Despite being more than 65 years old, the graceful and elegant Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud remains one of the most iconic symbols of luxury in the modern era. More than 7,000 examples were built from 1955 through 1966, making it was the best-selling Rolls-Royce to that point, and the go-to transport for business executives, movie stars, and oil barons around the world. Produced over three series, most Silver Clouds were sold with the baroque-style Standard Steel Saloon coachwork. The chassis and drivetrain were continually developed through three distinct generations, with the Silver Cloud III being the ultimate iteration, with added refinement, power, and luxury. Many marque enthusiasts agree that these late examples as the best and most desirable of the range. They are also the rarest standard models, with just 2,044 Cloud IIIs built before the Silver Shadow arrived in 1967.
This superb 1964 Silver Cloud III saloon is one of the finest we’ve had the pleasure to offer. According to factory records, chassis SFU 153 is a home-market car ordered for Mr. James Leonard Seed, Esq, and delivered in the first part of 1964 via the official dealer W. Watson Ltd. The well-detailed build sheets show it was originally finished in Astral Blue with Shell Gray lower panels over red hides and maroon carpets. Options included electric windows, Dunlop tubeless tires, and B-pillar mounted combination turning/parking lamps. Ownership records show Mr. Seed held on to the car for many years, and it wasn’t until 1977 when the second owner was reported via the London dealer Jack Barclay Ltd. The second owner was William Pressdee, Ltd, a funeral home in Swansea that, incidentally, is still in operation today. By the early 2000s, the Silver Cloud had made its way to the United States, coming into the care of an east coast-based enthusiast. It was undoubtedly a very sound car at the time, judged to 379 points out of a possible 400 at the 2009 RROC meet in Williamsburg, VA. In 2011, the owner sought to elevate it further, commissioning the Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists The Frawley Company of Parkesburg, PA, to perform a comprehensive cosmetic restoration. Between 2012-2014, the car was refinished to a very high standard in its striking, factory correct two-tone color scheme of Astral Blue over silver-gray sides, done to a very high standard using high-quality materials. Invoices for additional work come from the respected Richard Mullin Coachbuilding of Malvern, PA.
Since finding new owners in 2017, this Cloud III has continued to receive meticulous and enthusiastic care. The gorgeous paintwork remains in outstanding condition and lends the car tremendous presence on the road. The gorgeous paintwork is detailed with red coachlines, and it has recently been ceramic coated and fitted with paint protection film for ultimate protection of the high-quality finish. One small flaw is noted on the roof; however, the remainder of the paint is absolutely superb. Chrome and brightwork are also in excellent condition, with details including Lucas fog lamps, a badge bar, and updated headlamps. The factory wheels wear beautifully restored, color-keyed wheel covers along with recently-fitted whitewall radial tires.
As part of the restoration, the interior was retrimmed from its original red to this striking dark blue color. The upholstery work is beautifully executed using the finest English leather, wool carpet, and broadcloth for the headlining. Interior woodwork is also beautifully restored, with superb finishing on the dash, door caps, and window surrounds, while the rear picnic tables are well-preserved original pieces. A modern AM/FM/CD/Satellite radio has been adapted to the driver’s side cubby. Subtly tinted glass provides sun protection for the interior trim, as well as a modicum of privacy for occupants.
In 2018, the most recent owners shipped the Silver Cloud to a California-based Rolls-Royce/Bentley specialist, where it was treated to a complete engine overhaul to the tune of nearly $30,000. Records show that genuine Rolls-Royce parts were used wherever possible in the project, including new cylinder liners, pistons, rods, valves, and much more. Before installation, the engine and engine bay were detailed to concours standards, and they took the opportunity to update to a Sanden-type rotary A/C compressor and a 12V alternator integrated into the generator body, converted by Flying Spares in the UK. In addition, an electric fuel pump was fitted and the chassis and undercarriage have been detailed to a high standard.
Accompanying the sale is an extensive history file, including service and restoration receipts, owner’s handbook, correspondence, and factory-supplied build records/test sheets. The car also retains its original tool kit and jack. It is quite rare to encounter a Silver Cloud so lovingly maintained without regard to cost. This fabulous example performs superbly and is well suited to Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club tours and concours, or merely everyday driving enjoyment. Beautifully presented in striking colors, a finer Silver Cloud III will difficult to find anywhere.
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