First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé
Lot 115
1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé
£600,000 - 800,000
US$ 790,000 - 1,100,000

Lot Details
First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé First owned by Pete Murray,1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé
First owned by Pete Murray
1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by H J Mulliner
Registration no. 5417 F
Chassis no. SKG31


*One of only 10 right-hand-drive examples
*Restored by Chelsea Workshop
*Louis Vuitton Concours d'Élégance, Givenchy Trophy winner
*Present ownership since 2001
*Power windows, power steering, power hood
*Used for the wedding of Madonna and Guy Ritchie

Footnotes

  • 'In common with earlier models of the Rolls-Royce - ever since the first model in 1905 - the latest model, known as the Silver Cloud, carries on the tradition of employing only those features of design which have been thoroughly proved, allied with meticulous attention to detail and finish. The successive design staffs of this famous firm have never attempted to be the avant-garde, but have preferred to control the construction of proved designs so carefully that the result would excel.

    'This latest model is faster, roomier, quieter and no less economical than its predecessors and, bearing in mind the make's reputation for reliability, one that could be much cheaper to run for a long term than many much more humble productions.' – John Eason Gibson, Country Life.

    Introduced early in 1955, the all-new Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type were conceived as replacements for the ageing Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley R-Type. The duo sported sleeker bodywork on a new box-section separate chassis - Rolls-Royce eschewing unitary construction for the time being - incorporating improved brakes and suspension, the latter featuring electrically controlled damping. Enlargement to 4,887cc and the adoption of a six-port cylinder head boosted the - traditionally undisclosed - power output of the dependable inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine, while automatic transmission was now standard and power-assisted steering an option. Fast (100mph-plus) relatively economical and cheaper to maintain than the successor V8-engined versions, the Silver Cloud is arguably the most user-friendly of all post-war Rolls-Royces.

    Despite the popularity of Rolls-Royce's 'standard steel' factory bodywork, bespoke creations from coachbuilders James Young and the soon-to-be-merged firms of H J Mulliner and Park Ward Ltd (the latter already owned by Rolls-Royce) continued to be available on the Silver Cloud chassis for those discerning enthusiasts wealthy enough to afford them. Indeed, as the factory did not offer a convertible or drophead coupé, a coachbuilt car was the only option if one's preference was Rolls-Royce-style fresh air motoring. H J Mulliner's was by far the most successful of this type, lasting into 1963. The firm was also responsible for the first Bentley Continental, an outstanding design by any standard, and its two-door bodies on both Rolls and Bentley chassis are recognised as among the era's most elegant. Hand crafted style such as this attracted a hefty premium though, H J Mulliner's drophead coupé being priced some 50% above the standard Silver Cloud four-door saloon, which was already one of the world's most expensive cars.

    'Luxury clothed in aluminium', chassis number 'SKG31' was constructed to H J Mulliner's design number '7410'. Only 21 cars (11 left-hand and 10 right-hand drive) were completed with this particular body style, costing a stratospheric £9,000 when a standard Silver Cloud saloon was priced at £6,000. This particular car belongs to the penultimate 'G' series and incorporates many improvements made following the Silver Cloud's introduction in 1955. 'SKG31' was delivered in chassis form to H J Mulliner on 15th January 1959 and was retailed via Hooper & Co (Coachbuilders) Ltd. On 24th June 1959, the Rolls-Royce was delivered to its first owner, the disc jockey and broadcaster, Pete Murray. By this time, Murray, whose broadcasting career had started on Radio Luxembourg, was an established star of BBC Television, fronting the pioneering Six-Five Special pop music show and appearing regularly on Juke Box Jury. He later hosted Come Dancing, was a regular presenter of Top of The Pops and also one of the original Radio 1 disc jockeys when the station launched in 1967. He was later a stalwart of Radio 2 and - an accomplished actor - appeared many times on the stage and in films.

    The chassis cards record Murray's address as Bookhams, Churt, Surrey and list Firestone white-sided tyres, a radio (naturally), and electric windows as special features. Copy V5C documents on file show that the Rolls-Royce was later registered/used overseas before returning to the UK circa January 1990. It is recorded as belonging to Edendale Ltd of Withington, Gloucestershire (from 7th July 1994) passing to the vendor's company, Warton Investments Ltd, in September 2001 and thence to his personal ownership.

    Between 1990 and 1992, the Silver Cloud was restored by Chelsea Workshop, from whom it was purchased by the vendor. The engine, gearbox rear axle, brakes, and suspension were overhauled; a Harvey Bailey handling kit fitted; and the body stripped to bare metal and repainted in Midnight Blue. In addition, the Connolly hide interior was fully replaced; the interior woodwork re-veneered and lacquered; and all the electrics replaced, including the power-operated hood. Over £330,000 was spent (see correspondence on file).

    In 1993, the Rolls-Royce was entered into and won the Givenchy Trophy at the Louis Vuitton Concours d'Élégance at the Hurlingham Club in London. It was then purchased by entrepreneur Peter de Savary and housed at his Scottish home, Skibo Castle, where it was used for the wedding of Madonna and Guy Ritchie. For the last 17 years the car the car has formed part of the vendor's private collection, continuing to win trophies. Admired wherever it goes, this elegant Silver Cloud represents a rare opportunity to acquire an outstanding example of what, in its day, was the height of motoring opulence.
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