The Crewe Collection: RR Silver Wraith II
“Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower, we will grieve not; rather find strength in what remains behind.” William Wordsworth
The Rolls-Royce Crewe Collection series will commemorate the elegant old-world charm of the Rolls-Royce motorcar built at the legendary Crewe Cheshire England facility. It will also praise the men and women who built automotive legends. These Rolls-Royce motorcars were built in a tradition which no longer exists making these fine automobiles grow valuable in sentiment and as an attractive investment. Next in “The Crewe Collection” is the eminent Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II saloon.
From the hand-crafted radiator grille to the exquisite attention to detail, the Rolls-Royce motorcar leaves no room for compromise. Crewe hand-built automobiles according to principles set forth more than a century ago by Sir Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Henry Royce.
The factory’s strive for perfection was relentless. The historic factory at Crewe in the UK produced strikingly individual Rolls-Royce motorcars of distinction. One such magnificent creation is the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II.
Absolute perfection was the facility’s philosophy. The artisans believed there existed only one way – the right way to do everything. Anything less is highly unacceptable. These exemplary standards of excellence were instilled into the men and women who made it happen. The elegant Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II proudly represents the formidable legacy from a long line of distinguished motorcars built at Crewe, Cheshire England –
A harmonious symphony of time-honored materials and the exacting skill of the coachbuilder was worked slowly…patiently by hand and eye. The result is an uncommonly individual motorcar – the incomparable Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II. This is the long wheelbase variant of the Silver Shadow and it was built from 1977 until 1980.
Signature exterior features that set it apart from its sister model are a distinctive roof covering in luxurious Everflex with a closed-in limousine-style rear window treatment. Exclusive “RR” badging adorns the sail panels to identify this as a Rolls-Royce limited edition. Unique stainless-steel wheel discs tastefully adds the finishing touch of elegance.
A Rolls-Royce is a Rolls-Royce
Being among the larger Rolls-Royce saloons, the Silver Wraith II qualifies as a personal limousine. The individually longer wheelbase adds to its character. The rear passenger compartment benefits from 4” of extra legroom. Everything is pleasing to the eye in the grand Rolls-Royce manner.
Also, being among the long wheelbase saloons; it is eminently suitable for use with a chauffeur. Why waste the adrenalin rush on a driver? After all…the chauffeur gets a secret thrill every time he removes it from the garage (GAIR-ahjjj…British pronunciation) – he cannot wait to get the Silver Wraith II out on the road. Regardless who is behind the wheel it’s…”Whisper, tick, soar – the loudest sound you will hear in a Silver Wraith II…is the beating of your heart –“
Its luxury cradles each passenger with ergonomically designed deep-seated lounge chairs with comfort that rivals your living room. Fluted pleating cushions the springing as with fine home furniture. A Rolls-Royce features an ambiance of exclusivity. Each front seat is electrically adjustable with their own individual folding center armrests and adjustable head restraints. The rear seats are like a sofa with a folding center armrest and adjustable head restraints.
The cabin is fitted with the warmth of Lombardy walnut veneers. Cabinet makers with skills handed down through generations custom craft each set for every car with a distinctive pattern no two vehicles will ever share. After the craftsman creates the pattern, each piece is mirror-matched to reflect the opposite side. Eight wafer-thin slivers are hand-cut, then glued to become a solid entity.
Numerous hours are clocked hand finishing each set to absolute perfection. Lacquer and polish yields a surface hard enough to stub a cigarette out and not leave a trace. This is the manner in which notable furniture makers apply veneers. The rich character of the wood comes from trees hundreds of years old. Every unique pattern is recorded in the car’s history book just in case the veneer is damaged beyond repair.
Every car has a completely unique pattern
Perfectly matched leather by Connolly Brothers furnishes the cabin with a natural beauty. Only 1 out of 500 hides are privileged enough to upholster a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II. Eight hides are hand-cut and hand-sewn as perfect as the hand and eye can accomplish. The aromatic scent of natural grain leather permeates throughout the cabin creating an ambiance in every Rolls-Royce as it ages gracefully.
There is no substitute for natural materials and the traditional skills of the craftsmen; this is why no two Rolls-Royce motorcars will ever be alike. The same leather trims the carpet. Deep pile 100% Wilton carpets are hand-tufted. Luxurious lambswool rugs adds a decadent elegance underfoot. The same carpet lines the boot.
You’re driving an automotive legend. The Silver Wraith II maintains the poised dignity which is the hallmark of every Rolls-Royce motorcar. It’s designed with a “heads-up” attitude to dispel ambiguity between it and the “other” luxury makes that imitate but cannot replicate the grandeur of its majesty.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II placed the bar higher refining new standards of elegance and elite sophistication. Most important here…look at it…lest we forget the beauty of its bearing; this is one of the most beautiful and distinguished portfolios in the progressive Rolls-Royce dynasty – the architecture is contemporary, timeless, to challenge the years gracefully.
