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Coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward
The Silver Cloud III
In order to remain competitive in the prosperous postwar years, Rolls-Royce increased volume with a standard assembly-line product, yet retained its long-held, highly respected reputation as a builder of very fine cars. The new, beautifully proportioned Silver Cloud standard steel saloon, launched in 1955, made this possible and was a huge marketing success. However, there remained a steady, albeit tiny, market for personalized cars built for the owner-driver. Approximately 15,414 cars were built between 1955 and 1966, and of those, there were fewer than 200 bespoke coachbuilt examples.
Introduced in 1962, the Silver Cloud III was elegantly designed and luxuriously appointed. The model was revered for its steadfast reliability and reasonable maintenance requirements. It’s no wonder it has remained a favorite through the decades.
This model was the last of the popular Rolls- Royce Silver Cloud and its fraternal twin, the Bentley “S” series. The most obvious changes from the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 were its dual-quad headlamps, a lower bonnet with radiator shell, and smaller bumpers. The interior featured a new padded cap rail above the dash, separate front seats, and more legroom front and rear. Many believe the III was the finest in the series. Rolls-Royce produced 2,044 Silver Cloud IIIs, plus 253 with a longer wheelbase.
This Rolls-Royce represents a milestone in British motorcar history. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, introduced in October 1965, was of monocoque construction and so mechanically complex, early production was cautious. To maintain a steady flow of cars to market, the company was faced with a unique problem. They could still build the Cloud chassis and engine, but could no longer obtain the standard steel bodies. Therefore, when early Shadow production was protracted, Rolls-Royce turned a perceived negative into something positive by creating an entirely new series of coachbuilt cars built on Cloud chassis. By 1966, Rolls-Royce had merged its two coachbuilding acquisitions, Park Ward and H.J. Mulliner, into one. The mid-1950s Mulliner Park Ward successful fixed head coupe Harlequin dual-headlight saloon was redesigned into a drophead coupe, resulting in instant success. Production continued with this new car until March 1966, well after the Cloud series officially ceased production in 1965, yet produced concurrently with the new Silver Shadow.
Even among Silver Cloud IIIs, this car is something special. Chassis number LCSC77C is one of 79 Coachbuilt Silver Cloud (CSC) series cars, and of interest, this group is odd- numbered, with the number 13 omitted. This rare group’s chassis numbers are instantly identifiable by the “CSC” prefix. And the “L” preceding this Rolls-Royce’s LCSC77C chassis number indicates it was left-hand drive from new.
This Silver Cloud III was delivered new in 1966 to Los Angeles. This drophead is refinished in its original gleaming “Valentine’s Black” lacquer with black convertible top, black Connolly leather interior, and correct blackwall tires. LCSC77C features an original fitted cocktail cabinet complementing its lavish burl Circassian walnut-trimmed interior. Serviced by Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills, it received new brakes at 49,000 miles and is now ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.
This elegant, correctly presented Rolls-Royce will bring its new caretaker justifiable pride in owning one of the very few examples of luxury taken to the highest level.