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1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward Drophead Coupe Rear View
Auction Result: $180,000
1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward Drophead Coupe
RM Auctions, Automobiles of Amelia Island Collector Car Auction, Amelia Island, Florida, March 13, 2010
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot 193 - Not Sold at a high bid of $180,000
Est. 200 hp, 380 cu. in. V8 engine, two SU carburetors, four-speed automatic transmission, front coil, rear leaf spring suspension, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123"
The Silver Cloud III was the last "production" Rolls-Royce built on a separate chassis suitable for true custom bodies. As such, Mulliner Park Ward created a pair of two-door convertibles, or "drop head coupes" in the British parlance, on the Silver Cloud III chassis. One was a modified version of the standard steel sedan with almost identical styling, called design number 2007. The other of these special-bodied Rolls-Royces was an elegant, clean-lined convertible of a completely unique design which carried Mulliner Park Ward design number 2045. With an almost rakish air thanks to the angle of the wheel arches, the sharp cut of the rear fender line, and the distinctive angled quad headlights, Mulliner Park Ward succeeded in creating a car both surprisingly sporty yet distinctly classic and elegant. Only a small number of these luxurious open-topped cars were made in total in both right- and left-hand drive configurations.
Chassis no. LCSC75C is one of those rare automobiles, the 46th of the 49 built with left-hand drive. It was delivered in France on February 8, 1966 to Prince Fawaz Bin Abulaziz Al Saud of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia through the French Sales Agent for his use in Europe. During this period, the prince lived primarily outside of Saudi Arabia, so it is likely that the Mulliner Park Ward Drop Head saw regular use by its royal owner.
By 1989, the car was owned by a New Jersey resident, and the recorded mileage was 62,700. In 1990, it came into the noted Blackhawk Collection in Danville, California, which in 1997 commissioned a comprehensive restoration by the noted craftsmen of Mike Fennel Enterprises. During the course of this work, the interior was re-trimmed in its current St. James Red hides from the originally fitted Dark Tan. The previous owner, an RROC member and Southern California resident, purchased the Silver Cloud III in 2002 with 69,596 miles showing on the odometer. In his ownership, in addition to attentive scheduled and preventive maintenance, the convertible top was replaced to provide a better fit. It was sparingly but regularly driven and correctly serviced.
Since acquiring the car, the current vendor has commissioned no less than an additional $20,000 of work to ensure the car is in perfect order throughout. Short of a complete rebuild, everything was inspected and serviced, not as needed but in entirety. Mechanical, electrical and cosmetic attention was given to make this vehicle a solid and carefree driver for its next owner.
The car has recently completed two tours where it performed beautifully and will next be seen at the Rolls-Royce "Wheels to Wings" convention in Orlando, Florida. The car drives superbly, and the strong engine, coupled with a two-stage (firm and normal) suspension, makes for a wonderful driving experience. Original factory air-conditioning works beautifully to enhance comfort even further, should one choose to close the automatic electric top.
The Valentine Black coachwork is unmarked, the panel fit is superb and the long, smooth sides are arrow straight. The black canvas top fits beautifully and is without blemish. Chrome trim on this model is discreet, but its plating is lustrous and is set off nicely by the black paint of the body. Inside, the barest traces of use can be seen on the deep red leather seats, and the finely-grained burl wood dashboard and door trim is flawless.
It comes complete with original buyer's order paperwork listing the numerous custom options specified by the prince, handbook, original tools, and an original full color four-page sales brochure and price list for the Rolls-Royce Mulliner Park Ward models. When new, this magnificent motor car sold for an impressive $26,500 plus the cost of accessories. By comparison, a Ferrari 330 GTS could be had for $17,800. Any special-bodied Rolls-Royce is a very desirable automobile. An open-top Rolls-Royce is an even more prized possession, the very symbol of a carefree life of luxury in its most refined form.