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Classic Cars 036

Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

The Silver Wraith was the first post-war Rolls-Royce model and was made at the Crewe factory from 1946 to 1959.

The first cars had a 127 inch (3226 mm) wheelbase chassis based on the one from the pre-war Wraith with coil sprung independent front suspension and semi-elliptic rear with a live axle. The engine was also based on the Wraith, but had a new cylinder head with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and initially a capacity of 4257 cc. From 1951 this was increased to 4566 cc and in 1954 to 4887 cc on the long-wheelbase models. The braking system was a hybrid hydromechanical system with hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears using the mechanical servo from the pre-war cars, patented by Hispano-Suiza and built by Rolls-Royce under licence.

The long, 133 inch (3378 mm), wheelbase chassis was announced in 1951, and 639 were made until 1959. The last short-wheelbase cars were made in 1953.

Initially only a four-speed manual gearbox was offered, but this was supplemented by a General Motors automatic option from 1952.

This was the last Rolls-Royce model to be delivered in "chassis only" form, in order to receive a wide variety of bespoke coachwork designed and made by a rapidly declining number of specialist coachbuilders. Most of the bodies selected used "formal" limousine designs. For customers wishing to buy their car with a standard body already fitted, the manufacturer already offered the Bentley Mark VI.

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Rolls-Royce vehicles

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