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Rolls-Royce Cars of the 1950s to 1960s

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I and II Drop head Coupe by H.J.

1955 saw the introduction of the Silver Cloud. Capable of a top speed of 106 mph, it featured the same 4,887cc engine as the Dawn and a completely new and handsome standard steel body, which was designed by J.P. Blatchley.

The end of the decade saw Phantom V replace the Phantom IV. Powered by a V8 engine and featuring a coach-built body, it sold significantly greater numbers than its predecessor.


Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I and II Standard Saloon

In 1959, Rolls-Royce introduced the Silver Cloud II, the successor to the original Silver Cloud, which first appeared in 1955. Although similar in appearance, the most noticeable difference between the two cars was the introduction of a new 6.23-litre V-8 engine, replacing the inline six-cylinder unit of the Silver Cloud I. Available from late 1959, the Silver Cloud II continued through early 1962, when the Silver Cloud III succeeded it.

The new V-8 engine was a sophisticated design, and the Silver Cloud II was tremendously successful, particularly in the United States during the 1960s. Examples of the Silver Cloud II destined for America included many standard features, among them the smooth-shifting Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission, power brakes, power-assisted steering, a radio, whitewall tyres and environmental controls including heat, defrost and updated ventilation systems.

Few changes were made to the highly regarded standard steel layout of the Silver Cloud I, with four-door sedans in both short- and long-wheelbase models. Body styles also included the four-door limousine by James Young, the Radford four-door Countryman and the Drophead Coupé by H.J. Mulliner. Total production for all variants was quite low, with only 2,717 Silver Cloud II chassis produced, of which the vast majority used the short 123-inch wheelbase. Of those, H.J. Mulliner fitted only 107 examples with Drophead Coupé bodywork. As a result, every example was a truly bespoke representation of its individual owner's tastes and exacting requirements.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I and II Standard Long Wheel Base Saloon

1960'a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Standard Saloon

  • Silver Cloud II - Production 1955-1958
  • Silver Cloud II - Production 1959-1962
  • Silver Cloud III - Production 1963-1966

Rolls-Royce Phantom IV Landaulette

A total of 16 State Landaulettes have been built since the body style was interoduced in 1965. five on Phantom V chassis and 11 on the Phantom VI chassis

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine by Park Ward

The Phantom VI was an ultra-exclusive Rolls-Royce model made from 1968-1990. 374 produced

Rolls-Royce Phantom V Saloon by James Young

In 1959 the latest Phantom V was introduced to replace the Silver Wraith. The Phantom V provided a long-wheelbase chassis for specialized coachwork which incorporated chassis features and the powerful V8 engine of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. The Z-bar location of the Silver Cloud back axle was replaced by a single radius rod on the Phantom V and the rear axle was mounted asymmetrically on the springs.

With the launching of the Phantom V, Rolls-Royce was offering a vehicle of the highest class, but not reserved solely for dignitaries, royalty and heads of state. Here was a Rolls-Royce for those successful in business and finance who were looking for an exceptional car providing convenience, incredible comfort and plenty of room. Although the first orders were placed by the royal court and dignitaries, the bulk of inquiries originated in industry or from private individuals.

Rolls-Royce assumed there would be many Phantom V orders for custom coachwork, but the cost and the fact so few firms now existed resulted in very few examples being ordered. James Young & Co. Ltd. of Bromley, Kent dated back to 1863 when James Young bought an existing carriage maker. Known for its quality-built, lightweight carriages, Young built its first car body in 1908. Business expanded over the decades and James Young bodies were fitted to Bentley, Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Alfa-Romeo, Isotta-Fraschini and of course Rolls-Royce chassis. Rolls-Royce dealer Jack Barclay purchased the firm in 1937. James Young coachbuilt bodies were offered until 1967, but the firm continued on to do body refinishing work.

James Young bodies designed for the Phantom V were known for prominent rear body lines. Of the bodies built, James Young was most praised for its stylish fastback coachwork.

The Rolls-Royce presented here features an older restoration that been meticulously preserved and as a result, the Phantom V remains in exquisite condition. Painted in a stunning Garnet and Silver Sand the paint scheme accentuates the fastback’s smooth, flowing lines. Whereas some Rolls-Royce and other luxury models of this period are covered in gaudy chrome, this stylish example wears its brightwork like jewelry.

Inside, the tan leather interior is tasteful, with deep maroon piping and the rich French walnut wood trim. The cushioned leather seating remains comfortable and inviting. Beautifully appointed with luxurious rear passenger cabinetry, plush maroon wool carpets and supple leather panels, this air conditioned environment provides a ride suitable for royalty. In fact, in 1960 a Phantom V was built for none other than Queen Elizabeth.

Under the hood the powerful V8 engine was restored, painted and detailed and has been well-maintained, as have all the other mechanicals.

Total production of the Rolls-Royce Phantom V lasted from 1959 to 1968 over which time just 832 of these hand-built luxury cars were built. This handsome limousine with its James Young-crafted fastback coachwork is a wonderful example of a luxury automobile rarely seen today.

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I

Introduced in 1965, the Silver Shadow I was the first Rolls-Royce to feature a monocoque chassis. It had a top speed limited to 118 mph and was capable of producing 220BHP at 4,500 rpm.



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