Rolls Royce, the company that started out as Rolls-Royce Limited in 1906, came out with the Silver Cloud in 1955.
The Silver Cloud was a beautiful automobile and it was very popular among luxury car buyers. Featured in this article is the 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I. Silver Cloud bridged between the pre-war Rolls-Royce and the modern Silver Shadow.
The Silver Cloud model replaced the Silver Dawn which was the car that brought Rolls Royce post war prosperity.
The Silver Cloud I was something very different for Rolls Royce. Instead of building chassis and send them off to custom coach builders, the Silver Cloud was entirely built in the Rolls Royce factory and with a complete factory built body. The Silver Cloud was produced from 1955 to 1966 and during that time was the main model for Rolls Royce.
The Silver Cloud Design
The 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud was beautifully proportioned. The body was mounted onto completely new closed box section frame.
Rolls-Royce's chief designer John Polwhele Blatchley did a wonderful job with the automobile's design. The body was designed so meticulously and balanced that the cars' great size wasn't really noticed when first viewed. A lot of people may never have heard of John Polwhele Blatchley however most have seen his work. Blatchley was assigned as Rolls-Royce's first ever stylist.
Blatchley who retired from Rolls Royce at the age of 55 in 1969 passed away in 2008 at age 95.
An interesting side note was that the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I design came out pretty fast. Blatchley was asked to quickly sketch of a more traditional design than the one he had been working on for several years. He did and the board at Rolls Royce approved it fast and these automobiles were scheduled for production. Note that these were also automobiles that were to have factory bodies that were to have the same craftsmanship and elegance as those from coach builders. As mentioned above, this was a big departure for Rolls Royce.
1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I Specifications
The 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud engine was 4.9 Liter Inline Six. This engine can be traced all the way back to the Silver Ghost model decades earlier. Horsepower was estimated to be 155. A British publication had rated the Silver Cloud I with a top speed of 102.0 MPH. Zero to 60 was rated at 13.5 seconds.
Standard transmission was a General Motors four speed automatic.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.
The dimensions for the Silver Cloud I included an overall length of 17 ft, 8 inches, a width of 75.0 inches, and a wheelbase of 121.0 inches. There was a long wheelbase model that came out in September 1957 at 145.0 inches. The Silver Cloud I's curb weight was 4,990 lbs.
A total of 2,238 Silver Cloud I's were built from 1955 to 1959. Out of these there were 121 that were coach built. There was no mechanical difference between the Rolls-Royce and Bentley versions of the car. Only the badges, radiator and bonnet were different.
New car price for the 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I was about $13,500.
You may also enjoy the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below...
The 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I Collector Car
All Rolls Royce models from the 1950's are highly popular luxury collector cars. Regarding the Silver Cloud I's, those that were independently coach built are rare and one's that are in top condition today can garner six figures at auction. An extremely Rare Freestone and Webb 1956 Silver Cloud I as of this writing had an asking price of $165,000. A rare 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Mulliner 4 door Sedan with right hand drive had an asking price of $79,900. This model is one of reportedly four produced with suicide doors. Another is a 1957 Silver Cloud with left hand drive and a/c for $39,500.
What you should always look for when shopping for this kind of automobile are complete records and a detailed ownership trail. Repairs on these cars are rarely inexpensive so an inspection by a qualified Rolls Royce mechanic is recommended.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)