Symbol: Rolls Royce Formal Saloons

The ultimate long wheelbase saloons

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The pinnacle of luxury is a Rolls Royce with the rare factory power glass division. It is this option that transforms the Long Wheelbase saloon into a formal limousine. The Silver Wraith II was built from 1977 until 1980. It was escalated to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy, with the privacy division specification. These are the finale to one of the grandest motoring eras in automotive history. The 1980 was the last model year for the Silver Wraith II. This eminent series has the poised dignity which is the hallmark of every Rolls Royce motorcar.

The Silver Wraith II is among the rarest Rolls Royce Long Wheelbase saloons. Fitted with the privacy division makes them even more so. The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith was the first post-war model built at Crewe, and the last model to be delivered as “chassis only” form to the coachbuilder to be custom-bodied. These magnificent, highly bespoke automobiles were built from 1946 until 1959. Both formal limousines are highly sought by collectors world-wide. They are among the last Rolls Royce models to be hand-crafted at the famous Crewe facility in the UK.

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The Silver Wraith II is built on the long wheelbase chassis for the Silver Shadow. The wheelbase extension adds four inches to the rear passenger compartment. Exterior signature features include a distinctive roof treatment covered in Everflex with an elegant limousine-style rear window to enhance rear seat privacy. A “RR” badge is attached to each rear sail panel. The stainless-steel wheel discs are unique to this model. A “Silver Wraith II” badge on the rear deck lid alerts the world to the fact, this is no ordinary car. Its grandeur sets it apart from other ultra-luxury saloons. The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II is a masterpiece of hand-built craftsmanship that provides a source of pride, pleasure, and a long-term asset.

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A masterpiece has a way of making time stand still. The eminent Silver Wraith II gives the act of driving a new meaning. The longer you own a Silver Wraith II Formal Limousine, the more valuable it will become. For the record…it took 10 days to hand-craft the iconic radiator grille, at least two weeks to paint, and a total of four months before every craftsman that helped, certified it as a genuine Rolls Royce motorcar –

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The Formal Limousine has an interior to reflect the ultimate in comfort, convenience, and privacy. The power glass partition can be operated by the chauffeur or rear seat passenger. It is equipped with power windows, power door locks, power front seating, power steering and brakes, carpeted rear seat footrests, courtesy lighting, and a host of features and accessories to make the most of your journey. The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II is a masterpiece of hand-built craftsmanship. The cabin is augmented by hand-crafted Lombardy Walnut veneers. Each is mirror-matched and hand-polished to a glass-like appearance that is so durable, a Fonseca can be stubbed out on its finish without leaving a trace.

The unique Rolls Royce split-level air conditioning system allows independent control of upper and lower level temperatures. Once the temperatures are set, no further intervention is required. Formal limousines with the factory division built for destinations other than the US are equipped with a second air conditioning system built into the boot to heat and cool the rear compartment exclusively.

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Perfectly matched leather upholstery is hand-stitched by Connolly Brothers. There’s nothing finer than the scent of natural grain leather as it ages in a Rolls Royce. Those of you that know the breed understand what I mean! The richness of 100% wool hand-tufted Wilton deep-pile carpets line the cabin and the boot. All the time-honored materials of the coachbuilder worked slowly and patiently, largely by hand, into an elegant and completely individual motorcar.

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The ingenious self-leveling system not only tames the worst pavement, it keeps the Silver Wraith II completely poised at all times regardless of load or road conditions. Engine driven pumps maintain the four-wheel independent suspension system and its power four-wheel disc braking system. It provides fade-free braking that’s straight as an arrow. The part that impresses me most is that it stops without ‘dipping’ and there is no extraneous tension involved.

The hydraulic system uses a dual-piston master cylinder with two dedicated brake lines and hardware to facilitate the independent operation of front and rear braking systems. Should one system fail, each wheel will still be halted independently.

