Chassis number: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 was famous for being one of the best coachbuilders and delivered almost only for the royal houses. The price for a Hooper body was 50-60% more expensive than for a normal Rolls Royce.
In its relatively short production run between 1955 and 1959, a total of 2,360 Silver Cloud Is were built, of which 122 were long wheelbase models, which first came available in 1957. There were only 121 short wheelbase chassis that were fitted with special coach-built bodies and of the long wheelbase versions only 36 were ever bodied. The Silver Cloud LWB “Empress” was one of these rare long wheelbase coach models of which only a total of eighteen examples were made by Hooper and it is one of the last creations made by the renowned Hooper Coachbuilding Company before they ceased coach building in 1959.
Originally delivered new to H.R. Owen, #BLC2 is one of these eighteen; it is a long-wheelbase Hooper bodied Rolls-Royce SC1 with “Empress” style coachwork (design number 8523, body no. 10230). Finished in Mason Black with lavish Caribbean Blue leather interior and without the cutting wheel providing more space for the driver.
Purchased by its current owner directly from the Mc. Donald Ford Automobile Museum and subsequently imported into Germany, this wonderfully original and astonishingly well preserved Rolls-Royce comes with an extensive history file that includes a current TUV and handbook.
Having been professionally serviced and used sparingly yet regularly, its engine is described to be in excellent condition, and fitting to the cars overall condition, the cars odometer reads a mere 25,000 miles.
Provided with a complete tool kit and small silver fire extinguisher, #BLC2, has also been fitted with a luxurious luggage set that is finished in Mahogany, Persian Walnut, and American Cherry Wood. Having had only three private owners from new, this bespoke Coachbuilt Hooper bodied Rolls-Royce is a very special car indeed.