1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Sports Saloon
Chassis no. LSHF 85
4,887cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors
155bhp at 4000rpm
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
Front Independent Suspension and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*One of 2238 built
*Original left hand drive car
*Prestigious former ownership of socialite Françoise Hermann
The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Following the Silver Dawn, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was introduced in 1955 with a curvy, Rubenesque body shell, designed by J.P. Blatchley. While maintaining the traditional grill and headlights, and hinting at the separate fenders seen on previous models, it was Rolls Royce's first move towards a more modern, integrated look. As in the past, the car was built on a separate chassis so custom-bodied cars could be built for those who wanted a personalized version of Rolls-Royce's most popular model. The body was steel, with lightweight aluminum panels for the doors, hood, and trunk lid, foreshadowing the weight saving measures taken by many car manufacturers today.
Equipped with an inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, and independent front suspension, the car could reach 60mph in 13.5 seconds and top out at 103mph if Sir was in a hurry, as reported in a contemporary review in Motor magazine. While the engine was carried over from the pre-war Silver Wraith, it was considered smoother than the V8 that followed in the Silver Cloud II. It also doesn't give up much in performance to its successor, and is said to be easier to maintain. When owners of ordinary cars were making do with two- or three-speed automatics, or even a manual transmission, the Cloud came with a four-speed automatic, a specification that has only recently gone out of date, some 50 years later.
The entire package made a very successful car for Rolls-Royce, with greater production and a longer lifespan than any model that preceded it. It remains a quintessential Rolls-Royce, with enough power to be used on modern roads, and a degree of style that only this marque can offer.
Françoise Hermann was born in Paris in 1919. She led a life of glamour and social prominence pursuing her passions for travel, opera and ballet. Françoise had a flair for Spanish dance and studied at the famous Cansino family studio in New York, becoming an accomplished flamenco dancer. She could still be enticed onto the dance floor when in her eighties. During her travels, Françoise developed a keen eye for furniture and artwork and began to attain a reputable collection along the way. Françoise was never married, instead choosing a life of adventure and exploration. During her life she became a noted philanthropist, supporting many amnesty and animal foundations.
The Motorcar Offered
With her exquisite taste in art, design and the finer things in life, it is no surprise that Ms. Hermann chose do drive, or perhaps more likely chose to be driven, in a Rolls-Royce.
As originally delivered, LSHF 85 was tastefully and subtly liveried in Masons black paintwork with a single 'Deep red' coach-line. Its interior was trimmed in lustrous red leather, and equipped with high end accessories, such as R-R 'Increased capacity' air-conditioning, and plain Sundym glass throughout. It was shod with Whitewall tires, but carried a 'Made in England' name plate, and on the technical side, the reverse button on the column shift was to be deleted. According to Bernard King's 'Silver Cloud and Bentley S1 - 50 years' it was delivered new to a Mrs. Helen Brennan Girdler, being supplied through Flood Pontiac of Washington D.C.
It is thought that the car passed to Mrs. Hermann in its early years and since it still wears French license plates denoting registration in the Eastern Parisian jurisdiction of Yvelines, or Versailles, it must have been taken back to Europe and used there for part of its life.
As evidenced today from its mileage which reads just over 50,000, it is believed to reflect the car's lifelong use and, judging from its aesthetics, reflects consistently with such a number. It must have been well maintained to have survived its near 50 year existence in such good and original order. The only thing preventing the interior from being 100% original is the replacement front seat leather, the new upholstery being ordered directly from Rolls-Royce. Though well kept, the Rolls does show a few signs of Ms. Hermann's day to day use of the car. A few parking lot dings have affected the aluminum doors and an old repair to the left front fender is beginning to show through.
With its known high profile ownership, evident preserved and original state and attractive color scheme, this is a fine example of its breed.
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.