Lot 124

2022   |   Pebble Beach Auctions

1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupe

Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

SOLD $489,000

Estimate

$500,000 - $575,000

Chassis

LSFE 451

Engine

SE 225

Car Highlights

One of Just 11 Design No. 7410, Left-Hand-Drive Drophead Coupes Built

Exceptional Provenance Including Celebrity Ownership

Meticulous Restoration by Noted Rolls-Royce Specialist

Consistently Maintained to the Highest Standard

Multiple-Award Winner with Known History from New

Technical Specs

4,887 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Twin SU Carburetors

178 BHP at 4,000 RPM

4-Speed Automatic Transmission

4-Wheel Drum Brakes

Front Independent Unequal-Length-Wishbone Suspension with Coil Springs

Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Register to Bid

Garth Hammers

Frederick “Fritz” Loewe, New York, New York (acquired new in 1958)

Joseph V. Nash, Malibu, California (acquired from the above in 1977)

James “Jim” Toole, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1979)

Private Collection (acquired from the estate of the above in 2011)

Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2015)

Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, San Diego National Meet, 1983 (H.J. Mulliner Park Ward Trophy)

Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, Monterey National Meet, 1991 (First Place Senior Trophy, Guerrero Award, Best Personal Mechanical Restoration)

Petersen Automotive Museum, Rolls-Royce: A Century of Elegance, Los Angeles, 2003

Newport Harbor Yacht Club Classic Car Show, 2016

In 1955, the long-awaited Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I was introduced, and was the last series to be powered with the inline six-cylinder engine. Although the new steel-bodied saloon was in demand, there remained a small market for unique, hand-formed aluminum coachwork for very special customers. Of the 15,414 cars the company built between 1955 and 1965, a miniscule fraction were coachbuilt cars. Prolific coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner fitted several convertible variants onto the Silver Cloud chassis, but among their most beautiful was design 7410. The astronomical price of the handcrafted model was a major contributing factor to the advent of the Silver Cloud “Adaptation” convertibles, which utilized factory bodies and could be finished at a significantly lower cost than the clean-sheet design, coachbuilt variants such as the 7410.

The elegant 7410 offered here, chassis LSFE 451, one of just 11 built in left-hand drive, has a fascinating history supported by numerous documents and records. Manhattan music publishers, Chappell & Co., ordered a pair of these bespoke cars to be presented as gifts to the famous Broadway composers Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick “Fritz” Loewe, recognizing their brilliant score for My Fair Lady. The two collaborated on numerous hit Broadway shows, including Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, Gigi, and Camelot. Upon retirement in the early 1970s, Fritz Loewe moved to Palm Springs, California, bringing his beloved Black Pearl Rolls-Royce with him. After maintaining ownership for 19 years, he sold the car to its Malibu-based second owner.

The third owner was James “Jim” Toole, a legend among Rolls-Royce and Bentley owners. He was a stickler for authenticity and, coupled with his talent, eye for design, and superior work ethic, he patiently restored the 7410 in its as-delivered colors. Numerous photographs of the work detail the depth of the effort, correct factory methods, and materials used throughout the superb restoration. The wood veneers, and Connolly leather upholstery in particular, have a welcoming factory-like appearance. Mr. Toole showed this car over many years, winning countless awards, and for a time, was a senior judge with the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club. His expertise and reverence for the Rolls-Royce marque are evident throughout this Drophead Coupe.

In 2011, a noted private collector acquired the 7410 from Mr. Toole’s estate, adding a clear, protective film to the forward edges; and in 2015, it joined the current owner’s diverse collection, whose full-time staff has continued to maintain and preserve the Rolls-Royce and with it, Mr. Toole’s brilliant restoration. Offered with its tools and original road-spare case, copies of the Rolls-Royce build cards, an extensive collection of restoration photos, a fascinating history file, and Mr. Loewe’s matching three-piece monogrammed luggage set, this incredibly rare and significant Rolls-Royce has been held in the highest regard since it first embarked on its A-list life.