Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn
- See also the 1994–1998 Silver Dawn
|Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
Bentley Mark VI
Bentley R Type
|Engine||4.3 L I6
4.6 L I6
|Transmission||4-speed manual or 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||120 in (3,048 mm)|
|Length||4877 to 5334 mm (192 to 210 inches)|
|Width||69 in (1,753 mm)|
|Height||64.5 in (1,638 mm)|
The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn is a luxury car that was produced by Rolls-Royce at their Crewe works between 1949 and 1955. It was the first Rolls-Royce car to be offered with a factory built body which it shared, along with its chassis, with the Bentley Mark VI until 1952 and then the Bentley R Type until production finished in 1955. The car was first introduced as an export only model. The left hand drive models had a column gear change, while right hand drives had a floor change by the door. Only with the R Type based model was it officially available on the home market, from October 1953.
A mere 760 were produced between 1949 and 1955. Earlier models up to circa May 1954 had a different fascia (dashboard) from the Bentley Mk.VI and 'R' Type, and were fitted with a single exhaust system. Later models from the SRH chassis series had the Bentley style fascia and the twin exhaust system, as fitted to the Bentley 'R' Type. On the Standard Steel cars throughout the production history, all the body panels forward of the bulkhead/firewall were slightly different from those fitted to the Bentley.
The in-line six cylinder engine had overhead inlet and side exhaust valves and had a capacity of 4,257 cc until 1951 when it was enlarged to 4,566 cc. The carburettor was a single downdraught Stromberg until 1952 when it was replaced by a Zenith. 
A four speed manual gearbox was fitted to all cars at first, with a 4-speed automatic becoming an option in late 1952 on the 'E' Series chassis, and on the corresponding Bentley 'R' Type chassis. 
The suspension was independent at the front using coil springs while at the rear the live axle used half elliptic leaf springs. The car had a separate chassis made with traditional riveted construction until 1953 after which it was welded. Servo assisted 12.25 in (311 mm) drum brakes were used, hydraulically operated at the front but retaining mechanical operation at the rear. Although many cars were fitted with factory built bodies, others were supplied to external coachbuilders.
A factory bodied Silver Dawn with automatic transmission tested by The Motor magazine in 1954 had a top speed of 94.0 mph (151.3 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 15.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 15.4 miles per imperial gallon (18.3 L/100 km; 12.8 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £4704 including taxes.
- Martin Cannell
- The Rolls-Royce Motor Car. Anthony Bird and Ian Hallows. Batsford Books. 2002 ISBN 0-7134-8749-6
- "The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn". The Motor. May 5, 1954.
- A-Z of Cars 1945-1970. Michael Sedgwick and Mark Gillies. Bay View Books. 1986. ISBN 1-870979-39-7
- Contrary to erroneous reports, the automatic gearbox was never standardised, and the synchromesh gearbox was available until the end of production. Martin Cannell.
|Rolls-Royce Motor Cars timeline|
|Ownership||Independent||Vickers plc||VW Group||BMW|
|Luxury car||10 hp
|Twenty||20/25||25/30||Wraith||WWII||Silver Dawn||Silver Cloud||Silver Shadow||Silver Spirit/Dawn||Silver Seraph||Ghost|
|Ultra-luxury car||30 hp||40/50 hp (Silver Ghost)||Phantom I/II/III||Silver Wraith||Silver Wraith II||Silver Spur||Ghost Extended Wheelbase|
|Phantom IV||Phantom V/VI||Touring Limousine||Park Ward||Phantom|
|Convertible||Corniche/II/III/IV||Corniche V||Phantom Drophead|
|Coupé||Camargue||Silver Spirit Hooper 2 Door||Phantom Coupé|