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Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Published: 16th Nov 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
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Why should i get one?

Few cars shout old school class and status as well as cultured Silver Clouds, and they make you feel on top of the world. Some regard this model as the last of the genuine Rolls-Royces, built how proper prestige cars used to be made. Costlier than the Shadow that replaced them, Clouds still represent good value and can be maintained by most owners.


What can i get?

As befitting such a prestige hand-built car, there’s no such thing as a standard model, although you can classify them as mostly saloons, with long wheelbase limo derivatives clothed in bespoke bodies. There are also rare convertibles. In 1959 the Silver Cloud II (and Bentley S2) were announced; the chief change being the fitting of Rolls’ new-fangled 6230cc V8, which became the mainstay up until the end of the Century. Kicking out up to 185bhp, it gave the car some much welcome zip. Three years later, the last of the line R-R Clouds/Bentley S3s were launched with 200-210bhp, although Rolls never quoted official power outputs, thinking such things were far too vulgar! Don’t forget the more common Bentleys and the Phantom limos which actually remained in service (and still with drum brakes) right up until 1992!


What are they like to drive?

The real pleasure piloting this graceful lady comes when you simply relax and take it easy, watching the world hurry by all in uncanny smoothness and silence which, more than 60 years on, still amazes. No wonder it was hailed as the best car in the world back then.

Stately, not slow, best describes the performance. Typical road test times clocked these heavyweights to 60mph in around 13 seconds, while a late V8 can almost touch 120mph, although some actually prefer the old slower six which was silky smooth and spookily silent.

GTi-style driving is not something we’d like to try, considering that finger-light feelless power steering (it quickly became an option and be wary of one without – it’s a truck to drive otherwise) hardly inspires confidence, unlike the surprisingly effective drum brakes. As a majestic cruiser there’s little to touch Crewe’s finest. Comfort reigns supreme and there’s plenty of space in the back, especially in the longer wheelbased versions. Opt for a bench-seated car and there’s more than ample room for six to savour the experience. You can’t really compare the Cloud to the later Shadow, in the end it’s down to personal taste. The Shadow naturally feels more modern although the ride isn’t appreciably superior.


What are they like to live with?

Values are rising – not yet into the clouds, although the Continentals are getting there! Expect to pay £55,000 and above for a truly nice example, while a good ’un can easily command £25,000+. S3s are the most usable, but S1 cars seem to command most value. Bentleys trail Rolls’ prices by a fair bit and special-bodied cars command double or treble over a saloon.

Rolls or Bentley? Again it’s a matter of personal taste. Unlike today’s ranges, the former are the most popular with buyers and so worth more and as a result it’s not unknown for Bentleys to have been ‘Rollerised’, although you can tell whether the bonnet has been altered. Check the car’s history, V5 and look for signs of original Bentley markings. Not a cheap car to restore, although Rolls’ specialists and breakers can help; repairs at home are possible, you’ll need lorry spec jacks, axle stands and tools for some work, to be safe.


We reckon…

If you want old fashioned engineering and craftsmanship at its best, but consider a Shadow far too flashy and common, take a step further back in time. Pure class on wheels but, you must buy a good rather than a cheap one. If not, you may discover that every silver lining does have a dark cloud.


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