Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
RollsRoyceSilverCloud1 1959.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Rolls-Royce Ltd
Production 1955–1966
7,372 produced
Assembly Crewe, England
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 4.9 L I6
6.2 L Rolls-Royce V8
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Kerb weight 4,647 lb (2,108 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Silver Dawn
Successor Silver Shadow

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is an automobile which was produced by Rolls-Royce Limited from April 1955 to March 1966. It was the core model of the Rolls-Royce range during that period. The Silver Cloud replaced the Silver Dawn and was, in turn, replaced by the Silver Shadow. The J. P. Blatchley design was a major change from the pre-war models and the highly derivative Silver Dawn. As part of a range rationalisation the Bentley S1 is very similar, apart from its radiator grille.

Silver Cloud I[edit]

Silver Cloud I
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I 1956 licence plate 1963 Castle Hedingham 2008.JPG
Overview
Production 1955-1958
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé (a small number of 4-door convertibles, hearses and station wagons were also built)
Related Bentley S1
Powertrain
Engine 4.9 L I6
Transmission Four-speed automatic[1]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 123 in (3,124 mm) (short-wheelbase) [2][1]
127 in (3,226 mm) (long wheelbase, offered for 1957 and 1958 cars)
Length 212 in (5,385 mm) [2]
Width 74.75 in (1,899 mm) [2]
Height 64 in (1,626 mm) [2]

The chassis was a simple steel box section, welded together and very rigid. Construction retained the traditional split between chassis and body, which facilitated the provision of special bodied versions though in practice the overwhelming majority of cars were delivered with the standard steel body shell, produced by Pressed Steel, and employing light weight aluminium based alloy for the doors, bonnet/hood and boot/trunk lid.[3] The car was 5.38 m (212 in) long, 1.90 m (75 in) wide, and massed 1.95 tonnes. The engine was a 155 hp / 4000 rpm 4.9 L six-cylinder unit with inlet over exhaust valves: twin SU carburettors were added in September 1957.[4] The standard transmission was a four-speed automatic. The turning circle was 41 feet 8 inches (12.70 m).[1]

Brakes were hydraulic and assisted by the Rolls-Royce mechanical servo with 11 in (279 mm) drums and suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Twin brake master cylinders were incorporated from April 1956.[4]

Power steering became an option in 1956 along with air conditioning.

A long-wheelbase version, lengthened by 4 in (102 mm), was also made available in September 1957, outwardly very similar to the existing car, but offering improved leg space for rear-seat passengers.[3]

The British Motor magazine tested a standard-wheelbase factory-bodied Series I in 1956 recording a top speed of 102.9 mph (165.6 km/h) and acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.5 seconds and a fuel consumption of 14.5 miles per imperial gallon (19.5 L/100 km; 12.1 mpg-US). The test car cost £5078 including taxes.[2]

1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé (convertible)

Silver Cloud II[edit]

Silver Cloud II
'61 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Convertible (Hudson).JPG
Overview
Production 1959-1962
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé
(a small number of 4-door convertibles, hearses and station wagons were also built)
Related Bentley S2
Powertrain
Engine 6.2 L Rolls-Royce V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase 123 in (3,124 mm) (short-wheelbase) [2]
127 in (3,226 mm) (long wheelbase)
Length 213 in (5,410 mm) [5]
Width 74.75 in (1,899 mm) [5]
Height 64 in (1,626 mm) [5]

The Silver Cloud II was introduced in 1959. Little changed externally but it now had a 6.2 L V8 engine, which pushed the weight to 2.11 tonnes. Performance was greatly improved and top speed was raised to 183 km/h (114 mph), but the main improvements were in acceleration and torque. Power steering became standard. Electrically operated windows were now available as an option.

Although the improved performance of the new car was welcomed, commentators of the time noted that the V8-engined Silver Cloud II was neither as quiet nor as smooth as the straight-six-cylinder-engined Silver Cloud I, despite the new engine's hydraulic tappet operation.[4] The new wet-linered V8 was also a little cramped in an engine bay intended originally for a narrower unit: in order to change the sparking plugs it was necessary to remove the front wheel on the car's right side.[4] There seems to have been a problem with crankshaft breakages in the earlier V8s: this was blamed on lack of lubrication to the bearings.[4]

The basic architecture of the Silver Cloud II did not change between 1959 and 1963, but there were numerous minor changes implemented, notable among them a succession of improvements to the ventilation system.[4] Interior changes in 1961 included the adoption of blue instrument lighting, the introduction of a combined indicator / headlamp flasher switch and of a handbrake warning light. A remodelled rear light assembly was introduced in May 1962 and a change to single sealed-beam headlamps was made in August 1962.[4]

