1949 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER DAWN SALOON
Chassis No. LSBA 24
Silver with blue leather upholstery.
Engine: six cylinder, 4,257cc, overhead inlet valves, 125bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, independent coil, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
Rolls-Royce Motors production had moved to Crewe at the end of the war and introduced a new departure by producing their own in-house design and providing a complete motor car. The first example of this was the 41/4 - liter MK VI Bentley with a compact all steel bodied car which was known as the 'Standard Steel' saloon. The deep-channel sectioned chassis was also available for specialised coachwork manufacturers but the generally depressed economics of the time restricted the sales of such specialised cars. As far as the Rolls-Royce marque was concerned, they initially reintroduced their pre-war Wraith series which was individually coachbuilt and in 1949 they introduced the new 41/4 - liter Silver Dawn which in essence was a similar car to the Bentley MK VI. The four-door steel body was built by The Pressed Steel Company and the car fully assembled at Crewe, using the 'Silver Wraith' single carburettor version of the 41/4 - liter engine. The car was built initially for export only and was not introduced into the home UK market until 1953.
With only around 760 cars produced, the Silver Dawn is a relatively rare vehicle and consequently commands a higher price than those of comparable Bentleys. This very early example of a Silver Dawn appears to be a highly original specimen. The car has benefitted from repainting in recent years, the upholstery and woodwork however are unrestored and are showing their age. These early cars came equipped with a four speed column shift and a sliding roof.
While the Dawn is the smallest post-war Rolls-Royce, current owners are reported to state that the performance is quite satisfactory with good handling and is entirely suitable for modern motoring. There is a loyal following for Silver Dawns and the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club would welcome a new member to their events.