1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I 4-Door Saloon
High-wasted and very long, the Silver Cloud was the zenith of prestige and luxury, carrying on the Rolls-Royce name from 1955-1965. Even in 1955 when it was new, this car was old at the same time. The elegant skin covered a 4.9 litre in-line six cylinder engine from the post WWII Silver Wraith, four-wheel drum brakes, a separate chassis and body, and a live rear axle. But to traditionalists all that mattered was that this was a Rolls-Royce in the grandest tradition. The Silver Cloud carried the Rolls-Royce banner for nearly eleven years until the Silver Shadow arrived in 1965. 7,248 units were produced during the production run, outselling its sister Bentley S-series that was built side-by-side nearly ten-to-one. Standard bodies were produced by Pressed Steel of Cowley, England, and differed from its Bentley sibling only in that it used the classic Rolls-Royce radiator shell topped by the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. Despite the dated mechanicals under its graceful skin, Rolls-Royce boastfully claimed to be “The Best Car In the World.”
This wonderful original Silver Cloud I was a gift to the Rolls-Royce Royce Foundation from the Kirk family of Ellicott City, Maryland. Don and Marge Kirk were early supporters of the RRF. When Don passed away, Marge kindly donated his lovely original 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Saloon, Freestone & Webb, Chassis #GSF54 to the RRF in 1988. It has been on display at the RRF since and has served as a parade vehicle and as a teaching aid in RRF tech seminars. Marge Kirk passed away in 2008 and the Kirk’s son, Don, Jr., generously donated this car, his parent’s 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I 4-Door Saloon Chassis #LSNH20 to the Foundation in November of that year. It is among the final Silver Cloud I’s to be produced and includes such desirable features as the larger 6-cylinder engine, factory air conditioning and a unique left-side glove box door which matches the one on the right-hand side of the car.
The Rolls-Royce Foundation is a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization. It is open to the public on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. or other hours by appointment. Check out the RRF at 189 Hempt Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 717-795-9400, toll-free at 877-795-4050 or online at www.rollsroycefoundation.org.