1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud IIIDrophead Coupe
Year of manufacture1965
- A sophisticated, striking, and rare coachbuilt Silver Cloud III
- One of 52 left-hand drive examples
- Dawn Blue over Buff leather interior; dark blue convertible top with Buff top boot
- Retains its original numbers-matching engine
- Accompanied by copies of original build sheet and chassis cards
Introduced in October 1962, the typical Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III was elegant, if rather conservative; aside from its distinctive quad headlamps, it very much resembled 1955’s Silver Cloud I. Clients seeking something different could turn to coachbuilders, an option enabled by the model’s body-on-frame construction (notably, this was the last Rolls-Royce to be built in this traditional manner).
Among the most striking and sophisticated of these coachbuilt offerings were the Mulliner-Park Ward Drophead and Fixed-Head Coupes. Credited to Norwegian designer Vilhelm Koren, they were defined by slab sides, with clean lines running from the front toward subtle tailfins. For a final, rakish touch, the model’s quad headlamps were given a distinctive, perhaps Italian-influenced, slant.
While versions of Koren’s design were initially deployed on the Silver Cloud’s Bentley platform-mates, the Rolls-Royce versions are immediately identifiable by the Pantheon Grille—topped, naturally, by the Spirit of Ecstasy. Though the Silver Cloud series boasted high production numbers (at least by Rolls-Royce standards), these variants remained exclusive: Just 101 are believed to have been built in this body style, with only 52 configured in left-hand drive.
This 1965 Drophead Coupe is one such car. As indicated by copies of its original build sheets and chassis cards, it was constructed to United States specifications; further equipment included power side windows, a power-operated convertible top, a Hirschmann electric antenna for its Blaupunkt “New Yorker” radio, Sundym window glass, and Dunlop whitewall tires. Power was supplied, smoothly, by a 6.2-liter V-8 paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Dispatched to the coachbuilder on 20 September 1965, it was ultimately delivered to its first owner, Curt R. Strand of Beverly Hills, California on 20 December via the nearby Charles H. Hornburg, Jr. Motor Cars.
Having been restored to its original specification and carefully maintained subsequently, the car appears today much as it must have when Mr. Strand took delivery: its dramatic, correct Dawn Blue exterior with blue convertible top pairs nicely with a Buff leather interior. A spare and tool kit are tucked away in the trunk, while a top boot, also in Buff leather, conceals the stowed top on sunny-day drives. Fittingly, it still rides on wide whitewall tires.
Distinctive, rare, and elegant, this 1965 Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe by Mulliner-Park Ward stands apart even among other Rolls-Royces; it is a particularly compelling member of an already distinguished set, equally suited to exhibition and long, luxurious drives in inimitable style.
Please note that the correct engine number is C17CS, which is this car's original engine according to the build sheet.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.