RM Hershey 2015 Preview – 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupe

1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead CoupeThis feels timely. But is outre and fabulous on its own, even without Dawn intro…!

This 1950s Cloud is just lovely. It shows how far Rolls-Royce has come, but the luxury standard continuing uninterrupted. In example? A giant air conditioner unit up front in this ragtop, plus rear table trays in matching burl walnut.

1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupe

RM London 2015


7 September 2015

Lot 160
1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupé Adaptation by H.J. Mulliner
To be auctioned on Monday, September 7, 2015
Sold for £218,400
  • Chassis no. SNH14
  • Engine no. SN139
  • Body no. 6213
  • Design no. 7504

Photo Credit: Tim Scott ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

178 bhp, 4,877 cc F-head inline six-cylinder engine with twin two-inch SU carburettors, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and hydraulic dampers, rear semi-elliptical springs with controllable hydraulic dampers, and self-adjusting hydraulic front brakes with combined hydraulic and mechanical rear brakes with servo-assist. Wheelbase: 3,124 mm
  • Offered by renowned James Bond production designer Sir Ken Adam
  • Used and enjoyed by Sir Ken all over the world for 40 years
  • One of only three original RHD Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupé Adaptations
  • Highly original

Beginning about halfway through the production run of the Silver Cloud I, Rolls-Royce offered a drophead coupé by H.J. Mulliner, style number 7504. Unlike previous Mulliner drophead coupés on this chassis, the new car, referred to as an adaptation, made use of a “Standard Steel” saloon body shell, which was then modified by Mulliner. This would be the standard method of construction for most Mulliner DHCs through to the end of the Silver Cloud series in 1965.

No others were as rare as the Silver Cloud I variant, of which 13 were built, with 10 being left-hand-drive examples. The remaining three were right-hand-drive cars, which had been produced for the “Home Market”.

The car offered here, chassis number SNH14, is one of those three right-hand-drive Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupé Adaptations, making it a most rare and desirable offering, especially here in London. It has been based in this area virtually since new, having originally been delivered in July 1959 to A. Robert Gooda, of Goodhale Engineering Ltd., who was a devout Bentley and Rolls-Royce enthusiast and a great customer of the factory. Mr Gooda specified to have the car built with several bespoke options, as is indicated by original build records. The car is well documented, including mentions in several archival publications, most prominently Lawrence Dalton’s Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance, James Taylor’s Original Rolls-Royce and Bentley 1946–65, and Davide Bassoli’s definitive work on the model, Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining.

Mr Gooda owned his Silver Cloud I until 1975, when it was sold to the present owner, Sir Ken Adam, the renowned British film production designer who is best remembered for his iconic work on many of the classic James Bond films. Sir Ken has been nominated three times for an Academy Award and has won twice. He is considered a legend in his field and one of the most important surviving figures of the Bond films’ golden era.

Sir Ken was a great fan of this Rolls-Royce, and for many years during his long career, the car was shipped to wherever he was working, all over the world. Even when he travelled to Hollywood the Silver Cloud I followed him, accompanied by its own driver.

The car is presented today wearing an older but presentable Porcelain White repaint, as well as a lovingly much-patinated red leather interior with wool carpeting and exquisite wood veneer trim, all of which is believed to be highly original. It is an honest automobile that looks exactly like what it is: a Rolls-Royce that has been owned and used for enthusiastic touring all over the world by the same owner for the last four decades.

It is proudly offered here from a great home with one of the film world’s most iconic figures.