Launched in April 1955, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and its sibling, the Bentley S1, were recipients of the final iteration of the W.O. Bentley-designed “straight six”. With 4.9 litres, increased compression and enlarged carburettors and intake valves, power was said to have increased by 13 percent over its 4.5-litre predecessor. Whilst the post-war move to Standard Steel Saloon coachwork fulfilled the company’s commercial requirements, those preferring something more exclusive could still turn to England’s coach builders for bespoke coachwork, particularly on the long-wheelbase cars.
Hooper-bodied Rolls-Royces, such as this wonderful example, are very rare. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I offered here, chassis ALC11, is a long-wheelbase example bodied with Hooper’s traditional “Empress” style coachwork (design no. 8504, body no. 10226) with division window. It was delivered new in May 1958 to one J. Davis, Esq. Additional notes in the Hooper records indicate it was to be constructed similar to body no. 10115 but with the longer wheelbase and cut-out spats. The Hooper workmanship on the car is superb, from the supple red leather rear seat to the luxurious wooden picnic tables. Equipped with highly desirable power-assisted brakes and steering, and complete with a copy of its original Rolls-Royce build sheets, the car reportedly runs and drives superbly, and it was presented at the exclusive Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance, as well as Essen’s Techno Classica, in 2005. Following acquisition by the current owner, ALC11 has resided in the south of France, where it has been professionally serviced and used only sparingly.