In 1946 Rolls-Royce unveiled the Bentley MKVI, its new postwar motorcar that represented a new era for the firm. In a break with tradition, the new model was produced with what became known as a standard steel body, rather than an exclusively coach built body. After navigating the first few years of austerity, Rolls-Royce unveiled the Silver Dawn, which was based almost entirely on the Bentley MKVI.
They shared the same straight six engine with the Silver Dawn being aimed at a new type of customer, one who preferred to drive rather than be chauffeur driven. Production of the more compact Rolls ran from 1949 until 1955 with just 761 samples built over that period. The example on sale here with Car and Classic is a late production Silver Dawn that has an extensive history file.
THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK
V5C in owners name
First registered on the 15th April 1955
Chassis “SUJ 62”
6 documented owners
Odometer shows 69,245 which is believed to be 169,245, with the history file suggesting this could well be accurate - an invoice dated 20th May 1968 shows the car had covered 93,815 miles
One set of keys comes with the car
Acquired by the current owner in 2018
Copy of the Rolls-Royce build sheet is included in the history file
Extensive invoices on file documenting on going maintenance all the way back to the late 1950s
Two A4 binders filled with old records, letters from Rolls Royce in Crewe, photos and more.
This Silver Dawn was specified with a sunroof, rear foot rests and rear picnic tables
The car was ordered with red leather seats with red piping and maroon carpets which is the colour scheme it presents in today
The leather trim has a lovely aroma with the front seats showing signs of wear in places
The rear seats are in very nice shape and are very comfortable
A new wool headliner and rear privacy blind were fitted in March 2012. These are both in very good order with the rear blind working as it should
The walnut trim on the dashboard is in nice shape with some minor marks here and there
All the gauges are clean and the owners confirms everything works as it should
The woods capping on the rear doors is shows some signs of wear to the finish
An original Smiths MW/LW radio is installed
This Silver Dawn was ordered in Silver Belco and a red coach line when new and today wears a very attractive two tone silver/grey which compliments the lines of the standard steel saloon superbly. It also retains a red coachline today.
The luxury Rolls presents in very nice shape with some marks and light scratches noted in the photos. The most noticeable is an area of flaking on the boot lid. A section of the paint has reacted on the rear wing just above the fuel filler area. And there are some minor nicks and scratches here and there. However these imperfections appear to be relatively minor and do not detract from what presents as a very honest and straight Silver Dawn.
The car was subject to bodywork repairs in May 2012 which were carried out by a Rolls-Royce specialists. The invoice on file shows the works cost £5,881.55. The history file includes photos which document the repairs carried out at the time.
The owner notes that the sunroof occasionally sticks, however it performed smoothly during the photoshoot. As a result of the sticky behaviour there are some small scrapes on the paint.
The Silver Dawns signature chrome work, grill and mascot are all in very nice shape with some marks and light scratches from use.
Late production example with the 4.5 litre straight six engine
4 Speed Hydramatic Automatic Gearbox
Equipped with the desirable option of power steering making it light to drive
The car was last serviced on the 10th May 2023
Electronic Ignition was installed in April 2019 and the owner reports it starts on the button after this upgrade. The Zenith Carburettor was also stripped and rebuilt at this time.
The brakes were serviced in October 2022 and new flexible rubber lines were also added
The owner has informed us that they have taken the Silver Dawn on a number of trips to France, covering up to 700 miles at a time, with the car performing superbly on each trip.
There is something very appealing about a stately yet compact Rolls-Royce saloon, especially one that is very much driver focused. The standard steel Silver Dawn’s were effectively the firms first attempt at a more mass production car, moving on from its long tradition of coach built motors crafted exclusively for the elite. None of the trademark luxury and refinement was lost however, with this Silver Dawn oozing both character and a level of quality that just feels exquisite.
Then there is the large history file which will certainly make for fascinating reading over a couple of evenings. This 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn has clearly been very well looked after over the years and it presents in what is arguably one of the best colour combinations.
BEFORE YOU BUY
This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following:
✓ If the seller is registered as a private seller, consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not apply. Car & Classic’s return policy applies.
✓ A non-refundable deposit will be payable if you are the winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for details.
✓ This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is, Where Is’ basis and without warranty. A full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase and bidding is highly recommended. Photos and descriptions are for guidance purposes only.
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing.
✓ UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check, to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing.
✓ Buyers are responsible for vehicle collection or delivery.
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1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn
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