Head of Sale
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The Gstaad Sale / 1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Saloon Chassis no. LWME1
Sold for CHF18,400 inc. premium
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Head of Sale
European Sales Manager
International Chairman for Motoring
Introduced towards the end of 1946, the Silver Wraith - Rolls-Royce's first post-war model - employed a chassis similar to that of the Silver Dawn and Mark VI Bentley, though with a 7" longer wheelbase at 10' 7". The 'Wraith however, was only intended for traditional coachbuilt bodies rather than the Mark VI's pioneering 'standard steel' bodywork. Powering Rolls-Royce's post-war range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine of cast-iron, monobloc construction with aluminium cylinder head featuring overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. Only the bore and stroke dimensions were shared with the pre-war overhead-valve Wraith engine, the major advantage of this new 'F-head' layout being its large valves and generous water jacketing around the valve seats. A four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was standard initially, an automatic option (for export models only at first) not becoming available until 1952, at which time the engine was enlarged to 4,566cc and a long-wheelbase (11' 1") version introduced. Manufacture of the short-wheelbase 'Wraith ceased in 1952, with a total production of 1,144; the long-wheelbase version continued until the introduction of the Phantom V in 1959, by which time 639 chassis had been completed.
The last word in motoring luxury in its day, this short-wheelbase Silver Wraith carries six-light saloon coachwork by Park Ward Ltd, the long established and highly respected coachbuilder that had been wholly owned by Rolls-Royce since 1939. A copy chassis card on file records the purchaser as James L Cooke Motors Ltd and lists the following items of equipment: locks to bonnet; hinged type spats to rear wings; chromium motifs; electrically operated driver's window; Chromium plated apron ribs; recesses in front doors; mohair rug; and Ace chromium discs. The card also notes 'Shipment freight to Quebec', suggesting the 'Wraith was bound for Canada.
Unfortunately, little is known of its subsequent history, although the presence of a RAC bumper badge and windscreen stickers of the Beverly Hills Car Club and Deutsch Jagdschutz Verband (German Hunting Protection Association) would seem to indicate that it is well travelled. The only other paperwork consists of a photocopy of a middle east registration document issued in August 2014, which is when it is believed the current owner acquired the Rolls-Royce. On static display since acquisition, the car will require re-commissioning before further use.
Please note that this vehicle is not offered with any original registration documents, bidders should satisfy themselves as to registration requirements in their own jurisdiction. Please contact the department for further information.
Please note that if this vehicle is to be imported into Switzerland, Swiss Customs charges (Duty, Car Tax and VAT) will apply at roughly 12.5% of the Purchase Price. Included in this is the Swiss Duty which is calculated on the weight of the vehicle and shall be CHF 15 per 100 kg. Also included is Swiss Car Tax at 4% and this is calculated on the total Purchase Price (Hammer + Buyers Premium). Swiss VAT will then be applicable on the aggregated amount of the Hammer Price, Buyer's Premium, Swiss Duty and Swiss Car Tax at a rate of 7.7%.
Please note that customs rates to other countries shall vary. This vehicle will not be available for immediate collection after the sale and will only be released on completion of customs clearance. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.