20th Sep, 2023 12:00

30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

 
Lot 396
 

1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe


Lot details

Registration No: 815 NOJ
Chassis No: SCX871
MOT: Exempt

  • Converted into a Drophead Coupe by Pilkington Coachworks in the 1980s
  • Finished in correct Rolls-Royce Midnight Blue with a Dark Blue fabric hood and a Cream leather interior with Dark Blue piping.
  • Subject to previous restoration work carried out by Rolls-Royce specialists at the Chelsea Workshops
  • Offered from a private collection.

The public warmly embraced the third and final iteration of the Silver Cloud in 1962. Retaining the signature smooth and torquey V8, introduced in 1959, it now had larger carburettors and a higher compression ratio. It featured the 230hp, 6230cc OHV V8 engine with twin SU carburettors mated to a four-speed automatic transmission riding on independent front suspension by wishbones and coil springs, its live rear axle was supported via semi-elliptic leaf springs. This edition marked the first appearance change since the Cloud’s initial introduction in 1955. Instantly recognisable, the Cloud III sported distinctive features like a slightly sloped bonnet and a lower radiator and quad headlamps. These exterior modifications translated into a more spacious interior, accompanied by the novel addition of individually adjustable front seats. One of the most coveted versions of the Silver Cloud were the 'Mulliner Adaptations.'

Rather than being a bespoke creation, H.J. Mulliner's design number 7504 saw the West London firm take delivery of brand new four-door Silver Cloud III Standard Steel Saloons from Crewe and adapt them into extravagant two-door Drophead Coupes. The result was among the most imposing, stylish and exclusive convertibles of the 1960s; H.J. Mulliner reputedly reconfigured just thirty-eight Silver Cloud IIIs as Drophead Coupes.

Originally, several of these vehicles were plucked from the Standard Steel production line and entrusted to H. J. Mulliner coachworks where they underwent a remarkable transformation into Drophead Coupés. The process entailed the removal of the roof, the alteration of side panels to accommodate a two-door configuration, and an overall conversion to a convertible body style. This distinctive design quickly ascended to iconic status within the realm of 1960s Rolls-Royces, earning its place as the most desirable variant. As the 1980s rolled in and the value of these cars escalated, a slew of small companies endeavoured to replicate the celebrated craftsmanship displayed by the renowned coachbuilder in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Among these endeavours, Pilkington Coachworks' creations stood out as particularly respected examples. Given the scarcity and value of the genuine article, several companies have followed in H.J. Mulliner's footsteps over the years which includes the sale example. The conversion from a four-door Saloon into a Drophead Coupe by Pilkington, was one of the best, carried out by the specialist who had previously worked for H. J. Mulliner.

Purchased by the present owner in 2018, having known the car through the previous owner who was a fellow RREC member. Displaying 13,575 miles on the clock, mechanically the car is said to be ‘excellent’, used regularly for RREC runs throughout Ireland. In pristine condition, the interior Cream leather is described by the vendor as 'flawless' in appearance and the paintwork as ‘excellent.’ Inside, the dashboard clocks work as they should. Among the levels of luxury, you would expect are lots of space in the rear for the passengers, an electric Drophead hood that works quickly and efficiently and a quiet and smooth drive.

Originally a four-door Saloon ‘815 NOJ’ was bought new from Rolls-Royce by Mr W. Ivan Lewis Esq. of Newport and delivered on 20th May 1963. Now finished in the authentic Rolls-Royce Midnight Blue, complemented by a Dark Blue fabric hood and a Cream leather interior with elegant Dark Blue piping. Having undergone its Pilkington conversion during the 1980s, it swiftly embarked on a journey to Hong Kong. Since its conversion over two decades ago, it has covered some 8,400 miles. In 2004, the car briefly returned to England for a delicate restoration conducted by Rolls-Royce specialists at the esteemed Chelsea Workshops, incurring costs in excess of £20,000. Recently, a new luxuriously padded, Dark Blue cloth hood was expertly fitted, in harmony with the fresh Beige leather interior featuring Dark Blue piping. The interior ambiance is further enriched by fitted wool carpets and the meticulously polished burled Circassian trim. The vehicle has been dutifully maintained both mechanically and aesthetically.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a vehicle boasting one of the most coveted body styles, all at a fraction of the cost associated with an original Mulliner Adaptation. In essence, this car represents the pinnacle of popularity for a body style ever fashioned on a post-war Rolls-Royce chassis. Crafted by skilled coachbuilders, it seamlessly transformed from its Standard Steel four-door Saloon form into a stunning two-door Drophead Coupé, embodying the essence of a reliable and sophisticated open-top Rolls-Royce.

Offered with four new tyres and with an original spare wheel and jack, it’s been serviced annually by the owner (a Rolls-Royce enthusiast) and stored in a heated garage. The car is accompanied by a V5C Registration Document, records of the 2004 restoration expenditure, and a recent MOT certificate. Evoking a timeless form of mechanised beauty, it has to be seen in order to begin the appreciation of the condition and style of this exceptional luxury motorcar.

For more information, please contact:
James McWilliam
james.mcwilliam@handh.co.uk
07943 584760

 

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:

               

Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Now owned by its employees and trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.

 

Buyers, bidders and attendees will enjoy a special day in the prestigious Imperial War Museum with some fantastic treats including.
Drinks Reception   |   Music   |   Guest Speakers

With each successful bidder receiving a specially selected hamper.

Watch the website for more details.

 

To take part in the bidding action please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page

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Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am

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