1955 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Wraith 4.5 ltr LWB Limousine

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1955 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Wraith 4.5 ltr LWB Limousine

Background

"In a world of shattered monetary values and yet much-improved cars, the Rolls-Royce still stands alone. Perhaps the most striking general thought in considering this supreme machine today is that it has a name more universally honoured as a symbol of quality than that of any manufactured product." – The Autocar, 9th December 1949.

Rolls-Royce’s first post-war model, the Silver Wraith debuted in late 1946 and employed a chassis similar to that of the Silver Dawn and MkVI Bentley, though with a 7” longer wheelbase at 10’ 7”.

The ’Wraith however, was only intended for traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the MkVI’s pioneering ‘standard steel’ bodywork.

Powering Rolls-Royce’s post-war range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine of cast-iron, monobloc construction with aluminium cylinder head featuring overhead inlet and side exhaust valves.

Only the bore and stroke dimensions were shared with the pre-war overhead-valve Wraith engine, the major advantage of this 'F-head' layout being its large valves and generous water jacketing around the valve seats.

A four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was standard initially, an automatic option (for export models only at first) not becoming available until 1952, at which time the engine was enlarged to 4,566cc and a long-wheelbase (11’ 1”) version introduced.

Manufacture of the short-wheelbase ’Wraith ceased in 1952, with a total production of 1,144; the long-wheelbase version continued until the introduction of the Phantom V in 1959, by which time 639 chassis had been completed.

The Vehicle

Chassis no. LDLW143

Engine no. L142D

Odometer: 28,470 miles.

The car comes with no history or service records. Further information in the form of copy chassis cards may be available by time of sale.

The last word in motoring luxury in its day, this long-wheelbase, auto, LHD 1955 Silver Wraith 4.5-litre boasts limousine coachwork by the highly respected firm of Park Ward Ltd, Rolls-Royce’s in-house coachbuilder since 1939.

On the Outside

Presented in black, the car looks fairly good all round.

It’s not perfect – a fact that becomes more apparent the closer you get – but most of the imperfections are, we think, superficial in nature and limited in extent.

This car appears to us to be an honest and original example of the last of the coachbuilt Rolls-Royces.

The bodywork is largely free of any idents, bumps or creases.

The shut-lines and panel gaps are even and consistent.

The black paintwork is impressively lustrous and shiny in general, although there are some issues.

The paint has light, swirly scratches on several panels. There are chips to the paint on the leading edges of the bonnet, doors and other panel intersections.

There is some bubbling and cracked paint around the driver’s side rear window.

The top of the ‘A’ pillar on the same side also has some bubbling in evidence.

There is a shallow indentation and some cracked paint just above the rear light cluster on the driver’s side.

The wheels are good all round and most of the extensive chrome work on the grille, bumpers and elsewhere is in fair condition, despite some scratches to the door handles.

On the Inside

The interior is original and in broadly reasonable condition, save for a few notable exceptions.

The most obvious is the condition of the leather upholstery in the front. The leather on the driver’s seat is split and heavily worn. The passenger’s seat has fared rather better but is still very faded and creased.

The upholstery in the rear is in better condition, although there are some nicks and scuffs to the fabric on the front bolster of the bench seats.

The carpets at the front are rather grubby and slightly threadbare in places. They are better in the rear, and the lambswool rugs are still thick enough for you to lose sight of your feet.

The wood veneers on the dashboard are in reasonable condition, although the lacquer is crazed everywhere.

The wood on the door cappings, particularly on the front doors, is scuffed and faded.

The wood veneers and inlays in the back, particularly on the picnic tables and drinks cabinet, look very fine and seem to have endured the passage of time with impressive fortitude.

The window winders are missing from the rear doors.

There is a crack in the wood next to the glove compartment.

The steering wheel, gear selector and instruments all seem to be in good condition.

There is a gold plate on the glove box that claims the car was made available to HRH The Queen for their visit to Canada. We have no evidence to support this claim, so cannot say if it is true.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials or other electrics as we haven’t tried to start the vehicle.

Underneath

The driver side door has dropped slightly, so it does not close properly. This will need to be addressed by the winning bidder.

There is rust dust and some flaking in evidence here and there, but most of what we can see appears to have a good amount of structural integrity.

Clearly, you will want to visit the car and see for yourself.

Everything in the engine bay is in its right and proper place and seems to be clean and dry.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with any history or service records.

This car must be registered in the country of your choice and you will need to contact the appropriate vehicle licensing agency for instructions on how to do this.

Any paperwork shown in the gallery is a facsimile and in no way constitutes any kind of licensing or registration certification.

What We Think

Apart from some relatively minor cosmetic issues, we’d say that this Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith is in good condition and is a strong, low-mileage example.

Provided, of course, that the engine and mechanicals are as good as the rest of the car, we think this magnificent vehicle should reward its next owner with years of classy, distinguished and rather grand motoring pleasure.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of €30,000 - €50,000.

Viewing is always encouraged and this car is located in Tremblay-en-France. To arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

house

  • Location: Tremblay-en-France, France
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 28470 Miles
  • Chassis Number: LDLW143
  • Engine: 4559 cc
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Black
  • Interior: Grey Leather
  • Estimated Price: €30,000 - €50,000

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