1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III LWB Saloon with Division
Chassis no. CBL11
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 aluminum-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-liter 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.
CBL11 was ordered new by P.G. MacDonald who specified a stately divided limousine in Black Masons and trimmed in blue hides with matching blue piping, grey headcloth, and Ambassador Blue carpets. The car was started in late '62, completed early '63it was the 11th 'B' series car produced, of 61 total. It eventually found its way to M.G. Farr Esq. of London An executive at the large English biscuit company McVitie & Price Ltd. and later to Floridian Joseph Beaulieu who registered the car in the Sunshine state in October of 1980. Following Mr Beaulieu's ownership the car entered the expansive Midwestern collection of Othon Oschner before finally coming to the vendor in more recent times. Repainted to a midnight blue, it still retains its original blue leather hides and grey headcloth, while the carpets have been retrimmed in a rich, red hue. An unrestored machine, it has been well kept and retains the wonderful fit and feel that it had when it left Crewe in winter, 1962.
Fantastic touring cars, they are equally capable driving around town or wafting along the highway at 70mph. And with a car that has never been apart, you can rest assured that the last hands to fully assemble it were the capable digits of the factory workers who built hundreds of these fine machines.