The Motor magazine tested a Series II in 1960. They recorded a top speed of 104.7 mph (168.5 km/h), acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds and a fuel consumption of 13 miles per imperial gallon (22 L/100 km; 11 mpg-US). The test car cost £6092 including taxes.[5]

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II Saloon

Silver Cloud III[edit]

Silver Cloud III
'64 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (Hudson).JPG
Overview
Production 1963-1966
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé
(a small number of 4-door convertibles, hearses and station wagons were also built)
Related Bentley S3
Powertrain
Engine 6.2 L Rolls-Royce V8 220HP (estimate[6])

The Silver Cloud III arrived in 1963. External dimensions were slightly tweaked, the interior remodelled, the weight reduced by a little over 100 kg (220 lb) and improvements made to the engine which included fitting 2-inch (51 mm) SU carburettors in place of the 1¾ inch units used on the Series II Silver Cloud.[3] The compression ratio was increased to 9:1, reflecting the higher octane levels of premium fuel in major markets,[3] although the option of a lower 8:1 compression ratio was still offered in markets where non-availability of higher octane fuels might be an issue.[4] Rolls-Royce, as before, refused to disclose overall engine power output, but indicated that there had been an improvement of "perhaps 7%".[3] Increased power and weight reduction boosted speed and performance slightly. The engine now included a nitride hardened crankshaft to reflect the extra power being generated and in response to reports of broken crankshafts in the earlier V8 Silver Clouds.[4] The transmission was a GM Hydramatic which Rolls-Royce used under licence.[6]

The headlights were grouped in a four-headlamp layout subsequently continued in the later Silver Shadow. Other external changes included a slightly increased slope of the hood / bonnet to correspond with a 1 12 inches (3.8 cm) reduction in the height of the radiator grille.[4]

Between 1963 and 1966 there were no major changes. Stainless steel wheel trims replaced chrome-plated ones in April 1963, and an improved rear window demister was introduced in November of the same year.[4] Wider front seats were fitted in January 1964, and five months later a revised headlamp surround now incorporated a very small RR monogram.[4] A chrome badge reading "Silver Cloud III" in an italic font can be seen on the right bottom side of the boot of most UK and European delivered examples, whilst US versions were delivered without this badge.

As with earlier models, Rolls-Royce continued to make the Silver Cloud chassis available to traditional coachbuilders. A notable version is the so-called "Chinese Eye" design, offered in Fixed Head and Drop Head Coupe style by Mulliner Park Ward. It was derived from the earlier H. J. Mulliner & Co. design for the Bentley S1 and S2 Continentals.[7] To widen production in a diminishing market, this adaptation was made available for the Bentley S3 Continental as well as for the Silver Cloud III so, of the 328 coach-built Silver Cloud III, about 100 were of this style.

Production[edit]

  • Silver Cloud: 2,238
  • Silver Cloud Long Wheelbase: 85
  • Silver Cloud special coachbuilder styles (convertibles, coupes, hearses, etc.): 121
  • Silver Cloud II: 2,417
  • Silver Cloud II Long Wheelbase: 258
  • Silver Cloud II coachbuilder styles (convertibles, coupes, hearses, etc.): 107
  • Silver Cloud III: 2,044
  • Silver Cloud III Long Wheelbase: 206
  • Silver Cloud III coachbuilder styles (convertibles, coupes, hearses, etc.): 328

Popular Culture[edit]

In a 1971 song called "Up To Me," the British rock band Jethro Tull refers to this car with the lyric "I'll buy a Silver Cloud to ride." Many famous singers in the 60s choose this beautiful car to be the ultimate ride in luxury. Just to name a few of them Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley Car, Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra's Silver Cloud. Even the designer Massimo Vignelli owned a Silver Cloud, in his early New York years.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://storm.oldcarmanualproject.com/rollsroyce/3211.jpg
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud". The Motor. January 18, 1956. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Used cars on test: Rolls Royce Silver Cloud..". Autocar. 126 nbr 3707: Pages 66–67. date 2 March 1967. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Buying secondhand: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud". Autocar. 144 (nbr 4129): 58–61. 27 December 1975. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II". The Motor. May 18, 1960. 
  6. ^ a b Willson, Quentin (1995). The Ultimate Classic Car Book. DK Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-7894-0159-2. 
  7. ^ Walker, Nick: A-Z of British Coachbuilders, 1919-1960; Bay View Books, Bideford, Devon, UK (1997), ISBN 1-870979-93-1 p.149 and 158-159

External links[edit]