1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon  Chassis no. LSBA14 Engine no. LSBA74
Lot 233
Left-hand drive,1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon Chassis no. LSBA14 Engine no. LSBA74
Sold for £18,687 (US$ 31,380) inc. premium
Lot Details
Left-hand drive
1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon
Registration no. XSY 413
Chassis no. LSBA14
Engine no. LSBA74


  • ‘The new Silver Dawn, which was exhibited for the first time at the recent International World’s Fair at Toronto, is designed to appeal to those overseas connoisseurs who appreciate the quality of a Rolls-Royce but who do not require a chauffeur-driven car.’ – The Autocar, 22nd July 1949.
    The policy of rationalisation begun in the late 1930s continued at Rolls-Royce after WW2; more components were bought in rather than manufactured in house and for the first time there was standard bodywork. In a break from the coachbuilt tradition this was made of pressed steel panels welded together, which made for a much cheaper body that could be built in significantly greater numbers than before, an important consideration in light of the Attlee Government’s exhortation to British manufacturers to ‘export or die’. Produced by the Pressed Steel Fisher Company, of Cowley, this ‘standard steel’ body was available at first only on the MkVI Bentley, the equivalent Rolls-Royce - the Silver Dawn - not appearing until 1949. A separate chassis was retained, the same basic design being built in three different wheelbase lengths. Notable features were independent front suspension and hydraulic front brakes.
    The range featured a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine (enlarged to 4,566cc for 1951) with inlet-over-exhaust valve gear, which had been under development since the mid-1930s. The company used belt drive for the water pump and dynamo for the first time on this engine, which employed a Stromberg carburettor in Rolls-Royce configuration or twin SUs in Bentley form.
    The seventh production Silver Dawn completed, left-hand drive chassis number ‘LSBA14’ was originally exported to Switzerland, remaining in that country until it returned to the UK in December 1996. Its owner began to restore the car, fitting new front wings, before ill health brought the project to a premature halt. The chassis is described as ‘solid’, the engine as ‘running sweetly’ and the transmission as ‘smooth’; the bodywork and interior though, remain in need of extensive refurbishment. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, this very early Silver Dawn comes with copy factory build sheets and Swansea V5 registration document.