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Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe - Auction 10/3 For Sale by Auction (1966)Chassis No.
To be auctioned on
Saturday, March 10, 2012
200 hp, 6,230 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, two SU carburetors, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones, semi-elliptic rear springs with electrically controlled shock absorbers, power-assisted hydraulic front and hydro-mechanical rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 123"
• Fourth from last Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward Drophead coupe, built in 1966
• Documented and photographed $50,000 restoration
• Includes books, tools and records
The Silver Cloud III series was the last of the popular Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S models. The Silver Cloud I and II (and Bentley S1 and S2), 1955-1961, shared the same standard body, but when the SCIII/S3 was introduced in 1962, contemporary trends modified the design.
Most obvious were four headlamps, a lower hood and radiator shell and smaller bumpers. The interior was less pre-WWII in design, with a new padded cap rail above the dash, separate front seats (formerly one bench seat) and more leg room front and back.
The venerable straight six-cylinder engine was replaced with a V-8 with the Silver Cloud II/Bentley S2 launch and continued with the SCIII/S3 cars, albeit with a higher 9:1 compression ratio and two-inch carburetors. This resulted in seven percent more horsepower over the SCII/S2, 0-60 time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 115 mph. Early post-WWII Rolls-Royce enthusiasts generally agree that the SCIII was the finest of the series.
Rolls-Royce produced 2,044 SCIIIs, plus 253 with the long wheelbase. This car, however, is a particularly special example. Chassis number LCSC77C is one of 79 “CSC” (Coachbuilt Silver Cloud) series cars. (It is useful to note that this group is odd-numbered, and number 13 was omitted.)
Beyond its obviously brilliant current condition and 56,405 documented miles, this car represents a milestone in British motor car history. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was introduced in October 1965, but because its monocoque construction and revolutionary suspension systems were so complex, early production was cautious. To maintain a steady flow of cars for market, the company was faced with a unique problem.
They could still build the Cloud chassis and engine but could no longer obtain the standard steel bodies. Therefore, when early Shadow production was delayed, the company turned a perceived negative into a positive by creating an entirely new series of coachbuilt cars built on Cloud chassis.
By 1966, Rolls-Royce had merged its two coachbuilding acquisitions, Park Ward and H.J. Mulliner, into one. The successful mid-’50s Mulliner Park Ward fixed-head coupe saloon was re-designed into a drophead coupe and became an instant success. Production continued with this new car until March 1966, well after the Cloud series officially ceased production in 1965, yet it was produced concurrently with the new Silver Shadow.
Knowledgeable buyers know to check chassis numbers. This rare group’s Coachbuilt Silver Cloud chassis numbers are instantly identifiable by the “CSC” prefix. Since this design is rare and highly desirable, there are a few non-authentic copies in the marketplace. However, this car is an honest one, verifiable through the original factory works records to be supplied to the winning bidder.
As preservation of original collector cars has become increasingly desirable in recent years, an original, beautifully preserved and correctly maintained car such as this has become tremendously attractive. Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud drophead coupes, especially rare ones like this, fall into the perpetually desirable category.
This period-correct, understated, original left-hand drive car was delivered new in 1966 to Los Angeles, fitted with air-conditioning and power steering, brakes, windows and top. It was serviced by Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills and received complete new brakes at 49,000 miles. It is splendidly refinished in its original “Valentine’s Black” lacquer, with black convertible top, black Connolly leather interior and correct blackwall tires. There is even an original fitted cocktail cabinet, and of course it includes all hand- and road-tools, owners’ manual and factory build cards. Without a doubt, this car will bring the winning bidder justifiable pride of ownership.
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