Every Rolls Royce From 1904 To Present Day - Part 3 of 4 (Post-War) - LLC
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Every Rolls Royce From 1904 To Present Day – Part 3 of 4 (Post-War)

13 May, 2022

Welcome to part 3 in our journey on every Rolls Royce from 1904 to present day, we left part 2 in 1939, with the onset of war the British government had commissioned Rolls Royce to manufacture jet engines, car production was put on hold until 1946.

 If you haven’t already taken a look through part 1 or part 2 then we suggest you do so HERE:

Please Note: All the links to the images in this article can be found below the relevant images.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith

Following the second world war Rolls Royce set to work on building cars once more, but due to post war economic sentiment they took a more measured approach, instead of releasing the larger more expensive chassis vehicles like that of the Phantom, they instead rolled out a more affordable car based on the smaller 1939 Wraith.

In April 1946 the first of the new Silver Wraith’s rolled off the production line. The new vehicle certainly had essences of it’s older brother the Wraith but with a far more modern, graceful and imposing design. It came with a marginally bigger 4880cc engine pumping out 135hp.

There was nothing quite like it on the roads and even with the limited marketplace after the war virtually every king, queen, emperor, statesperson, celebrity and super rich, had to have one. The Silver Wraith and the name Rolls Royce from this moment on became the archetypal epitome of luxury, power and wealth.

Production ran up until 1958 with 1883 produced.

Rolls Royce Silver Dawn

Just three years after their successful relaunch with the introduction of the Silver Dawn, Rolls Royce decided it was time to step up their game once more and reintroduced a larger vehicle, the Silver Dawn manufactured between 1949 to 1955.

The Silver Dawn was the very first Rolls Royce to offer a left hand drive steering option and was the very first Rolls Royce to have been completely manufactured by Rolls Royce at their Crewe works, before you would be buying the chassis from Rolls Royce and the body was made by a recommended or independent coachbuilder, nonetheless now that everything was manufactured under on roof (so to speak) quality control was far superior, every car was finished to the exact same high standards.

The Silver Dawn came with either a 192 inch or 210 inch wheelbase (60 inches to 80 inches longer than the Wraith), a choice of 4.2L or 4.6L inline 6 engine on a 4 speed manual or automatic gearbox, but its popularity was not that of it it’s smaller brother the Wraith, very likely due to the fact that the car looked almost identical to its smaller brother which was already available at a fraction of the price, and this is reflected in its sales, just 760 Silver Dawns were ever produced, this was the lowest sales figures for a mass production Rolls Royce since 1908.

Rolls Royce Phantom IV

Now entering the Industrial Revolution of the 1950s Rolls Royce noted that was a gap in marketplace for a special line of vehicle for the select few, and almost like trying to buy a new sports Rolex from an authorised dealer today, Rolls Royce would only supply the Phantom IV to those whom they deemed worthy enough, in affect not just capturing their wealthy audience with the Wraith and Silver Wraith but ensuring that world knew that you had to be someone special to not just own a Phantom IV but a Rolls Royce in general.

Only 18 of the incredibly stunning Phantom IV were ever produced between 1950 to 1956, they came with a 145 inch wheelbase, a longitudinal front 5.7L or 6.5L engine driving the rear wheels and either a 4 speed manual or automatic gearbox.

Queen Elizabeth II commissioned her bulletproof version of the Phantom IV in 1951 which she received that following year and it had been her favourite state vehicle which she would be regularly seen in all the way up until 2018.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I, II & III

Now the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud (I & II) produced between 1955 to 1966 has to be by far my favourite Rolls Royce to date, it’s just magnificent, to me whenever Rolls Royce’s name is mentioned the Silver Cloud I is the first image that comes to my mind. 

The Silver Cloud replaced the Silver Dawn in 1955 with huge success, Rolls Royce sold almost 10 times more Silver Clouds over its lifetime at 7,372. It took the wonderful elongated, arched design of the previous car and brought it into the 20th century, filling the gaps between the doors, engines and wheel arches, forming an evermore sleek and graceful look that looked as if it woofed along the road like a cloud.