The Silver Wraith II has precise power rack and pinion steering. Combined with the highly developed self-leveling system, it set new standards of safety and handling. This sophisticated network provides effortless operation and a positive feel of the road at all times.

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The legendary 6.75 litre 16-valve alloy V8 engine provides performance that wouldn’t disgrace a sports car. It is equipped with an electronic ignition system and twin stainless-steel exhaust system with catalytic converters. The uncanny silence and lack of vibration adds to the Silver Wraith II’s extreme luxury. When you turn the ignition key the engine doesn’t roar its approval…it whispers its presence. When you shift from park to drive, the electric gear selector will not offer resistance…it merely slips into place…the legend comes to life. A Rolls Royce does everything better…

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The Silver Wraith II is the long wheelbase variant of the Silver Shadow. Only 2,145 were built from 1977 until 1980. The factory division is an extremely rare option that transforms the long wheelbase saloon into a formal limousine. These Flagships were the ultimate in comfort, convenience, and privacy. The 1980 model year was the finale for this eminent series. The Silver Wraith II is another timeless classic which proves my point: A Rolls Royce precludes the restless quest for something finer to replace it with – the Silver Wraith II is a timeless pleasure to drive and a priceless asset to own. The Formal Limousine is a highly sought collectible.

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The Silver Wraith is the first post-war model built at the Crewe facility in the UK. It was built from 1946 until 1959. This is the last Rolls Royce model delivered to the coachbuilder as “chassis-only” to be fitted with an entirely bespoke bodyshell. These are formal vehicles, many of which were built as limousines. There were 1,883 built which includes 639 long wheelbase saloons.

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The wheelbase grew from 127” in 1946, and to 133 from 1951 until 1959. The last of the short wheelbase versions were built in 1953. The longer wheelbase is better suited for the power glass division. The specifications vary because of their highly bespoke nature.

The 1954 Silver Wraith has the long 133” wheelbase. The featured model is finished as a formal limousine. Its coachcrafting was done by James Young. It is one of only 29 built. This rare beauty has all-aluminium bodywork. It was built by Rolls Royce as a showcase model for the 1954 Geneva International Motor Show.

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The Silver Wraith is equipped with the 4.9 litre In-line 6-cylinder engine. This powerplant is based upon the original Wraith engine. The newer version used a new cylinder head assembly with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves. Initially the Silver Wraith was available with a four-speed manual gearbox. By 1952 an automatic transmission option by General Motors was available. The braking system used is a hybrid hydro-mechanical system. It is fitted with hydraulic front brakes and a mechanical servo system patented by Hispano-Suiza fitted to the rear.

The 1954 Silver Wraith was nearing the end of the coachbuilt style. This was an elegant era in motoring. A Rolls Royce projects a grandeur the average motorcar lacks.  Rolls Royce and its nose-up design followed a styling continuity, parts of which may still be seen in today’s Rolls Royce saloons. The Silver Wraith is another highly collectible saloon.

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Rolls Royce is committed to perfection. The tradition of excellence had been inherited through the generations of artisans who are dedicated to the principles Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce carved into stone. Their goal was to take the best and make it better. There is only one way…the right way. Every Rolls Royce is special. It is a one-of-a-kind creation therefore, no two will ever be exactly alike. Some forty years separates the original Rolls Royce Wraith and the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II, yet much remained unchanged. The Rolls Royce marque represents a rare investment in superb technology, matchless materials, and legendary craftsmanship.

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It’s the power operated factory division that transforms the long wheelbase saloons into formal limousines. They represent the utmost in privacy and discretion. This option is for the owner who prefers a chauffeur-driven saloon with a shorter wheelbase without sacrificing luxury and privacy.

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Special thanks to Rodd Sala Park Ward Motors Museum

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

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1961 Flying Spur

1961 Flying Spur 8

1961 Flying Spur 6

1961 Flying Spur 3

1961 Flying Spur 5

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Dedicated to the friends of Rolls Royce, Riva Yachts, and Ferrari 

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