FROM THE RUSSELL B. AITKEN COLLECTION
1958 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER CLOUD I DROPHEAD COUPE
COACHWORK BY H.J. MULLINER
Chassis No. LSGE 210
Engine No. SE355
Design No. 7410
Black with red leather interior.
Engine: six cylinder, overhead valve, 4,877cc, 178hp; Gearbox: four-speed hydramatic; Suspension: independent front, solid axle rear with semi-elliptic springs: Brakes: hydraulic front and combined hydraulic and mechanical rear with servo. Left hand drive
The most desirable Silver Cloud I model, the limited production left hand drive convertibles, produced by the craftsman at H.J. Mulliner, were true coachwork cars in the classic idiom, bodied entirely in aluminum over an extruded aluminum framework. The subsequent Silver Cloud II and Silver Cloud III were steel sedans converted to open cars, and not of the same caliber as the Silver Cloud I. Introduced in 1955, the Silver Cloud I was not only the first new Rolls-Royce in a decade, but as bodied by Mulliner, one of the few models designated by Rolls-Royce as an owner-driver, rather than a chauffeured car. First shown on the Mulliner stand at the London Motor Show, the Silver Cloud I drophead was a handsome design combining classically-inspired fenderlines with knife-edged envelope styling. The Mulliner cars were built in very limited numbers, a mere 14 left hand drive examples. They were powered by a 4,877cc six-cylinder Rolls-Royce engine: the Silver Cloud was one of the first models capable of attaining 100mph. Today, the Mulliner bodied Silver Cloud I drophead is among a handful of '50s-era cars that still look fashionable forty years later.
This Rolls-Royce was delivered new to Russell B. Aitken at Vichy, France in 1958 after he defeated no less than 10 former world champions and 385 experts shots from all over the globe at the prestigous Grand Prix de Vichy. Here he was awarded the coveted Silver trophy, a gold medal, a citation and the keys to the city by the Mayor of Vichy.
Mr. Aitken requested that the Silver Cloud I should be fitted with the optional power assisted steering box, a gold St. Christopher's medallion, a Monte Carlo badge fitted to the rear, a badge bar for the front bumper, power aeriel and radio, and white wall tires. Upon the cars delivery to Vichy it was fitted with an enameled Tiro de Pichon badge. The above mentioned items remain intact with the car today.
Less than 23,000 miles have been recorded as Mr. Aitken did not not drive the car in poor weather and reputedly never lowered the automatic convertible hood. The car spent most of its life in Rhode Island and has always been serviced by a New York Rolls-Royce specialist. Chassis number LSGE 210 will certainly attract any enthusiast who is looking for an extremely original, well maintained vehicle with an oustanding history. It is becoming increasingly rare these days to find a vehicle of this period which has been owned from new by one discerning gentleman and has covered so few miles. Additionally, this example is one of the most desirable of all post war Rolls-Royces. As one would expect from such a prestigious firm the car is beautifully appointed and comes with the added benefit of offering open motoring. Christie's is delighted to be selling this extremely special vehicle on Mr. Aitken's behalf.