The first of the Silver Cloud’s, the Silver Cloud I were manufactured between 1955 to 1958, the vehicle came with a 4.9L inline 6 engine and 4 speed hydromantic automatic gearbox with initially a 123 inch wheelbase and later in 1957 a 127 inch offering was available.

However though incredibly popular the car for many seemed a little down on power so by 1959 Rolls Royce released a bigger 6.2L V8 to the now named Silver Cloud II, the earlier Silver Cloud II’s shared the exact body design as the Cloud I.

Production of the Silver Cloud II ended in 1962, and by 1963 the new facelift Silver Cloud III was produced. The most notable visual change being the twin headlights.

All three versions of the Silver Cloud were available in either a 4-door saloon variation, 2 door convertible, 2 door coupé or Mulliner design like these:

Rolls Royce Phantom V

Three years after the clever marketing placement of the Phantom IV being made for the select few, a growing number of wealthy individuals including states-people and royalty were now awaiting the release of the Phantoms IV’s replacement, and Rolls Royce knew they had to make something rather special to cater for that marketplace, and they certainly brought the goods to the table. In 1959 the all new Phantom V rolled off the production lines, the newly designed vehicle had a similar styling to the Silver Cloud but looking less sporty and more serious, which was ideal for its role as essentially a limousine.

The new Phantom came with the same 6.6L V8 engine as the Silver Cloud but now had a shallow gear which gave the car a walking speed making it perfect for a multitude of ceremonies. 

832 Phantom V’s were produced between 1959 to 1968.

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow (I & II)

The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was one of Rolls Royce’s most popular cars to date with 30,057 being produced between 1965 to 1980. The car was available in either a 2 or 4 door salon or 2 door convertible and though the front end did in some ways resemble that of the the twin headlight Silver Cloud the design as you can clearly see was completely different from what came before, yes it had the long squared off, bonnet (hood to my American friends) leading to the imposing chrome grill with the Spirit of Ecstasy in centreplace but the entire car was redesigned from the ground up. Though 50% of Rolls Royce inventory had previously sold overseas needs had now changed, as cars became more enjoyable to drive fewer wished to chauffeured around in their vehicles, many of the roads overseas were narrower at the time than ours which meant people wanted smaller cars and most of all people wanted the latest in technology and though Rolls Royce did initially lead the way in car technology in its earlier days it had become rather lacking after WWII.

So with the aid of designer John Polwhele Blatchley who created the Silver Cloud the new Shadow was born. The vehicle which was priced at £6,557 in the first production year was 3.5 inches narrower and 7 inches shorter than the Silver Cloud, and it came power packed with new modern and state of the art features. The first models from 1965 to 1969 came with a 172hp version of the 6.2L V8 used in the Silver Cloud and a 189hp 6.75L V8 engine in models made between 1970 to 1980.

The Silver Shadow II released in 1977 was simply an updated version of the Silver Shadow, visually it was identical, it now had the modern rubber bumpers replacing the solid chrome as well as having a new rack and pinion steering system and improved front suspension, though these changes seemed small on the surface, they made the cars handling far superior.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

The same year production of the Phantom V seized the Phantom VI was release, though there was a growing demand for smaller, faster drivers cars there were still plenty of individuals who still enjoyed the luxury of being chauffeur driven, Rolls Royce quickly set to work on a facelift version of the Phantom V which encompassed many of the more modern design cues of the Silver Shadow.

The Phantom VI came with the same 6.2L (1968 to 1978) and 6.75L (1979 to 1990) engines as the Shadow. It was the last Rolls Royce ever produced with a separate chassis. Just 374 Phantom VI’s were produced between 1968 to 1990.

Rolls Royce Corniche (I, II, III, IV & S)

The Corniche as you can likely guess replaced the Silver Shadow in 1971 but it had already been developed under Mulliner in 1965, a 2 door saloon drophead coupé redesigned Silver Shadow known as the Corniche was available for 1 year until 1966, but the name was not applied to the car until 1971. 

To date there have been 6 versions of the Corniche produced, versions 1 to 4/5 (I, II, III, IV & S) were produced between 1971 to 1995 with a completely new design for the 2000 version the Corniche V which we will discuss later. Now I say 6 versions as though the 5th is known as the S and forms part of version VI, it was distinctly different to the others having been the only turbocharged version.

