Lot 132


1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé by Park Ward

Offered from The 20th Century Collection


€80,500 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Kuwait Vehicle Registration
  • Offered from The 20th Century Collection
  • One of five examples built to this design; an original left-hand-drive model
  • Built for Canadian farm equipment tycoon Colonel W.E. Phillips
  • Exceptional basis for restoration to original condition
Addendum: Please note this lot has entered the EU on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the EU on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the EU.

Veuillez noter que ce lot est entré dans l'UE sous couvert d'une autorisation d'importation temporaire, qui doit être annulée soit en exportant le lot en dehors de l'UE avec une lettre de débarquement approuvé accompagné des documents douaniers nécessaires, soit en payant la TVA et les droits d'importation applicables pour que le lot reste dans l'UE.

The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was a surpassingly rare basis for custom coachwork, with only 64 examples being released by the factory as a bare chassis. Chassis number LSNF41 was one of five Silver Dawns bodied by Park Ward to their design number 99, of which four, including this one, were left-hand-drive. It was originally delivered to Colonel W.E. Phillips, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian farm equipment manufacturer Massey-Ferguson, in October 1953. Extensive original specifications included both a Sonabel and dual Windtone horns—undoubtedly handy in Toronto traffic—as well as automatic gearbox, dual foglamps, a power-operated hood, radio, under-dash header, and Sundym tinted glass. Curiously, the Colonel also requested Bentley-style dual exhaust, and had the car fitted upon delivery with French-specification headlamps, as he intended to use it in that country. The original livery was Blue and Silver-Gray, with Blue leather interior.

If the Silver Dawn ever did venture outside of Canada, within several years it had returned to that country. In the summer of 1956, it was acquired by another important figure in the country’s industry, Jack Kent Cooke, a broadcasting baron now best remembered for his later business interests in sports team ownership in the United States. Later Canadian owners included the prolific Rolls-Royce enthusiast Gordon E. Smith of Orillia, Lawrence Szabo of Hamilton, and lumber magnate Fred R. MacDonald of Toronto. In 1963 it moved to the United States in the ownership of Dr. John Bowers, another well-known Rolls-Royce collector in Kokomo, Indiana, and was later owned for nearly a quarter of a century by John M. Herman of Philadelphia. It was then part of the noted American collection of Jim Covert, known for his attraction to exceptionally high-quality automobiles.

Acquired for The 20th Century Collection in the early 2000s, the Silver Dawn has remained since in storage, and is now ready for a much-deserved full restoration, with its original engine intact. It is one of the very few examples of the coachbuilt Silver Dawn available, and in its original livery would be one of the nicest available—a rarity with fascinating history, in Canada and beyond.