Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Convertible

Rolls Royce Convertible
May 28, 2012
May 28, 2012

NCE will Design and Engineer your Rolls Royce Silver Cloud to a Power top convrtible!

NCE will Design and Engineer your Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 4-door to a Power top convrtible!

Newport Convertible Engineering was the first US coach builder that designed, engineered and distributed limited Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Convertibles throughout the world!

Newport Convertible Engineering is an original design manufacturer(ODM) that designs and engineers authentic convertible tops on all brands of automobiles. NCE has recieved world wide recognition for their original convertible designs, especially on Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 4-door convertibles.

The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud was the core model of the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars range from April 1955 until March 1966. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was, in turn, replaced by the Silver Shadow. The J. P. Blatchley design was a major change from the pre-war models and the highly derivative Silver Dawn. As part of a range rationalisation the Bentley S1 is very similar, apart from its radiator grille.

Silver Cloud I

Silver Cloud I
1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I
Production 1955-1958
Body style 4-door saloon
variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé
Engine 4.9 L I6
Transmission Four-speed automatic[1]
Wheelbase 123 in (3,124 mm) (short-wheelbase) [2][1] 127 in (3,226 mm) (long wheelbase, offered for 1957 and 1958 cars)
Length 212 in (5,385 mm) [2]
Width 74.75 in (1,899 mm) [2]
Height 64 in (1,626 mm) [2]
Related Bentley S1

The chassis was a simple steel box section, welded together and very rigid. Construction retained the traditional split between chassis and body, which facilitated the provision of special bodied versions though in practice the overwhelming majority of cars were delivered with the standard steel body shell, produced by Pressed Steel, and employing light weight aluminium based alloy for the doors, bonnet/hood and boot/trunk lid.[3] The car was 5.38 m (212 in) long, 1.90 m (75 in) wide, and massed 1.95 tonnes. The engine was a 155 hp / 4000 rpm 4.9 L six-cylinder unit with inlet over exhaust valves: twin SU carburettors were added in September 1957.[4] The standard transmission was a four-speed automatic. The turning circle was 41 feet 8 inches (12.70 m).[1]

Brakes were hydraulic and assisted by the Rolls-Royce mechanical servo with 11 in (279 mm) drums and suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Twin brake master cylinders were incorporated from April 1956.[4]

Power steering became an option in 1956 along with air conditioning.

A long-wheelbase version, lengthened by 4 in (102 mm), was also made available in September 1957, outwardly very similar to the existing car, but offering improved leg space for rear-seat passengers.[3]

The British Motor magazine tested a standard-wheelbase factory-bodied Series I in 1956 recording a top speed of 102.9 mph (165.6 km/h) and acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.5 seconds and a fuel consumption of 14.5 miles per imperial gallon (19.5 L/100 km; 12.1 mpg-US). The test car cost £5078 including taxes.[2]

Silver Cloud II

Silver Cloud II
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (North America)
Production 1959-1962
Body style 4-door saloon
variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé
Engine 6.2 L Rolls-Royce V8
Wheelbase 123 in (3,124 mm) (short-wheelbase) [2]
Length 213 in (5,410 mm) [5]
Width 74.75 in (1,899 mm) [5]
Height 64 in (1,626 mm) [5]
Related Bentley S2

The Silver Cloud II was introduced in 1959. Little changed externally but it now had a 6.2 L V8 engine, which pushed the weight to 2.11 tonnes. Performance was greatly improved and top speed was raised to 183 km/h (114 mph), but the main improvements were in acceleration and torque. Power steering became standard. Electrically operated windows were now available as an option.

