Introduced in 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II set a new standard for luxury cars. For the first time ever, a Rolls-Royce was powered by an V-8 engine and the chassis and suspension were significantly updated from the original Silver Cloud. Although the new Silver Cloud offered a host of innovations, in the traditional sense, ever-conservative Rolls-Royce still implemented a ladder frame chassis that allowed for one-off, coachbuilt bodywork.
Unexpectedly, the factory did not offer an open version of their standard saloon body, and customers who desired the ultimate in top-down motoring had to commission a coachbuilder to create a custom body on the new Rolls-Royce chassis. Perhaps the most exquisite Silver Cloud II of all was the Mulliner Drop Head Coupe, a delightful open body that incorporated the lines of the saloon, giving the car a strong family resemblance.
These majestic luxury cars were the favored automobiles of the jet set and many coachbuilt Silver Clouds found their way into the garages of aristocrats, bon vivants and Hollywood celebrities.
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Mulliner-Park Ward Drophead Coupe LSVB 451 – sold for $220,000 This car is one of 107 drophead coupes built on the short wheelbase Silver Cloud II chassis by Mulliner-Park Ward and one of only 75 left-hand drive examples. Both London coachbuilders, H.J. Mulliner and Park, Ward & Co., had long histories with Rolls-Royce Ltd. By the late-1950s, with bespoke coachbuilding at a low ebb, Rolls-Royce purchased H.J. Mulliner and two years later, folded Park Ward into the new subsidiary. The new Mulliner Park Ward Ltd. then became an in-house supplier of specialty bodies, typified by this drophead coupe.
1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé LSAE89 – sold for €306,969 The Silver Cloud II on offer was fitted with H.J. Mulliner body style number 7504 and reportedly sold new to a NASA engineer. It was eventually acquired by marque expert Richard Gorman of Florida, from whom it was purchased in 1990 by Mr. Tom Barrett with only 20,800 original miles. The car passed through a handful of collectors over the ensuing years, seeing just 500 miles of additional road usage.
In present condition, the car is extremely original and has never received any cosmetic repairs or restoration of any kind. Finished in a handsome two-tone colour combination with a tan canvas hood, the car’s interior is upholstered in striking red leather that has developed a handsome patina and, along with the wood dash, remains very presentable.
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé LSVB 27 – sold for €268,717 The car presented is a convertible Silver Cloud II from 1961 known as a Drophead Coupé, this type of body only being created in a two-door version. It is painted in two colours, grey and night blue with a top (electrical) in a midnight blue canvas and a sky blue interior (except the back of the rear seats) which presents a superb patina. As an option, it is equipped with tinted windows (with an electrical control in the front), an electric roof and tables made of precious wood in the rear, while the air conditioning works very well. It has its complete original on-board tools, a safety lamp, a tyre pressure indicator and its original operating manual. In very good condition and mostly original, the 100,000 km shown on the clock seems completely exact, and the car seems to have been very well looked after at all times. The body was repainted around ten years ago, the wood trims revarnished and the top (doubled in grey wool) remade. This car represents a unique opportunity to buy one of the most sought-after Rolls-Royce convertible models in a superb state. Accompanied by its American vehicle registration document, it has cleared customs in the EU.
1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II H.J. Mulliner Drophead Coupe w/Bentley Grill LSVB27 – did not sell for $185,000 This very fine 1961 Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe, chassis LSVB27, incorporates thoughtful changes reflecting the personal style of its distinguished owners. While little is known of its early years, LSVB27 was acquired by marque specialist Richard Gorman’s Vantage Motorworks of Miami, Florida on November 13, 1984 in original condition and with approximately 57,000 miles from new. Then, it was finished conservatively in Shell Grey, with a black convertible top, matching hides and the original air conditioner.
Next, it was sold with 57,168 miles on February 4, 1985 to Mr. Edward Hand, who maintained the car for use at his California residence. Mr. Hand used it sparingly over the next ten years, and in February 1995, Vantage Motorworks sold it to Mr. Paul Risolia of Bay Harbor Island, Florida. Mr. Risolia particularly admired the frontal styling of the Bentley counterpart to this car, the S-2, but since far fewer S-2 Bentley Drophead Coupes were produced, he commissioned Vantage Motorworks to expertly alter the appearance of this Rolls-Royce with a complete Bentley front end to suit his personal preference.
Accordingly, the front fenders, inner fender aprons, grille and hood were appropriated from a donor Bentley sedan, along with Bentley hubcaps and exterior badges. Mr. Risolia also specified a Dark Blue finish for the top surfaces of the body, providing a distinctive and dramatic visual effect. After the death of Mr. Risolia, the Silver Cloud II was once again acquired by Vantage Motorworks from his estate. At that time, a Blue-Grey interior was installed by Vantage Motorworks from another Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe, which was in turn scheduled for restoration. In March 1998, the Silver Cloud was sold to its most recent owner, the late Mr. Fred Jones of Columbus, Mississippi.
With so few Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupes originally produced, ownership remains an even more exclusive proposition for marque enthusiasts today. As such, this attractive, sympathetically modified and carefully maintained Silver Cloud II is remarkable, with known history over the past 25 years and a distinctive yet elegant finish throughout.