In the current ownership since 1983, three owners from new
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Saloon
Chassis no. SZD31
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, re-location 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. Immensely successful both at home and abroad, the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 remained in production until the autumn of 1962.
SZD31 was supplied new to the large London Rolls-Royce dealer H.R. Owen in late 1961 and sold to a publican from Salisbury in the UK. Following that, it found its way to a London grocer from whom the vendor purchased the car in 1983. Besides a repaint to a solid dark green, the car was originally two tone green, just prior to the vendor's ownership, this Rolls is entirely original and unrestored. Showing less than 57,000 miles on the odometer, the car presents well today with its original matching green leather interior and polished wood veneers still in place. Garage kept, cloistered in a protective inflated plastic bubble, and meticulously serviced throughout the current owners 30-year tenure of care, the Roller recently received an extensive service in which the brakes were overhauled, the radiator was re-cored, and additional maintenance was performed. The car is reported to be a very strong runner and a pleasure to drive.
No longer able to enjoy the car as much as he used to, the Rolls is now ready to change hands for the first time in over a quarter of a century and move on to its fourth owner.