• Chassis # ELW14
  • Engine # L13E
  • Offered Out Of Long-Term Enthusiast Ownership
  • A Very Nice Driver Quality Example
  • Featuring A Fantastic Highly Original Interior
  • Includes Original Tool Kit, Jack, Unused Matching Spare, And Chassis Data Card
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This car is currently located in: Philadelphia, PA

The Overview

The first post-war Rolls Royces rolled off the assembly line in 1946 with the introduction of the Silver Wraith. Built until 1958, the Silver Wraith was marketed as the 25/30 hp replacement for the 1939 Wraith that was in their smaller 20 hp and 20/25 hp market sector. It was produced as a chassis to be delivered to coachbuilders who would then put their own bodies on them.

The engine was improved with chromium-plated cylinder bores, a more rigid chassis frame with new independent front suspension, and a new synchromesh gearbox for easier shifting. All Silver Wraiths used a straight six-cylinder engine that ranged in displacement from 4.3 L for the 1946-1951 model years to 4.9 L for the 1955-1958 model years. Only a four-speed manual gearbox was available at first, but a four-speed General Motors Hydramatic automatic was available starting in 1952.

Most coachbuilders that were provided with a chassis built a 4-door saloon or limousine body, leading to many countries like Ireland, Brazil, and Zimbabwe using them as their presidential state cars.

This particular example, Chassis # ELW.14, was delivered to H. J. Mulliner & Co. on August 17th, 1955 who put a touring limousine body on it. The complete car was then delivered on October 18th, 1955 to Bowmaker Ltd. in London for a Sir Arthur Morse with the ownership having been registered on November 9th, 1955. This Silver Wraith donned a two-tone Shell Gray with Black Pearl exterior with red hide upholstery. Special features noted on the chassis specification sheet include no step irons, a roof aerial, and an extension speaker for the radio.

The included ownership card shows a change of ownership on August 13th, 1958 to a Mrs. V.G. Walker with the address listed as The Ritz Hotel in London. On October 13th, 1964, it was sold to Motor Sales London Ltd. who likely sold it to a D. Hayes of Essex on December 11th, 1965.

While ownership documentation past this point does not exist, the most recent owner, well-known Allentown, PA collector Bernie Berman, was the custodian of this Rolls Royce for over 30 years. During his ownership, this Silver Wraith was always driven and exquisitely serviced, with a few interior and exterior blemishes to show for it. We also believe that the full black repaint was completed either during his ownership or shortly before. As it sits, the car should see some additional servicing to be considered reliable, but is otherwise fundamentally a nice example of a classic Rolls-Royce limousine. Whether it is being driven or used as a chauffeur vehicle, a 1950s Rolls-Royce is one of the most surefire ways to leave an impression regardless of the occasion. Do not miss out on the opportunity to own the last car to be sold from the Bernie Berman Collection.

Included in the sale is the original tool kit, jack, and an unused matching spare as well as the Rolls Royce Chassis Data Card.



The Details

exterior

body and paint

The overall condition of this Silver Wraith is that of a driver quality vehicle, through and through. As such the paint is shiny, consistent, but not without a handful of blemishes to be found. Of which it is safe to say can be found on every panel. Either a touched up chip, worn edge, or aged/failing paint. It is however very consistent and presentable for the purposes of a driver, albeit a scruffy driver. It could easily be left and enjoyed as-is as many cars are in this condition or it is the perfect opportunity for a full repaint. The body does appear straight down the sides with nice panel fitment and no evidence of any previous accident damage or rust repair. A fundamentally solid example.

glass and trim

All of the brightwork, trim and glass appear to be untouched originals. Flaws are present from both age and use in all aspects of the glass, trim and brightwork. Again, very consistent with the rest of the car and in the context of a driver - acceptable.

wheels

The wheels are the correct factory wheels that appear to be in original condition or possibly refinished once in their life with the brightwork certainly original.

notable flaws

Please see photos, we have captured all of the flaws that were obvious to us and they are present for in depth review.

interior

seats and surfaces

This is really where this car makes you feel at home. The interior is wonderfully original with the exception of a section of the driver's seat bottom. The patina matches the rest of the car with the wood, interior trim and finishes in excellent preserved condition. The headliner is excellent except the driver area is beginning to sag. The carpets and even the door jams show well with the exception of some tired rubber in a few places. A wonderful place to be overall with a charming patina and the smell of an old car with leather and wood.

functionality and accessories

The center divider window, windshield wipers, interior lighting, radio (powers, but no sound) and other instrumentation is in working order including fog light, horn etc… The only item that was not working appeared to be the headlights, but this may be due to operator error and/or is an easy adjustment/fix.

engine bay and trunk

engine bay

The engine bay shows as a well preserved original overall with signs of service and use commensurate with age. There are perhaps some minor leaks to be noted, but otherwise the engine bay presents as correct with correct clamps and nothing out of order or aftermarket. A very nice starting point should the next owner seek to improve upon presentation.

trunk area

The trunk is tidy and complete with nothing out of place. The tools are in the correct spot as is the spare, jack and other accessories.

mechanicals

engine

The car starts easily, runs smoothly and holds strong oil pressure and regulates temperature. However, it should be noted that the car requires further servicing to be considered reliable. While it does run, drive and stop it has seen more sitting than using in the past few years and it is advisable that this Silver Wraith be properly serviced before extensive use is undertaken.

transmission

This example is fitted with the Automatic GM unit and it operates as intended with no obvious major faults noted.

brakes and suspension

Again, the brakes work, but it is advised that the next owner complete a thorough inspection if not rebuild the braking system to be certain of its reliability. The suspension feels plush and from our inspection is in acceptable condition though rubber bushings may need tending to. The car still retains the correct gators protecting the leaf springs.

tires

The tires are Firestone 7.50-16 on all 4 corners + spare. While there is no cracking and they do feel relatively soft they are likely very old.

driving experience

Any Rolls Royce motor car aims to impress, and this one is no exception even in its current state. It is fundamentally an excellent example that feels like it has potential and is ready for proper servicing and to be on the road once more. A fantastic opportunity at a charming old car.

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