1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon
Chassis no. LSEV29
Engine no. SV14E
Body no. 7142
6,230cc V8 motor
Standard Steel coachwork
US market, factory LHD example
Low mileage Las Vegas car
Fitted with air conditioning
Facing increasing competition from faster rivals and with development of its aging six-cylinder engine nearing its end, Rolls-Royce turned to V8 power as the 1960s approached. The V8 was, of course, the predominant power unit in Rolls-Royce's most important export market - the USA - so it was only natural that the Crewe firm would study the best American designs - principally those of Chrysler and Cadillac - for inspiration. Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their 'Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though the duo's performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminium-alloy V8 engine. Although wider and shorter than the 'six' it replaced, the new power unit fitted relatively easily within the engine bay, relocation of the steering box from inside to outside of the chassis frame being the most obvious alteration to the previous arrangements. Externally the new models appeared virtually unchanged, while beneath the skin Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission was now the only one on offer and power steering was standardized.
Launched in 1962, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and its Bentley S3 equivalent employed the 6.2-litre V8 engine introduced on the 'Cloud II/S2 - though with larger carburetors, new distributor and raised compression ratio - and came with a four-speed GM-derived automatic transmission as standard equipment. Most obvious among many changes from the preceding models was the adoption of four-headlamp lighting, the absence of sidelights from the wing tops, and a slightly lower radiator shell. Inside there was improved accommodation with separate front seats and increased room for rear passengers. Notable as the last mainstream Rolls-Royce to employ a separate chassis, the Silver Cloud III proved immensely successful both at home and abroad, remaining in production until the autumn of 1965.
As confirmed by the original build sheets, 'LSEV29' was built for the American market in 1963 and delivered through the Rambler dealer in Palm Springs, California to its first owner, Mr F. Newman in Las Vegas, Nevada. Finished in Astral Blue with blue leather upholstery, the Rolls-Royce was specified with Dunlop whitewall tires, a Blue Spot radio, electric windows and Ambassador Blue lambswool rugs front and rear.
In 1965 the Rolls-Royce passed to the present owner's wife's family, making this effectively a two-family ownership example from new. A low mileage example, reading 29,708 miles on the odometer at the time of cataloging (believed genuine going by the documentation available with the car), this Silver Cloud III remains very much as it left the Crewe factory almost half a century ago apart from the addition of seat belts, a modern stereo/CD player and air conditioning.
Presented today in two-tone gold and burgundy with matching burgundy leather interior, the car has been painted in recent years and has clearly benefited from living in the dry desert climate all its life. A Las Vegas car all of its life, this Cloud III certainly looks the part for cruising the Strip and has been carefully maintained.
- Please note that the correct engine number for this vehicle is S1534.