1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

Sedanca de Ville


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 


  • One of very few examples produced
  • Absolutely stunning factory bodywork and polychrome color combination
  • Acquired by the consignor in 2012 and treated to a thorough cosmetic restoration
  • Powered by a 4.3-liter six-cylinder and four-speed manual transmission

The first large-chassis Rolls-Royce produced after World War II, the Silver Wraith, retained an elegant prewar appearance while offering a more modern driving experience. All Silver Wraith chassis were fitted with custom coachwork, from relatively sporting coupes and dropheads to eight-passenger formal limousines and landaulettes. Sadly, by the time the last Silver Wraith chassis was built in 1959, the traditional, generations-old aluminum-skin-over-wooden-framework coachbuilding method was at an end.

Chassis number WDC89 was outfitted with coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner’s formal Sedanca de Ville body that had an enclosed rear passenger compartment and a sliding hood over the driver’s compartment. All Mulliner designs featured aluminum skin over wood framing, and the company was known for its distinctive “razor edge” designs and narrow windshield pillars—very much in evidence in this Silver Wraith. WDC89 was originally finished in black paint with tan Connolly hides and extended walnut trim. Further specifications from the factory included a pair of rear occasional seats, folding tables, and rear radio (all features which have been retained).

WDC89 was delivered new to L. Harris in late August 1949 via the originating dealer, A. Owen Limited of London. Records show that this stately Sedanca de Ville remained in England until 1966, when it was acquired by the noted classic automobile dealer Bob Cochran of Eugene, Oregon. Cochran sold the car onward to Larry Campbell, who in 1973 traded the car to his business partner, Dan Leahy. For the next 38 years, WDC89 remained preserved in static storage on Leahy’s estate. In 2011, it was located by the previous owner and sold to the consignor shortly thereafter.

As presented today, WDC89 benefits from a thorough cosmetic restoration which particularly highlights the exquisite Sedanca de Ville body and luxurious interior. Over $45,000 has been furnished on the restoration and additional mechanical sorting during the consignor’s near-decade of ownership. The car’s original black paintwork has replaced by an absolutely stunning polychrome combination of cream and metallic bronze. The exterior chrome is superbly detailed and further compliment the lines of the handsome Mulliner bodywork.

The split cabin has been reupholstered in tan Connolly hides with matching carpets and headliner. The extensive suite of walnut burl wood trim has been professionally restored to a bright, high-gloss finish. Though this Silver Wraith retains many of its factory-correct features, one notable update is the modern audio unit mounted in the rear divider which takes the place of the original rear radio specified by WDC89’s original owner.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.