Toybox: 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Oldtimer Australia

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The Rolls-Royce was at the zenith of British motoring, power and money in the 1960s

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, launched in April 1955, and its successors, Silver Cloud II and Silver Cloud III were the flagships of the British motoring world and the perfect vehicle for monarchy, VIPs and industry giants to be chauffeured around in for the next 11 years of their production life. They were built in substantial numbers, with a total of 7372 units constructed before being replaced by the Silver Shadow.

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Of the many significant upgrades during the Silver Cloud model life was the phasing out of the tried and true 4.9-litre 6-cylinder engine used in the Cloud I, replaced by a more powerful 6.2-litre V8 for the Cloud II.

That engine, by the way, is legendary. The Jack Phillips design had to be 50 per cent more powerful, and lighter, than the six it replaced. Not only did the engine meet the design brief very successfully, but it went on to great things.

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Hinged bonnet, special

Later iterations were better known as the six-and-three-quarter, and it was in this guise in 2020 that it was finally retired after 61 years of development, that included turbocharging. Quite an achievement!

For SIlver Cloud II and III owners, the real revelation was their car may have had V8 power, but it was also quiet and refined. Rolls-Royce put a lot of effort into NVH with this series, efectively damping out the majority or mechanical and dynamic noise. This was the era that spawned the famous claim you could hear the clock ticking at 60mph.

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Powerful V8 under here

As for the Silver Cloud III, it appeared in 1963. By then the body had gone through a subtle evolution and refinement from top to bottom, the most obvious visual difference being the introduction of quad head lights that carried over to the Silver Shadow. The Cloud III also copped the Jenny Craig treatment shedding kilos in the quest for improved handling and performance.

Those advancements aside, for some the Cloud series is the last of the truly traditional Rolls. The bold sweeping lines are part of that. If anything the styling was dated when the car came out ion 1955, but its sheer presence seemed to allow the company to get away with it.

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Plus, this is the last generation to use separate chassis construction. For many, the Shadow series to follow doesn’t have quite the same ‘old world’ charm.

The folk at Oldtimer Australia have for sale this Australian delivered example with a documented history. It’s a factory right-hand drive Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III that was transported to Liverpool on 7 December, 1964, for its voyage to Brisbane, Australia.

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The original dealer was UK Motors and the first name on the ownership papers was WN Dendle & Company from St George, a long way west of Toowoomba, in Queensland.

According to Oldtimer: "After 20 years of ownership the Silver Cloud III was sold to the Voller family, also of Queensland, in 1984 and during their custodianship it was repainted in its original burgundy hue and used sparsely over the following fifteen years until it was acquired by its current owner in 1999 with the odometer reading 78,455 miles."

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Inside the Silver-Cloud III claims to be very original with the odd hint of age. Overall it presents as something you’d just maintain and enjoy.

It’s on the market at $84,950. See oldtimeraustralia.com.

 

1965 Rolls-Royce  Silver CLoud III specs

Body 4-door Sedan
Engine 6.2-litre V8
Power & torque 205kW / 407Nm
Performance 0-100km/h – 10.1sec
Top speed 297km/h
Transmission 4-speed auto
Drive system Rear wheel drive
Brakes Front and rear drums
Wheels 15-inch f/r
Price $84,950
Where oldtimeraustralia.com

 

From Unique Cars #453, May 2021

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