1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Hooper Empress Touring Limousine
£85,000 | Location: United Kingdom
A very late 4.9 litre car coming to us with an impeccable provenance. The last word in motoring luxury in its day, this automatic-transmission Silver Wraith on the long-wheelbase chassis has the 4,887cc engine introduced in the second half of 1954.
Chassis number 'HLW6' was completed in December of 1958 and was supplied to one D.M. King Esq of Stevenage.
Built to design number '8500' by Hooper & Co, it features their Empress Touring Limousine coachwork with cutaway spats over the rear wheels. 'HLW6' is one of only six cars built in this style and as a late Silver Wraith it also features power steering, while the 4.9-litre engine is equipped with twin SU HD8 carburettors (early examples were fitted with a single Zenith which was subsequently replaced by twin HD6 carburettors). It was also fitted with a standing mascot as opposed to the kneeling type fitted to earlier cars. 'HLW6' is one of very few Silver Wraiths produced to this mechanical specification, the most advanced offered.
This particular car was restored in the late 1980s and was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons in early 2005. In the ensuing six years it was well campaigned on various rallies and long journeys, covering approximately 15,000 miles while being carefully maintained. It is fitted with a powered internal division, sideways-facing occasional seats in the rear compartment and a picnic table. It also has one notable modern upgrade: a rear parking camera with display screen discreetly placed on the driver's sun visor, so it is only visible when required.
The car comes to us with a massive history file covering several decades. It was restored by the late James Crickmay of Frank Dales as his personal car & as a result has had care lavished upon it; the last bill indeed from 2014 coming to over £17,000. Prior to that there are a plethora of large bills from such luminaries as The Chelsea Workshop & P.J Fischer Classic Automobiles totalling many tens of thousands of pounds.
The results are a car that starts instantly & drives beautifully. To the rear is Burgundy hide throughout, along with matching carpets & beautifully figured walnut. A large occasional table folds out of the central Bulkhead as do two occasional seats making the car a full 7 seat vehicle when required. Air conditioning has also been fitted providing for a pleasant ambience in the cabin on hotter days.
The rare swooping Hooper coachwork is the last word in elegance & attracts attention wherever it goes. The car is in impeccable order throughout & is simply a pleasure to either drive or be driven in. A division slides up & down at the touch of a button to isolate the rear occupants from the Chauffeur.