1978 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II

“Nil fato relinquemus”

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There are automobiles…and then there is the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II. So luxurious, it qualified as a limousine. With its individually longer wheelbase, the ride was remarkably smooth…the sophisticated self-leveling system kept the Silver Wraith II at optimum ride height regardless of the load. The Silver Wraith II was the most formal of all Rolls Royce saloons. It was among the first of the ultra-luxury saloons to crack the $100,000 USD mark. The Silver Wraith II augmented the model hierarchy as the company Flagship.

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The Silver Wraith II was the final stage of refinement for the highly successful Silver Shadow long wheelbase saloons. Production officially began for the long wheelbase saloon for the 1969 model year, however, 10 were built as early as 1967. The extended wheelbase increased rear seat passenger legroom.

The added inches to the bodyshell was anonymously added to the rear doors to retain the appearance of the standard saloon. The Silver Wraith II was formal and suitable for a chauffeur. It was a masterpiece of hand-built craftsmanship. The Silver Wraith II was built from 1977 until 1980 with a production total of only 2,145 vehicles.

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“A thing of beauty is a joy forever…”

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Limousine-style luxury abounds inside the Silver Wraith II. The richness of Lombardy walnut veneers grace the fascia and door capping garnish rails adding warmth to the cabin. Individually adjustable front seating was contoured for comfort.

Upholstered in supple natural grain leather by Connolly Brothers, each cabin was unique and one of a kind. Wilton hand-tufted 100% wool carpet and lamb’s wool rugs were luxuriously underfoot. Front and rear seat head restraints added further to the comfort and convenience of the Silver Wraith II.

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Rolls Royce Motors patent dual automatic temperature control maintained separate upper and lower systems heating and cooling to pre-set selections. This sophisticated air conditioning system automatically demisted the rear window and extracted stale air via luggage boot.

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Carpeted rear seat footrests

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Among its myriad standard amenities were: power windows, centralized power door locking system with boot lock and power release, theft deterrent system, automatic speed control, courtesy lighting, and AM/FM stereo radio with Quadraphonic tape playing equipment. The Silver Wraith II was equipped as a limousine.

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A distinctive rear limousine-style rear window treatment covered in Everflex with French seams and RR badging affixed to the “C” pillars were signature exterior Silver Wraith II features. Special stainless-steel wheel discs and “Silver Wraith II” trunk badge further distinguished it from the Silver Shadow II saloons.

For some things in this world has a way of timelessly battling the years. One of them is the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II. From its classic lines to its silent engine, this remarkable motorcar is at home anywhere in the world. A Rolls Royce is a masterpiece that has a way of making the years stand still….

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It required four months of shaping, fitting, tuning, testing, painting, and refining to build the Silver Wraith II. It took 2-3 weeks and at least 12 layers of finish to produce the glass-like shine. It took another 10 days to hand sculpt the iconic radiator grille.

The entire car was built with painstaking precision in the legendary Rolls Royce tradition. This is how a masterpiece is created…The result was a motorcar that embodied modern technology embracing the heights of ageless artistry.

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Longer than the Silver Shadow II four-door saloon, the Silver Wraith II had an exceptionally spacious passenger compartment. The Silver Wraith II rode upon a long 124.1” wheelbase compared to the 120” wheelbase of the Silver Shadow II.

The Silver Wraith II had the luxury length of 211.5” and was 71.8” wide. Rolls Royce motorcars stand alone as an incomparable blending of technology, beauty, and comfort. The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II made an unarguable statement of personal achievement about its owner…

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“The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten…”

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A 6.75 litre 412 CID 16-valve OHV aluminium alloy V8 engine powered the Silver Wraith II. It used hydraulic tappets, and a hardened steel crankshaft run in five main bearings. The aluminium alloy cylinder heads had cast iron wet liners.

It was equipped with a water pump mounted 7-blade fan with an electric booster fan in front of the radiator to increase cooling air flow, and a sophisticated electronic ignition system. The Silver Wraith II was fitted with a twin exhaust system with stainless-steel silencers and catalytic converters. Air injection reaction system with exhaust gas recirculation was added for EPA clean air requirements.

Two SU HIF7 carburetors and a Pierburg fuel pump made up the fuel delivery system. They were synchronized to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 Series 3-speed fully automatic transmission with torque converter and electronic gear selection. It had a single piece propeller shaft and hypoid bevel final drive.

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The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II was built as monocoque construction where the body and chassis are fused together as a single, stronger entity. Its front suspension was independent by lower wishbone with stabilized upper lever, had independent coil springs, telescopic dampers, and anti-roll bar for stability. The rear used independent trailing arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar, and automatic ride height control.

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Power assisted rack & pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes maintained Silver Wraith II’s overall handling characteristics. Ventilated discs were fitted to the front axle and solid discs to the rear.

The brake system was itself, a sophisticated dual hydraulic circuit brake network that maintained individual operation of both front and rear systems. Should one system fail, each wheel was still individually halted 100%. Both hydraulic brake system and hydraulic self-leveling systems were operated by engine-driven pumps.

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It looked like a limo…was equipped like a limo…even rode like a limo. The 1978 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II was the epitome of luxury and elegance. It was the long wheelbase version of the Silver Shadow II and the more formal of the two with its exclusive roof covered in Everflex and discrete “RR” badging. Its 4” longer wheelbase added legroom for rear seat passengers. The added inches were anonymously built into the larger rear doors to retain the original design.

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The Silver Wraith II was a large front engine rear drive saloon. Powered by the 6.75 litre aluminium alloy V8, the Silver Wraith II had the performance of a more sporting saloon yet retained its poised dignity. The 1978 Silver Wraith II augmented the model hierarchy as the quintessential Flagship Saloon. This iconic body style epitomized the brand and will remain highly collectible…only 2,145 were built during its production run from 1977 until 1980.

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Thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum

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The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II

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