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The final Park Ward Silver Seraph
2002 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph Park Ward Long Wheelbase Saloon
Chassis no. SCALD62E82CH19120

Whenever a new Rolls-Royce appears, it is the manner in which tradition is weighed against innovation that most intrigues the public, and there was certainly no lack of new components in the Silver Seraph of 1998; exterior door handles and the occasional switch excepted, nothing was carried over from its predecessor. The most significant break with tradition was, of course, the adoption of BMW engines, the Seraph's power unit being the 5.3-litre, 60-degree V12 of the range-topping 750i, its engine management system appropriately reconfigured for the heavier Rolls-Royce. The ZF five-speed automatic gearbox is likewise sourced from the 750i, and once again its electronics, which control shift points, are re-programmed to suit the different application.

Changes to the body may have seemed less radical, but were no less interesting. While the styling represented a conscious attempt to recall the looks of the Silver Cloud, its method of construction broke new ground for Rolls-Royce in several ways. Part of then parent company Vickers' £200m project investment was spent on new body plant, the Seraph being the first model built on a moving assembly line, and benefiting from the new semi-automated paint facility. The body itself - now fully galvanised - used significantly fewer panels than that of the Silver Spirit and took less time to make, while contriving to be 65 percent stiffer than its predecessor's. Build quality was by all accounts even better than before.

Recent years have seen major automobile manufacturers increasingly turning to outside consultants for assistance in shortening the development time of new models, and this policy was adopted for the Seraph programme. Apart from the BMW engine and ZF gearbox, the Seraph featured suspension conceived by Lotus, Bosch electronics, and design and engineering input from Mayflower, Hawtal Whiting, MSX, and Randle Engineering Solutions.

Quoted in Car magazine, project director Tony Gott said, 'For the first time, this is a Rolls-Royce that genuinely offers the owner the choice of driving or being driven, because it is a car one would really enjoy driving. The variable suspension, the adaptive transmission and the electronic throttle have enabled us to build two characters into the car.'

Premiered at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show and introduced for the 2001 model year, the extended-wheelbase version of the Silver Seraph took its name from Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder, Park Ward, which had been wholly owned since 1939. The Park Ward had 10" (250mm) added between its front and rear doors, increasing the legroom for passengers. The Silver Seraph ceased production in 2002 when manufacture of all Rolls-Royce motor car ended at the historic Crewe factory, by which time only with a total of 127 of the LWB Park Ward variant had been produced.

The last of its type made before production of all Rolls-Royce motor cars ceased at the historic Crewe factory, this Silver Seraph Park Ward comes with its factory specification sheet listing the following non-standard features:

*Union Jack wing badges
*Hide coloured (Nautic Blue) top roll de-mister ducts
*Under bonnet showcar package-to level 'A' standard
*Photographic record of build in special hide cover with certificate of authenticity
*Locking plate with key for silver SoE
*Special tread plates to say car is the last Park Ward wording as follows: The final Rolls-Royce Park Ward chassis 19120 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Crewe, England 1946 - 2002
*Front number plates to be supplied loose
*Solid silver (hallmarked) Spirit of Ecstasy mascot to radiator shell
*Rosewood veneered door panels
*Standard R-R stainless steel transfer to radio flap
*Stainless text overlay on the radio flap underneath the R-R - wording as follows: The final Rolls-Royce Park Ward chassis 19120
*Contrast piping to seat edge profile in Nautic Blue
*2 cushions with contrast edge piping and embroidered R-R motifs (Nautic Blue)
*Bottle cooler to rear armrest.
*Hide coloured (barley) rear view mirror.
*Voice activated telephone system - English language.
*Rosewood veneer insert to steering wheel
*Rosewood veneer seat switch surround
*Slim division and 'waterfall console' (as Tokyo Park Ward)
*Cocktail requisites to waterfall console (2x champagne flutes stored vertically inverted, 1x decanter and 2x spirit glasses stored on base
*Rear and side curtains - outside to match paint, inside to match main hide.
*Rosewood burr veneer with cabinet cherry waist rails and straight-grain cherry crossbanding
*Black boxwood inlay in lieu of standard boxwood inlay
*Detailed spirit of ecstasy marquetry to waist rails (handed) in boxwood
*Small back light
*2 tone paint - upper Silver Ghost, lower Silver Tempest
*Main hide, headlining, sun visors, rear parcel shelf, centre console, door kick pad binding, carpet binding and under-dash trimmed in barley hide
*Embroidered emblems to headrests in Nautic Blue
*Front number plates to be supplied loose
*Contrast piping to seat edge

Currently in the process of having a registration number allocated by the DVLA, this historic Rolls-Royce is offered for sale having been stored at the factory from new. The car has recently been MoT'd and is in running condition; nevertheless, we would recommend servicing as appropriate following its period of inactivity.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department