In the 1940’s, Rolls Royce had survived the war effort and was finally back in the business of building cars. The Silver Wraith was the first post-war offering from Rolls Royce, and while it was based on the pre-war Wraith, it did feature many new updates to bring it up to modern standards of the time. The early Wraith’s engine block was retained but it was updated with a new overhead intake valve cylinder head. Rear suspension was by way of semi-elliptic springs and live axle, while front suspension was independent with coil springs. Braking was handled by the typical Rolls Royce system of hydraulic front brakes with mechanical rears – a system actually patented by Hispano-Suiza but built under license by Rolls Royce. The Silver Wraith has the distinction of being the last Rolls Royce that was offered in rolling chassis form, where bodies were fitted by independent coachbuilders. All subsequent models were made available with standard bodywork with coachbuilt cars being the exception rather than the rule. Typical for Rolls, the Silver Wraith was a long running model, built from 1946-1959, and could be had in standard or long wheelbase versions.
This 1949 Silver Wraith is a standard wheelbase version; chassis number WDC45, and is fitted with an elegant Hooper Teviot Touring Limousine body, design number 8098 from the coachbuilder’s catalog. It is in right hand drive configuration with the desirable 4-speed manual gearbox with right hand shifter and a large sunroof over the driver’s compartment. The overall condition is solid and tidy, and would make a good driver or be a fine choice to complete a cosmetic restoration. The chrome and bright work is in fair condition, though there are some weak areas, but it is complete and solid. Panel fit is fairly good and the paint work is glossy and presentable. While it is not a show car, it is still quite pleasing in black and silver over blue leather. A new interior has been fitted in lovely light blue leather with matching carpets. The extensive wood work is complete and largely in good condition with some weak areas but overall quite pleasing. Being a touring limousine, it is configured with a divider window and picnic trays and folding foot rests for the rear passengers.
While this Silver Wraith may not be in concours condition, it still a desirable model with elegant and attractive Hooper coachwork. With some sorting, it would be an excellent choice for RROC touring or even simply for family picnics and country motoring with that big sunroof open wide. It is a pleasing car with a sense of quality and elegance that only a Rolls Royce can provide.