The Silver Wraith II, like its sister model the Silver Shadow is built by monocoque construction fusing the bodyshell and chassis together to form a single entity. This is the strongest construction contemporary automobiles can have. Bonnet, boot lid, doors and front wings are made of aluminium alloy as a weight reduction.
Large wrap-around front and rear telescoping bumpers yield a 5 mph impact without sheet metal damage. Polyurethane inserts protect the bumpers from minor scuffing. If you are in the market for one of these make sure to inspect the bumpers for concealed damage as they are obscenely expensive to replace or repair…
The contemporary design of the Silver Wraith II looks as fresh and authoritative as it did when it drove off the assembly lines at Crewe. A Rolls-Royce has always refrained from gimmicky or outlandish styling that looks modern for only one short season. They are designed to age gracefully without making previous models look outdated out of respect to its clientele. A Rolls-Royce never becomes a used car…it becomes a classic. A thing of beauty is a joy forever –
The iconic radiator grille is hand-built and is made of stainless-steel. Only 10 men in the world could complete this formidable task. It’s actually an optical illusion. The process is called entasis and was used on the classic columns of the Parthenon in ancient Greece.
Each panel is slightly bowed making them appear perfectly rectilinear. Then it is hand-polished for many hours until the craftsman is satisfied with his work. The design has gone through variations through the years but the basic overall style remains the same.
The Spirit of Ecstasy flying Goddess that adorns the classic radiator shell is cast using the ancient “Lost Wax” technique. A wax statuette is surrounded by a refractory material. The wax is heated and allowed to escape leaving a perfect impression inside. Liquid metal is poured into the mold and allowed to harden. The refractory material is carefully chipped away leaving a perfect reproduction.
Howard Sykes designed the Spirit of Ecstasy, aka Emily, The Silver Lady, in February of 1911. She has flown proudly with alterations throughout her existence. If you have ever driven a Rolls-Royce…there is a sensation of soaring – the flying lady completes this totally ecstatic experience.
The eloquence of the Silver Wraith II is conveyed through its myriad features and accessories. Every power assist is standard to make each journey memorable. Rolls-Royce is dedicated to make every aspect of their automobiles as pleasing to the eye and convenient to the touch as possible. The unique dual-zone automatic temperature control allows separate settings for upper and lower cabin comfort. Once set, no further intervention is required.
A power central locking system secures all four doors and boot lid with switches located on each front door. Once the key is removed from the ignition, the transmission is electrically locked and its alarm system is activated. The system is so sophisticated, it will only recognize its own key to be unlocked. The outside door locks are pick-proof and the car keys are not easily reproduced. The Silver Wraith II is more than just a beautiful car.
A spirited performer…
The Silver Wraith II is powered by the Rolls-Royce aluminium alloy 6.75 litre 16-valve 412 CID V8 engine. Extensive hand-crafting and testing were expedited throughout its build. The high-silicon content aluminium alloy block has alloy cylinder heads with cast iron wet liners.
A hardened steel crankshaft runs in five main bearings. The engine is equipped with overhead valves, hydraulic tappets, two carburetors, electric fuel pump, twin stainless-steel exhaust system, and a GM Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission with electric gear range selector.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II is a large front engine rear-wheel drive vehicle. It has the luxury length of 211.5”, rides upon a long 124.1” wheelbase, and is 71.8” wide. A four-wheel independent suspension with automatic self-leveling control gives it the legendary Rolls-Royce ride.
Power rack and pinion steering allows it to handle like a sports car. Four-wheel power assisted disc brakes has two separate hydraulic systems to facilitate independent front and rear operation. Should one system fail, each wheel will continue to be halted individually.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II is one of the finest examples of exemplary British hand-crafting to ever drive off the assembly lines at Crewe. Its design is timeless and looks as elegant today as it did when it was new. The 4” longer wheelbase adds extra legroom to the rear passenger compartment. Don’t let its stately elegance fool you…it is a luxury saloon with spirited performance that would shame a sports car.
The Silver Wraith II is a showcase of hand-crafted excellence with its impeccably tailored leather by Connolly Brothers, highly polished wood veneers, and luxurious Wilton carpets. In our harried, mass-produced…”I want it yesterday world,” a classic Rolls-Royce is one of the last remaining links with the quality of years gone by – it’s comforting to know there are automobiles left such as the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II. Besides – compromise is for politicians…
Special thanks to Rodd Sala /Park Ward Motors Museum
The iconic Silver Cloud III
The Elegant Silver Shadow
The Silver Wraith II is NotoriousLuxury
Thank you for yet another very excellent article. I enjoy these more than you can possibly imagine… Dan
Thank you for yet another very excellent article. I enjoy these more than you can possibly imagine… Dan
You made my day! I am sharing a very special part of automotive history! We shall never see automobiles crafted with the old-world charm as the Crewe built Rolls Royce. Wait until you see what’s coming next! God Bless you!