royce's first post-war model, the Silver Wraith employed a chassis similar to that of the MkVI Bentley, though with a 7" longer wheelbase. The Wraith however, was only offered with traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the MkVI's pioneering 'standard steel' bodywork. Powering Rolls-Royce's post-war range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine of cast-iron, monobloc construction with aluminium cylinder head featuring overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. A four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was standard initially, an automatic option (for export models only at first) not becoming available until 1952, at which time the engine was enlarged to 4,566cc and a long-wheelbase version introduced. Production ceased in 1959, by which time 1,780 chassis had been completed. The last word in motoring luxury in its day, this automatic-transmission Silver Wraith on the long-wheelbase chassis was completed with formal limousine coachwork by Freestone & Webb of North London, one of the finest of all British coachbuilders and a firm associated with quality marques from its earliest days, particularly Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. This Rolls-Royce must be one of the last cars that they bodied, for the company was taken over by H R Owen in 1955 and ceased coachbuilding the following year. Carrying its original registration ('CCC 500') the car was purchased in 1989 by the current vendor, who commenced its full restoration to concours standard a couple of years later. Work carried out includes overhauling the chassis and suspension; aluminium bodywork bead-blasted to bare metal and repaired; ash framing repairs to door pillars, etc; engine restoration; gearbox reconditioned; differential and rear axle overhauled; new stainless steel exhaust system; reconditioned dynamo, starter motor and radiator; new headlights; all brightwork re-chromed; all interior woodwork refinished to an exceptional standard; front and rear seats re-trimmed; new windscreen, etc, etc. We are advised that the headlining and carpets need replacing and that the electrical system has yet to be re-commissioned. The 1989 bill of sale is on file and the vendor has found a couple of old MoTs and some invoices for work carried out during 1991, 1992 and 1993, but not all of them. It is estimated that some �60,000-�80,000 has been spent to date. Offered with Swansea V5, 'CCC 500' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a Freestone & Webb-bodied Silver Wraith with all of the hard work completed.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number375
Estimate£20000-£30000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1955
Condition rating2
Registration numberCCC 500
Mileage-
Chassis numberDLW83
Engine numberL82D
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors