1954 Rolls-Royce  Silver Wraith 4½-Litre Touring Limousine CLW26
Lot 113
1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 4½-Litre Touring Limousine CLW26
Sold for €70,150 (US$ 97,192) inc. premium
Lot Details
1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 4½-Litre Touring Limousine
Coachwork by H J Mulliner

Chassis no. CLW26
‘In a world of shattered monetary values and yet much-improved cars, the Rolls-Royce still stands alone. Perhaps the most striking general thought in considering this supreme machine today is that it has a name more universally honoured as a symbol of quality than that of any manufactured product.’ – The Autocar, 9th December 1949.

Rolls-Royce’s first post-war model, the Silver Wraith debuted in late 1946 and employed a chassis similar to that of the Silver Dawn and MkVI Bentley, though with a 7” longer wheelbase at 10’ 7”. The ’Wraith however, was only intended for traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the MkVI’s pioneering ‘standard steel’ bodywork. Powering Rolls-Royce’s post-war range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine of cast-iron, monobloc construction with aluminium cylinder head featuring overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. Only the bore and stroke dimensions were shared with the pre-war overhead-valve Wraith engine, the major advantage of this ‘F-head’ layout being its large valves and generous water jacketing around the valve seats. A four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was standard initially, an automatic option (for export models only at first) not becoming available until 1952, at which time the engine was enlarged to 4,566cc and a long-wheelbase (11’ 1”) version introduced. Manufacture of the short-wheelbase ’Wraith ceased in 1952, with a total production of 1,144; the long-wheelbase version continued until the introduction of the Phantom V in 1959, by which time 639 chassis had been completed.

The last word in motoring luxury in its day, this Silver Wraith has Touring Limousine coachwork by the highly respected firm of H J Mulliner, and was delivered new in the UK in June 1954 to first owner Richard Thomas & Baldwins Ltd. The vendor purchased the car at auction in 2000 in the USA, where it had undergone extensive restoration, and had its engine rebuilt by Bentley Monaco in 2001 (all invoices available). Finished in black with red leather upholstery to the front compartment and grey cloth to the rear, the car has the optional automatic transmission and is presented in excellent condition. It is offered with owner’s manual, roadworthiness certificate and Monaco registration papers.

Summum du luxe automobile en son temps, cette Silver Wraith habillée en Touring Limousine par la réputé carrosserie H.J. Mulliner a été livrée neuve au Royaume-Uni en juin 1954 à Richard Thomas & Baldwin, premier propriétaire. Le Vendeur a acquis cette voiture en 2000 aux Etats-Unis où elle a bénéficié d'une restauration importante, tandis que son moteur était refait par Bentley Monaco en 2001 (toutes factures disponibles). Peinte en noir avec sellerie en cuir rouge à l'avant et drap gris à l'arrière, la voiture, qui est dotée de la boîte automatique optionnelle, se présente en très bel état. Elle est offerte avec son manuel de conduite, son contrôle technique et ses papiers d'immatriculation à Monaco.