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Lot 409: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Standard Steel Saloon

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

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. Although wider and shorter than the 'six' it replaced, the new power unit fitted relatively easily within the engine bay, re-location of the steering box from inside to outside of the chassis frame being the most obvious alteration to the previous arrangements. Externally the new models appeared virtually unchanged, while beneath the skin Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission was now the only one on offer and power steering was standardized. Immensely successful both at home and abroad, the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 remained in production until the autumn of 1962.

Sam purchased his Silver Cloud II in 2005. Resplendent in striking silver metallic with gray leather, the early history of this car is unknown. The right-hand drive configuration belies that it was not originally delivered to the US, but it has been in California since the early 1980s when the keeper from whom Sam acquired the car brought the car across the Pond. It is certainly a welcome resident, however, with a 'Golde' retractable sunroof to let in the warm California sun and plenty of style and posh.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCar
Lot Number409
Estimate$15000-$20000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$31000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$36270
Year1960
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberSRA311
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors