The legendary Silver Cloud, the progenitor of the Bentley S-1, was the most successful classic Rolls-Royce in history. As the result of the work of the famous designer John P. Blatchley, the model was popular among celebrities, who appreciated it for its classic and expensive design. However, the latest versions of this luxurious vehicle were already deprived of that classic rigor and elegance the first automobile had.
Source: Secret Classics
The original all-metal body and elegant smooth lines, an impressive radiator grille, and the Flying Lady on the hood – became the defining canon of the Silver Cloud Roll-Royce style, defining the style of the brand for the upcoming years. This was the main model of the British automaker that replaced the well-known Silver Dawn in April 1955. Cloud was the epitome of post-war Rolls-Royce style and became one of the best classics of the brand, which is highly prized among classic car collectors and is valued at between $6,000 and $1,500,000. The vehicle was a kind of upgrade for the brand, very different from its pre-war models. A completely new all-metal body was developed for it. Elegant flowing lines, accentuated by two-tone paint, became a canonical option for this remarkable classic.
Great Britain cannot do without monuments. The famous automaker was one of the spectacular symbols of the British breed and the automotive industry. Of course, much changed now and Rolls-Royce lost its original English spirit, but half a century ago everything was different. Silver Cloud replaced the post-war Dawn and was produced for eleven years: from 1955 to 1966. During this period, about 7000 pieces (approximately – 7372) left the company’s plant. The automobile was by no means mass-produced and was intended for a limited clientele, most of which were world famous. At that time, almost all Rolls-Royces carried the word “Silver” in their names: Silver Cloud replaced Silver Dawn, and Silver Cloud gave way to Silver Shadow. The vehicles of the first years were distinguished by a single style, although in general silhouette and layout did not change during the modernizations. Also, the meter-high radiator grille and the traditional “goddess” figurine on the hood was the most impressive exterior parts, surrounded by an endless number of legends that attract attention even today.
Even though many automakers in the mid-50s were widely using load-bearing bodies, Rolls-Royce engineers were conservative and preferred to use a frame structure for the production of the newly launched car. The first automobile was the last six-cylinder in the history of the company. An upgraded power unit with a volume of 4887 cc. was inherited from the Silver Dawn, but it had an aluminum cylinder head and a twin carburetor. Reliability was exceptional: the car could go over 300,000 kilometers without an engine overhaul. Originally equipped with two transmission options (a 4-speed synchromesh manual or a Rolls-Royce-designed Hydromantic 4-speed automatic) the company decided to give up the manual box in favor of the automatic one as it was exceptionally successful. The suspension was also great and softer thanks to a front suspension with unequal-length arms and coil springs with rear adjustable dampers. The interior was also designed in every detail emphasizing the atmosphere of luxury and comfort. The trim was made of genuine leather and the most precious woods: walnut, mahogany, and rosewood. Folding central armrests, pull-out tables, ashtrays, and mirrors were details that couldn’t be ignored in such a luxurious vehicle. It enjoyed well-deserved popularity, so the Silver Cloud from the first series I (1956 production) with an open body of red and white (the colors of the Grimaldi dynasty and the flag of Monaco) was the wedding gift for Rainier III Grimaldi and Grace Kelly from Aristotle Onassis. The company’s management, having learned about this, also gave the newlyweds a sedan for everyday use.
This model, like all luxury cars, was popular among the rich and famous. For example, the famous owners of the model were Elvis Presley, who had a special love for the British brand, along with Frank Sinatra, and John Lennon. Of course, the choice of these wildly popular celebrities influenced the popularity of the model and its sales.
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