FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF N.H. "AVAILABLE" JONES
1962 ROLLS-ROYCE LONG WHEEL BASE SILVER CLOUD II WITH DIVISION
COACHWORK BY ROLLS-ROYCE WITH RADFORD CONVERSIONS
Chassis No. LLCD 22
Midnight blue with connally pigskin interior
Engine: V8, 6,230cc, twin SU carburetors; Gearbox: four-speed automatic; Suspension: front, coil springs and wishbones, rear, rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: drum all around. Left hand drive.
Although it looked similar to the first series of Silver Clouds, the Silver Cloud II, introduced in September 1959, marked the beginning of a new era for the Rolls-Royce motor car company. In response to demands for greater power, particularly in the face of competition from bigger, smoother-engined American rivals, Rolls-Royce designed an all new, light alloy 6,250cc V8 for the Cloud II. It was compact and no heavier than the straight six unit it replaced and had dramatic affect on the car's performance. Top speed was increased from about 100mph to 115mph and the acceleration became equal to that of a respectable sports car. All this was achieved with hardly any increase in fuel consumption. This engine, although refined over the years, is still used in today's Rolls-Royce and Bentley's cars.
This particular elegant Silver Cloud II was customised by the well known outfitters, Harold Radford of London, specifically for a wealthy San Antonio oilman. It was used sparingly by its original owner until his death when it was purchased by the late N.H. "Available" Jones of Houston, Texas. "Available" Jones was an interesting man with a long list of credits and accomplishments to his name. Following the second world war, Jones became famous from his ability to find large quantities of scarce, raw materials and as a result was aptly given his moniker. An inventor with numerous patents filed under his name, Jones was also twice an SCCA rally Champion driver. A former Chief Judge of the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club, and close friend of Harold Radford, "Available" Jones had a strong passion for unique cars, particularly the Rolls-Royce marque. To house his collection, Jones had a garage built to look onto the exterior, like a house with faux windows, shutters and doors. The inside was a purpose-built garage with tilted floors and special stalls for each car.
There are many unique features on the Silver Cloud II which are detailed on the build sheet including: a rear compartment console cowl with speedometer, resettable trip odometer, tachometer, altimeter, compass, fuel gauge, clock, division window and rear radio control, heater switch and two cigar lighters. Some extra accessories which added to the overall comfort and enjoyment of the passengers include two writing desks concealing crystal glassware and sterling decanters, two separate air conditioning systems for the front and rear, compartments in both front doors for liquor flasks, thermos bottles, and even an umbrella holder. In keeping with these extensive modifications by Radford, the interior was finished in the finest materials: Connally pigskin leather with ribbed West of England cloth inserts. The rear compartment with the dashboard in burled walnut is simply spectacular. This one-off Cloud II is one of the finest post-war formal Rolls-Royces that we have seen.