Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 122

1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe

  • Chassis no. LCSC77C

Sold for $198,000

200 hp, 6,230 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, two SU carburetors, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones, semi-elliptic rear springs with electrically controlled shock absorbers, power-assisted hydraulic front and hydro-mechanical rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 123"

• Fourth from last Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward Drophead coupe, built in 1966

• Documented and photographed $50,000 restoration

• Includes books, tools and records

The Silver Cloud III series was the last of the popular Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S models. The Silver Cloud I and II (and Bentley S1 and S2), 1955-1961, shared the same standard body, but when the SCIII/S3 was introduced in 1962, contemporary trends modified the design.

Most obvious were four headlamps, a lower hood and radiator shell and smaller bumpers. The interior was less pre-WWII in design, with a new padded cap rail above the dash, separate front seats (formerly one bench seat) and more leg room front and back.

The venerable straight six-cylinder engine was replaced with a V-8 with the Silver Cloud II/Bentley S2 launch and continued with the SCIII/S3 cars, albeit with a higher 9:1 compression ratio and two-inch carburetors. This resulted in seven percent more horsepower over the SCII/S2, 0-60 time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 115 mph. Early post-WWII Rolls-Royce enthusiasts generally agree that the SCIII was the finest of the series.

Rolls-Royce produced 2,044 SCIIIs, plus 253 with the long wheelbase. This car, however, is a particularly special example. Chassis number LCSC77C is one of 79 “CSC” (Coachbuilt Silver Cloud) series cars. (It is useful to note that this group is odd-numbered, and number 13 was omitted.)

Beyond its obviously brilliant current condition and 56,405 documented miles, this car represents a milestone in British motor car history. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was introduced in October 1965, but because its monocoque construction and revolutionary suspension systems were so complex, early production was cautious. To maintain a steady flow of cars for market, the company was faced with a unique problem.

They could still build the Cloud chassis and engine but could no longer obtain the standard steel bodies. Therefore, when early Shadow production was delayed, the company turned a perceived negative into a positive by creating an entirely new series of coachbuilt cars built on Cloud chassis.

By 1966, Rolls-Royce had merged its two coachbuilding acquisitions, Park Ward and H.J. Mulliner, into one. The successful mid-’50s Mulliner Park Ward fixed-head coupe saloon was re-designed into a drophead coupe and became an instant success. Production continued with this new car until March 1966, well after the Cloud series officially ceased production in 1965, yet it was produced concurrently with the new Silver Shadow.

Knowledgeable buyers know to check chassis numbers. This rare group’s Coachbuilt Silver Cloud chassis numbers are instantly identifiable by the “CSC” prefix. Since this design is rare and highly desirable, there are a few non-authentic copies in the marketplace. However, this car is an honest one, verifiable through the original factory works records to be supplied to the winning bidder.

As preservation of original collector cars has become increasingly desirable in recent years, an original, beautifully preserved and correctly maintained car such as this has become tremendously attractive. Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud drophead coupes, especially rare ones like this, fall into the perpetually desirable category.

This period-correct, understated, original left-hand drive car was delivered new in 1966 to Los Angeles, fitted with air-conditioning and power steering, brakes, windows and top. It was serviced by Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills and received complete new brakes at 49,000 miles. It is splendidly refinished in its original “Valentine’s Black” lacquer, with black convertible top, black Connolly leather interior and correct blackwall tires. There is even an original fitted cocktail cabinet, and of course it includes all hand- and road-tools, owners’ manual and factory build cards. Without a doubt, this car will bring the winning bidder justifiable pride of ownership.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more