1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud IIISaloon Coupé
Year of manufacture1965
- Inarguably among the most attractive Silver Cloud III designs
- One of only six examples produced in this style
- Longtime veteran of many Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club (RREC) rallies
- Well-preserved older cosmetic restoration in its original livery
- Accompanied by build, ownership, and historical documentation
By the late 1960s, the era of true custom coachbuilding had faded worldwide, with nearly all the famous names of old having vanished into history. James Young of Bromley, Kent, England, survived, for the time, working exclusively on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis. The majority of James Young’s final work from this era was on the Phantom V, but the firm continued to produce highly sporting and distinctive designs, all their own, for the Silver Cloud III as well. This included the Saloon Coupé, design number SCV150, on the standard-wheelbase chassis.
Two-door closed bodies were an uncommon coachbuilt choice by this period, and many, even those created by James Young’s talented team, lacked a certain grace. Fortunately, this was not true for SCV150, which was magnificently proportioned with a subtle fenderline, reminiscent of Park Ward’s brilliant work on the earlier Bentley S1 Continental, and an airy “notchback” greenhouse that seemed to be suspended in air by very thin window pillars. It was truly one of the most beautiful British automobiles of the period—and it is a shame, then, that only six were produced.
The example offered here, right-hand drive chassis number CSC31B, was supplied to James Young with engine number B15CS, still present today; the frame was originally to be delivered as a Bentley S3 Continental but was changed to a Silver Cloud III at the last moment. Coachwork was completed to the order of Jack Barclay on behalf of their client Melville Thompson, Esq., of The Stone House in Portavoe, Donaghadee, in County Down, Northern Ireland. Mr. Thompson’s final specification was that the car be finished in Brewster Green with Beige hides, radio with electric aerial, and folding tables to the rear of the front seats; an automatic transmission was fitted, as were power steering and power windows. A remarkable testament to old-fashioned craftsmanship, the body took James Young over 2,632 hours to build!
Chassis number CSC31B is believed to have remained in Mr. Thompson’s ownership until 1977. In January 1978 it was acquired by J.K. Leander of London, from whom it was registered “NWC199C,” next passing in May 1980 to Amir Parviz of London. Finally, in January 1981, the Rolls-Royce was purchased by the well-known collector and historian, Derek Harris, who kept it for 24 years.
Mr. Harris maintained chassis number CSC31B meticulously, having it stripped and refinished to its original livery in 1984; the interior was refinished by former James Young employee Roy Creech in the winter of 1997. In the midst of this work the car was still an award-winner on both sides of the Atlantic, in both Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club competition, including Best Post War Car at the RREC meeting at Deauville in 1993. It also participated in numerous RREC rallies throughout Europe. In 2002 the car was outfitted with air conditioning, and in 2004 it was reunited with its original Northern Ireland registration, which remains in place today.
Now well-mellowed but still highly attractive, this extraordinarily rare car has been part of the present collection since 2007, and it has continued to be well-looked-after. It is accompanied by copies of the build and delivery documents from both Rolls-Royce and James Young, along with coachbuilder’s maintenance instructions, a detailed ownership history, and a FIVA Identity Card.
Chassis number CSC31B is in the first rank of Silver Cloud IIIs—a true picture of coachbuilt elegance, with extremely well-known history that should be satisfying to even the most fanatical custodian.
‘Please note this lot is not currently registered by the original Northern Irish registration number. A copy of the current Swiss Carte Grise is available for viewing within the History File.’
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/ns21.