16 August 1998
1938 ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY PARK WARD
Chassis No. WXA10
Engine No. T3WK
Black and green with green leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, in-line, 4,257cc; Gearbox: 4-speed manual, single plate clutch; Suspension: front - independent, enclosed coil spring, rear - semi-elliptic; Brakes: four wheel drum. Right hand drive.
The Rolls-Royce Wraith was first introduced at the London Motor Show in October, 1938. The Wraith benefitted from many of the modifications developed for the Phantom III, including the introduction of independent front suspension, adjustable shock absorbers and a built- in jacking system. The engine was given the crossflow cylinder head similar to the 4 Bentley and the ignition advance was entirely automatic. The emphasis on the Wraith was refinement, and it may well be the quietest Rolls-Royce ever built.
The radiator was moved forward, as part of the suspension changes, allowing more space for coachbuilders. The Wraith design was entirely up-to-date and looked ahead, it was not just another revision of the original Twenty. Its technical specification is different from all other models.
Because of its short production life, the Wraith remains one of the rarest of all Rolls-Royces. Only 491 customers had the joy of taking delivery of a Wraith before war broke out and Rolls-Royce production focused entirely on aircraft engines. Built to pre-war standards, it remains the final refinement of the smaller Rolls-Royce.
Chassis number WXA10 is a genuine, older restoration, original car. In 1938 it was purchased by A.G. Hillaby in the U.K. Later in the car's life it remained in the same Californian family for nearly twenty years until acquired by the current owner in 1996. The car is well appointed, as was the tradition of the Wraith. It includes an electric division and rear blind, occasional tables, rear ashtrays and mirrors on both sides, all of which are well presented. The leather is in relatively good condition, with the rear possibly being original. The woodwork is very presentable, although the paintwork is older. A handbook accompanies this car and it comes with a complete set of small tools. The vendor has regretably not had the time to use the car. In a recent test drive the car drove extremly smoothly in the manner expected of a Rolls-Royce.
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