London,The Jack Barclay Showroom
7 June 2004
1939 ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH ENCLOSED LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY H.J. MULLINER, Body No. 4722
Registration No. YSU 739
Chassis No. WKC 5
Engine No. 7243 - check
Black over yellow with tan 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 1/4 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.
WKC 5 was one of the last to have been built, originally supplied through Jack Olding, whose plates it wears to this day, the car was completed late in 1939, and sold new to its first owner Sir Ian Walker. The H.J. Mulliner coachwork is original to the car. The first owner kept the car for 13 years, and the first 20 years of the car's life are noted on the factory build sheets.
The Wraith has been in the present ownership for a number of years. During this time was completely reupholstered in tan leather to both front and rear compartments. These are equipped with oak wood trims and picnic tables are fitted to the division. Externally the car has been restored at some stage in its life but this work has now mellowed considerably and the car would benefit from a sympathetic refreshing in this department.
Mechanically the car is in usable order but on close inspection it was noted that the cylinder head may be in need of attention.
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