A Passion for Elegance | Lot 109
1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine by H.J. Mulliner
CHF97,750 | Sold
19 June 2021
- The first postwar large-chassis Rolls-Royce model
- Handsome traditional coachwork; the picture of formal elegance
- Restored for the present collection in its original livery
- Still equipped with its matching-numbers engine
- Accompanied by copies of build paperwork and restoration documentation
The first large-chassis Rolls-Royce produced after World War II, the Silver Wraith, retained an elegant pre-war appearance, yet it also offered a more modern driving experience. All Silver Wraith chassis were fitted with custom coachwork, from relatively sporting coupés and dropheads to eight-passenger formal limousines and landaulettes.
Left-hand drive chassis number LALW16 was bodied by H.J. Mulliner as a handsome limousine, one of 46 to style number 7276—the first design made available on the long-wheelbase Silver Wraith. The order for the sumptuous automobile was placed through Waco Motors of Miami, Florida, by Mrs. Mary T. Langford, wife of a prominent hotelier, then at her winter address at the Dallas Park Hotel in that Southern vacation enclave.
The finish was in a handsome, conservative Black with Beige leather and Fawn cloth interior, trimmed in “highly figured walnut.” The list of optional specifications was lavish, including power-operated rear windows and division, folding occasional seats, a mohair rug and knee robe, electric clock, and an additional “Standing Lady” mascot and chrome wheel discs. Further, the car was equipped with a modern fully synchromesh gearbox with column gearchange, as noted in Lawrence Dalton’s Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance. The car was shipped in June 1952 via SS Deerpool direct to Miami; its guarantee was issued the following month.
Subsequent owners are recorded by the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club as Alex Cameron and Norman R. Dobbins, both of Houston, Texas, in the mid-1960s, followed by Robert L. Harrington of nearby Arlington, who listed the car with the RROC on 25 June 1981. It was eventually acquired for the current collection, reportedly in good running condition but well-worn by time and age. A cosmetic restoration began soon thereafter, with the body carefully stripped and professionally refinished in the original color, and the interior restored in the correct materials and finishes to exactly as it had appeared in 1952. Overall, the Rolls-Royce now sits in beautiful condition, accompanied by correspondence and photographs relating to the restoration, as well as copies of the extensive build documentation and a FIVA Identity Card.
Few Silver Wraiths have been so carefully, lovingly prepared and enjoyed; this is an especially fine example.