6,223cc OHV V8 Engine
Twin SU Carburetors
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
Independent Front and Semi-Elliptical Leaf Spring Rear Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
*Delivered new to Howard Johnson, Inc in New York City
*Original U.S. delivery, in left-hand drive
*One of only 258 long-wheelbase Silver Cloud IIs produced.
*Documented by copies of its build records
THE SILVER CLOUD II
Catering for the stately limousine market in the 1950s, Rolls-Royce offered the royalty and heads of state-only Phantom IV and the generally available, if somewhat dated, Silver Wraith. Following the introduction of the Silver Cloud, a long-wheelbase version of this more modern design was made available, with bodies closely based on the factory's standard offering. Four inches (100mm) longer in the wheelbase than the standard saloon and usually fitted out with an internal division, these bodyshells were extended by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward (soon to become H J Mulliner, Park Ward) at its London works and finished off at Crewe. These long-wheelbase versions of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley 'S' Series continued after the introduction of the new 6,230cc aluminum-alloy V8 engine on the 'Cloud II/S2 in the autumn of 1959, offering a less expensive alternative to the newly introduced Phantom V. Only 258 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and 51 Bentley S2 long-wheelbase saloons were made before the introduction of the Silver Cloud III.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This rare, long-wheelbase version of the Silver Cloud II was ordered new through British Motor Cars of San Francisco but later switched to Rolls-Royce's American distributor J.S. Inskip by Howard Johnson's Inc., the legendary hotel and restaurant chain based in Rockefeller Center in New York City, likely for use by the chain's recently retired founder Howard Deering Johnson. Trimmed in understated Masons Black over Grey leather and fitted with a radio, Cadillac antennae, part refrigeration, electric windows, and Sundym glass, it was delivered to Rock Center in December of 1960 as a 1961 example (as detailed on the build sheet). Howard Johnson (the company) would retain the Rolls until July of 1964 when it was traded in for another car. LLCA18 would then enter the motor pool of Forbes, Inc. for a year before being traded again and heading north to Hunton Motors in Bloomingburg, New York. From there the Cloud wafted between Cleveland, Ohio with Charles Fleck, down to Houston, Texas with Lloyd Davis in 1969, back to the Midwest with John Richter of Winnetka, Illinois in 1972, and then returned to the northeast with Ronald Aliano of Norwich, Connecticut in 1982. At some point, the Rolls was restored to the white over light brown/orange with tan leather color scheme that it wears today.
Acquired by the current owner a bit over a decade ago, it has been on static display ever since and mechanical recommissioning is recommended before active touring. While more suited to the Forbes' 400 List than the parking lot of a Howard Johnson, it has no doubt enjoyed a bit of both and will be welcome to do the same with its next, fortunate owner.