Formerly the Property of His Excellency the Governor of Singapore, and the late Andrew Pastouna, author of Royal Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
1954 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER WRAITH STATE LANDAULETTE
COACHWORK BY HOOPER & Co. Body No. 10008
Registration No. 6 KML
Chassis No. BLW 92
Engine No. L 91 B
Garnet and black with light blue cloth interior
Engine: six cylinder in-line, overhead inlet, side exhaust valves, 4,887cc, dual choke Stromberg carburettor; Gearbox: four speed manual with floor change; Suspension: independent front by wishbone and coil spring, half elliptic springs to beam rear axle, ride control; Brakes: servo-assisted front, mechanical rear. Right hand drive.
In the immediate post-war period there were only a handful of cars on which a purchaser could choose their own coachwork, and the number of coachbuilders remaining was few. The success of the Silver Wraith may well be attributable to this factor, for it offered both a luxury car, and a chassis on which the art of coachbuilding could still be practiced. As a consequence, the model, which was unmatched by a Bentley equivalent, remained in production for 12 years.
The Governor of Singapore had use of a Rolls-Royce Phantom III until 1954, when it was replaced by this Silver Wraith Hooper State Landaulette. Chassis number BLW 92 had been commissioned in 1953 and was to be one of only four such Landaulettes completed by Hooper to their design number 8403. The total build time for this complex order was over seven months, including a return to the factory half way through for chassis strengthening and fitting of stronger rear springs.
The climate and conditions for which the car was destined obviously posed cause for concern as the coachbuilder was requested to upholster the front seats in Rexine because that was considered to be termite proof! For the same reason the dashboard, division and door capping trims were understood to have originally been made from oiled teakwood. Sadly Hooper's original records for the order do not survive to confirm this, but the factory's build sheets are still extant and denote its specification to have been highly detailed. The interior compartments were appointed with many features from a dictaphone to Eight Day clock, and map reading lights to lockable arm-rest compartments, with the necessary pre-requisite of a transmitting radio hidden in a cabinet. In deference to the climate, there was ventilation to front and rear compartments but no heaters, while as one would expect the exterior had provision for a detachable flagstaff for the roof, as well as radiator cap mounted with flagstaff, in addition to the standard mascot and cap. On the 7th August 1954, the completed car left the UK destined for its service in Singapore, where it would be employed for the following years for a variety of official duties. These included use by H.R.H. Prince Philip during a Royal tour in 1959.
After its formal service the State Landaulette returned to Europe and was acquired by the late Andrew Pastouna. It was during his ownership that a necessary cosmetic restoration was undertaken, at the time the car was retrimmed in specially woven cloth and the Landaulette section in hammered leather from Connolly.
The Rolls-Royce was subsequently enjoyed as a long distance touring car, receiving much use for tours on the Continent, and from time to time it was also loaned to the.
Royal household for ceremonial duties. These included use by H.R.H. Princess Alexandra at an official Birthday celebration for H.M. The Queen in 1987. Pastouna's involvement with the Royal family's cars would lead to him being commissioned to write a book on the subject.
Andrew Pastouna died nearly a decade ago, since when the car has seen little use and is now offered for sale by his family. Today the cosmetic condition of the Rolls has aged somewhat, there are small areas of localised aluminium corrosion to the edges of the bodywork, and the chrome would benefit from re-polishing, however the interior remains well-presented, and shows little wear. Mechanically, owing to the limited use that the car has seen Christie's would advise that a rudimentary check through be made before it be commissioned to the road.
This is well-known and extremely rare derivative of Rolls-Royce, with an interesting and important long term history, which with sympathetic cosmetic refreshing will make an excellent and unusual entry for the many marque club events.
Offered with the car are a correct standard flagstaff, copies of photographs of the car in Royal use, and factory build sheets.