The Corniche I to IV’s all came as either a 2 door coupe or convertible with a 6.75L V8, all the models up until 1992 had a 3 speed automatic gearbox, with an updated 4 speed box being added to the Corniche IV released in 1992.

So what are the differences between the 4 different versions, well the Corniche II produced between 1986 to 1989 was produced for the American market adding such things as air bags and anti-locking brakes, the Corniche III (1989 to 1993) now had alloy wheels, colour coded bumpers, fuel injection and as well as more advanced onboard tech and hardware such as an advanced suspension system. The Corniche IV (1992 to 1995), though you would be very hard pressed to notice, was completely reworked, though the design changes were incredibly subtle the new adaptive suspension and 4 speed gearbox made a huge difference in the handling. And in the final year of production (1995) the top of the line S model was released. 

Rolls Royce Camargue

Yes the Rolls Royce Camargue, you’ve possibly never heard of or have ever seen this car in the flesh and if you did happen to glance at one you would have likely thought you had just seen a kit car of a Rolls Royce. Now for a 1975 vehicle this looked pretty futuristic, well at least for Rolls Royce standards it did, the car was manufactured between 1975 to 1986 and was a smaller two door luxury saloon designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina, it was not just the first Rolls Royce not to be designed in-house it was the most expensive two door vehicle on the market, on its release in March 1975 the car could be yours for a mere £29,250 or £200,000 in today’s money account for inflation. 

The vehicle was very unique in styling as you can see from the below, it came with the same 6.75L V8 as the other models on offer at the time, and just 531 were produced between 1975 to 1986.

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit / Silver Spur

The Rolls Royce Silver Spirit or Silver Spur which was the longer wheelbase version of the Spirit were manufactured alongside the Corniche between 1980 to 2000, the Spirits production ended 3 years earlier than the Spur’s in 1997, and just like the Corniche there were 4 different variations, using the same 6.75L engines and 3 speed and later 4 speed gearboxes, these were all 4 door vehicles.

The first Silver Spirit’s and Spurs were produced between 1980 to 1988, the second version produced between 1988 to 1992 but with just a few refinements adding such things as ABS, fuel injection, a smaller steering wheel and two additional air vents to the dashboard. The Shadow and Spur III from 1992 to 1995 had newly designed intake manifolds and cylinder heads increasing speed, and a semi-active suspension providing the softest of rides.

And finally the Silver Spirit IV and Spur IV (1995 to 1999) had the new 4 speed gearbox and much needed but subtle facelift adding full colour coded bumpers

Rolls Royce Silver Seraph

Surprisingly the development of the Silver Seraph began in the later part of the 1980s, but it took almost a decade to 1997 for it to be signed off for production, and by 1998 the first pilot production models were rolling off the production line, with the first customers receiving theirs in 1999, but not under the original owners, by 1998 Rolls Royce was bought out by BMW.

Fortunately BMW maintained virtually all that was Rolls Royce and the Seraph was manufactured just like its predecessors completely handmade at the factory in Crewe, but with one notable added bonus, a BMW engine, the 5.4L naturally aspirated M73 V12, with 5 speed automatic gearbox.

The Silver Seraph was a combination of new design meets old, taking the more rounded elements of their vintage cars and combining those with the more boxy squarer design of the Silver Spirit, the Seraph was only offered in a four door configuration.

Rolls Royce Corniche (V)

The Rolls Royce Corniche V otherwise known as just the Corniche follows its heritage from the long line of Rolls Royce Corniche (I, II, III, IV & S) from 1971 to 1995, however as opposed to being a completely different design from its family members like that of the mark 1’s the new model manufactured between 2000 to 2002 was essentially a 2 door convertible version of the Silver Seraph, however though it certainly looked identical it utilised an older platform lent to it from the Bentley Azure, and the old Rolls Royce 6.75L turbocharged V8 which was thrown out with the new Silver Seraph, was brought back for this model, so quite a bit of a step backward from the Seraph in many ways with its BMW M73 V12 engine. And that was reflected in its sales, just 374 Corniche were ever produced.