Although the improved performance of the new car was welcomed, commentators of the time noted that the V8-engined Silver Cloud II was neither as quiet nor as smooth as the straight-six-cylinder-engined Silver Cloud I, despite the new engine’s hydraulic tappet operation.[4] The new wet-linered V8 was also a little cramped in an engine bay intended originally for a narrower unit: in order to change the sparking plugs it was necessary to remove the front wheel on the car’s right side.[4] There seems to have been a problem with crankshaft breakages in the earlier V8s: this was blamed on lack of lubrication to the bearings.[4]

The basic architecture of the Silver Cloud II did not change between 1959 and 1963, but there were numerous minor changes implemented, notable among them a succession of improvements to the ventilation system.[4] Interior changes in 1961 included the adoption of blue instrument lighting, the introduction of a combined indicator / headlamp flasher switch and of a handbrake warning light. A remodelled rear light assembly was introduced in May 1962 and a change to single sealed-beam headlamps was made in August 1962.[4]

The Motor magazine tested a Series II in 1960. They recorded a top speed of 104.7 mph (168.5 km/h), acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds and a fuel consumption of 13 miles per imperial gallon (22 L/100 km; 11 mpg-US). The test car cost £6092 including taxes.[5]

Silver Cloud III

Silver Cloud III
1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (North America)
Production 1963-1966
Body style 4-door saloon
variations provided by coachbuilders were:
2-door convertible
2-door coupé
Engine 6.2 L Rolls-Royce V8 220HP (estimate[6])
Related Bentley S3

The Silver Cloud III arrived in 1963. External dimensions were slightly tweaked, the interior remodelled, the weight reduced by a little over 100 kg (220 lb) and improvements made to the engine which included fitting 2-inch (51 mm) SU carburettors in place of the 1¾ inch units used on the Series II Silver Cloud.[3] The compression ratio was increased to 9:1, reflecting the higher octane levels of premium fuel in major markets,[3] although the option of a lower 8:1 compression ratio was still offered in markets where non-availability of higher octane fuels might be an issue.[4] Rolls-Royce, as before, refused to disclose overall engine power output, but indicated that there had been an improvement of “perhaps 7%”.[3] Increased power and weight reduction boosted speed and performance slightly. The engine now included a nitride hardened crankshaft to reflect the extra power being generated and in response to reports of broken crankshafts in the earlier V8 Silver Clouds.[4] The transmission was a GM Hydramatic which Rolls-Royce used under license.[6]

The headlights were grouped in a four-headlamp layout subsequently continued in the later Silver Shadow. Other external changes included a slightly increased slope of the hood / bonnet to correspond with a 112 inches (3.8 cm) reduction in the height of the radiator-grill.[4]

Between 1963 and 1966 there were no major changes. Stainless steel wheels replaced chrome-plated ones in April 1963, and an improved rear window demister was introduced in November of the same year.[4] Wider front seats were fitted in January 1964, and five months later a revised headlamp surround now incorporated a very small RR monogram.[4] A chrome badge reading “Silver Cloud III” in an italic font can be seen on the right bottom side of the trunk of most UK and European delivered examples, whilst US versions were delivered without this badge.

As with earlier models, Rolls-Royce continued to make the Silver Cloud chassis available to traditional coach-builders. A notable version is the so-called “Chinese Eye” design, offered in Fixed Head and Drop Head Coupe style by Mulliner Park Ward. It was derived from the earlier H. J. Mulliner & Co. design for the Bentley S1 and S2 Continentals.[7] To widen production in a diminishing market, this adaption was made available for the Bentley S3 Continental as well as for the Silver Cloud III. So, of the 328 coach-built Silver Cloud III, about 100 were of this style.

  • 1963 Silver Cloud III James Young
    long wheelbase saloon

  • 1960s Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward
    drophead coupé

  • 1964 Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward
    fixed head coupé

  • 1965 Silver Cloud III James Young


  • Silver Cloud: 2,238
  • Silver Cloud Long Wheelbase: 85
  • Silver Cloud special coachbuilder styles (convertibles, limousines, etc.): 121
  • Silver Cloud II: 2,417
  • Silver Cloud II Long Wheelbase: 258
  • Silver Cloud II coachbuilder styles (convertibles, limousines, etc.): 107
  • Silver Cloud III: 2,044
  • Silver Cloud III Long Wheelbase: 206
  • Silver Cloud III coachbuilder styles (convertibles, limousines, etc.): 328

Popular Culture

In their 1971 song “Up To Me,” the British rock band Jethro Tull refers to this car with the lyric “I’ll buy a Silver Cloud to ride.”

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