The legend that was to become Rolls-Royce was founded in May 1904 when a deal was struck between Frederick Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls. Shortly after, the first Rolls-Royce motor car – the Rolls-Royce 10 hp – was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in December 1904. It was agreed that Rolls-Royce would initially manufacture four different models being a two cylinder 10hp model, a three cylinder 15hp model, a four cylinder 20hp model and a six cylinder 20hp model. It was immediately apparent that to manufacture their cars Rolls-Royce would require a larger factory and the decision was made to establish their headquarters and manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Derby in the East Midlands of England.
On the 15th March 1906 the company Rolls-Royce Limited was formed and during this year Royce had been developing an improved six-cylinder model with more power than the 30hp. Initially designated the 40/50hp, this was the company’s first all-new model that was also to become known as the Silver Ghost.
Like all car manufacturers, Rolls-Royce was impacted by the First World War. Times were tough and post war the company made a strategic decision to manufacture a cheaper smaller car, enter the Rolls-Royce 20hp. This model was a success and produced alongside the Silver Ghost and its successor the Phantom ensuring the Rolls-Royce motor car company would survive and prosper.
In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired the Bentley motor car company.
Post the Second World War a significant milestone in Roll Royce history was the introduction of the Silver Dawn, which was the first model to be built with a factory built body. In April 1955 Rolls-Royce introduced the Silver Cloud and for the next eleven years this model was at the cornerstone of Rolls-Royce production. The Cloud evolved through three major model iterations, being the Silver Cloud I, Silver Cloud II and Silver Cloud III until it was superseded by the Silver Shadow. The last of the Silver Clouds rolled off the Crewe production line in 1965 although specialist coachbuilders were still offering the Cloud III in early 1966. During this time some 7,372 cars were built.
One of the major changes to occur during Silver Cloud production was to the engine. The 4.9 litre 6 cylinder engine used in the Cloud I was replaced by a 6.2 litre V8 engine for the Cloud II. This change ensured the Cloud II had far greater performance all round.
With the arrival of the Cloud III in 1963 the car had now evolved both internally and externally, albeit subtly. The major visual difference was the introduction of the quad head light set up that was to be continued on the Silver Shadow and a lowered bonnet. The Cloud III also shed a few kilos further improving performance and handling.
We are delighted to offer an outstanding example of the final generation of Silver Clouds. This exquisite 1964 Silver Cloud III is a factory right hand drive, UK delivered car with an interesting history from new. This particular motor car, being chassis number SGT91, was sold new through Rolls-Royce agent Weybridge Automobiles Ltd in Weybridge, Surrey to its first owner an R Mountstephen from Oxshott, Surrey. The delivery date was 23rd June 1964. The car was ordered new in ‘dawn blue’ (ICIM062-4144) with a blue interior (VM3244).
The car’s subsequent early history is not known though it is understood to have been an American Embassy car in London and owned by a Col. R Milburn. The car then looks to have found its way to the USA before coming to Australia – most likely in the early 1980’s. The car has a known history in Australia having resided in Melbourne and for a short period of time Hobart during the last twenty years.
The car has been maintained for the majority of its life in Australia by a well-known and respected Rolls-Royce specialist in Melbourne.
As confirmed by the factory build sheets on file, this car retains its original ‘matching numbers’ engine.
Today this Silver Cloud III is finished in the most resplendent colour scheme of blue/grey with a blue interior. In bright sunlight the car looks blue and yet in a softer light it looks almost gun metal grey. It is stunning! The body and paint are in very good condition with only the odd blemish evident in the paint work. There is a clear plastic film on the front of the car as well as the outer edge of each of the four doors. The paintwork is complemented by all of the chrome, trim and glass which are also in very good condition. The interior may well be original and its overall condition is very, very good. All of the upholstery and burl walnut woodwork are in excellent condition as are the gauges and switches which are fully functional, with the exception of the fuel gauge which is working intermittently. The leather seats and door cards have been extremely well cared for and present beautifully. The seats deserve special mention as the leather is incredibly soft and subtle. The carpets are generally in good condition, with the exception of a small patch on the panel under the left rear seat which has inexplicably worn. The car has inertia reel seat belts fitted in the front and there is also some wear to the lining on the driver’s side ‘B’ pillar where the seat belt buckle has rubbed.
The car starts easily and settles into ‘that’ Rolls-Royce idle immediately. The cabin is a ‘nice place to be’ to take in the ambience of the car as the engine warms. On a beautiful Brisbane afternoon the engine warms quickly and you are soon mobile. The car drives effortlessly and it is very smooth on the road. The gear change from the automatic transmission, the steering and the brakes perform as expected. At parking speed there is a small shudder evident from the steering which we understand may be as a result of an undersized hose fitted to the steering box. This is almost incidental but we have mentioned it. Everything looks to work on the car, including the electric windows. This car has air conditioning fitted which works well. We collected the car from the owner who lives in the Gold Coast hinterland and it performed faultlessly on its trip up to Brisbane.
The car was serviced by a classic Rolls-Royce specialist in January 2020 at 44,068 miles on the odometer. In August 2018 new tyres were fitted, a bump stop replaced and a new muffler fitted to the exhaust.
In summary, it is a pleasure to be able to offer what is clearly a very well cared for and today a beautifully presented and driving Silver Cloud III. The colour scheme is a refreshing change from white, silver or black and it just suits the car down to a tee.
Accompanying this car is a copy of the original build sheets from Rolls Royce, an original owner’s manual as well as a jack, pump and torch which are stored in the spare wheel well.
The odometer reads 44,279 miles, which is understood to be 144,279 miles.