1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud ISilver Wraith Touring Limousine
Year of manufacture1953
- Said to have chauffeured the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their tour of Canada in 1957
- Wears a Royal Tour commemorative brass plaque on the glovebox door
- Clothed in opulent touring limousine coachwork by H.J. Mulliner
- Furnished with luxury appointments of a power glass divider window, footrests, and folding tray tables
- Powered by a 4.6-liter inline six-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission
Following World War II, the United Kingdom and its people were suffering. Extensive bombing had reduced much of their infrastructure to ruin and rationing of everything from gasoline to raw materials placed an especially difficult burden on the British automotive industry. In keeping with this national mood of austerity, Rolls-Royce was forced to retool its opulent pre-war models.
Debuting in late 1946 as the marque’s first post-war offering, the Silver Wraith utilized many of the products developed during the company’s war effort. The new car rode on a relatively short 127-inch wheelbase developed from the pre-war Wraith. While similar in design, the new chassis was significantly strengthened to support the coil-spring independent front suspension and live axle with semi-elliptical springs at the rear. As post-war austerity waned, the chassis was eventually increased to 133-inches in 1952.
Powering the new car was the B60 inline six-cylinder engine developed during World War II to power troop carriers and light tanks. The overhead-valve gear arrangement was replaced with an aluminum “F-head” layout with larger valves and water jacketing around the valve seats. Final displacement came in at 4.3 liters, eventually expanding to 4.6 and then 4.9 liters by the end of production.
Finished in a deep shade of dark green over gray leather upholstery, this Silver Wraith is said to have been used to chauffer Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their tour of Canada in 1957. A brass plaque commemorating its royal use is mounted on the dash. The car wears touring limousine coachwork by H.J. Mulliner and is well-appointed with a power window divider, footrests, and folding tray tables. An assortment of workshop manuals and factory tools accompany the sale.
Originally delivered to the United Kingdom, the car was brought to Canada by its first owner in the mid-1950s. It would stay there under the care of six documented owners before being imported to the United States in 2008. The car has remained under the care of its seventh and current owner for over 12 years. A recent refresh, including flushing of the fuel system and an electrical checkup, was performed in July 2022.
Nicely preserved and well-documented, this handsomely appointed Rolls-Royce offers its next caretaker the rare opportunity to experience royal treatment for themselves.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf22.