With just 56, 000 miles from new, this may be the lowest mileage Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn in Britain. It is the very last of eleven cars with this body built by Royal coachbuilders Hooper & Co.
The model began as the Bentley MKVI in April 1946. In the period of austerity which immediately followed World War II, Rolls-Royce Motors decided to build most of their production with the more discreet and understated Bentley badge. It was their first model to be produced with a ‘standard steel' body. All previous models had been chassis only with bodies completed by independent coachbuilders including Freestone & Webb, James Young, H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward and Hooper & Co.
In 1949 they decided to produce a Rolls-Royce version - the Silver Dawn which was only available for export, principally to the U. S. A. It was first sold on the home market in 1953 and most examples had the factory-built steel body, almost identical to the Bentley R Type. This rare example was built by Hooper & Co with the ‘Empress Line' styling - often seen on Daimler models. It was the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture in ladies fashion. With an English ash frame and hand-crafted body, this was the pinnacle of the coachbuilders art. Only the finest woods and leather hides were used in its construction. The standard steel Silver Dawn saloon cost £4700 new in 1955. A hand-built body like this did not come cheaply, taking the cost to almost £6700 - over three times the average house price in Northern England in 1955!
The car has its original 4. 5 litre straight-six engine, four speed automatic transmission, electric front windows, servo-assisted brakes, adjustable ride control and valve radio. The ultra-smooth luxury saloon was amongst the models that earned Rolls-Royce Motors a reputation as ‘The Best Car in the World'. This example is finished in two-tone Velvet/ Sage Green. The car comes with an amazing history file chronicling its ownership from new. With just one owner from 1999-2021 there is a £70, 000 maintenance history with a top RREC-approved marque specialist which evidences the superb maintenance of this rare and beautiful Rolls-Royce motor car.