The Crewe Collection: Rolls-Royce Park Ward Superlatives
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be” William Shakespeare –
1963 Rolls Royce Phantom V by Park Ward
1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca deVille by Park Ward
Park Ward is among the world’s most eminent coachbuilders. They were established in 1919 and were located in Willesden of North London. William MacDonald Park and Charles Ward built automobile bodies for a variety of manufacturers. Park Ward partnered with W.O. Bentley during the 1920s. They also did work custom-crafting bodies for Rolls Royce. Eventually, the company focused exclusively on Bentley and Rolls Royce motorcars.
Park Ward introduced technological advancements to the industry. Their “Silentbloc” rubber bushings absorbed engine noise and vibration as well as road shock. This was especially attractive to luxury brands with their quest for refinement. Park Ward developed patented all-steel body technology that became superlative to the industry.
Rolls-Royce purchased interest in Park Ward after taking over Bentley in 1931. By 1933, Rolls-Royce obtained patents for a special Park Ward all-steel body for their standard saloons. By 1939 Rolls-Royce had acquired the coachbuilding firm in its entirety. In addition to the standard steel saloons, Park Ward created special bespoke coachbuilt bodies.
In 1961 Park Ward was merged with another Rolls-Royce acquisition, HJ Mulliner & Company to become Mulliner Park Ward. This formidable partnership created some of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious bespoke coachcrafting in the entire industry. Most of these automotive masterpieces now reside in personal collections and museums throughout the world.
Park Ward is synonymous with quality. Each is a masterwork of distinction. The coachbuilder’s reputation in on the line with every vehicle that is created. Not only right after it is out of theatre…but every subsequent year it exists. And of course, fit & finish is paramount. This principle wasn’t forsaken with Park Ward.
Every custom-crafted vehicle was built as if it were their very own. These artisans would never mitigate their craft nor would they compromise their mission to meet production schedules or sales quotas. Most important…to be associated with Rolls-Royce, you must be beyond reproach – you have to be the very best. This is Park Ward…
1955 Bentley Continental fixedhead coupé by Park Ward
Park Ward had an extensive portfolio of custom-bodied designs for Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Two-door fixedhead and drophead coupé models are always coachbuilt with the brand. Rolls-Royce motorcars are built primarily as a four-door saloon.
Extra work is involved in such a transformation such as lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity and overall structural reinforcement. Then…there are the aesthetics. Only an experienced coachbuilder can work such a feat of magic successfully. Park Ward’s coachbuilding expertise was infinite. Whatever the client wanted in an ultra-luxury motorcar…Park Ward could provide.
1955 Bentley Continental fixedhead UK version cabin
1955 Bentley Continental drophead coupé by Park Ward
1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith drophead coupé by Park Ward
1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V by Park Ward
The notorious Rolls-Royce Phantom formal limousines were available in Phantom V and Phantom VI series as the last of the coachbuilt breed. Mulliner Park Ward, James Young, and Park Ward versions will always remain the epitome of luxury and elegance, coachbuilt in the grand Rolls-Royce tradition. These formal limousines are not a mere stretch or a double-cut; they are designed and crafted as limousines of distinction.
Many of these limousines are still in service…any properly maintained Rolls-Royce motorcar will outlast its owner. Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth has a special fleet augmented by these revered motorcars. A Rolls-Royce limousine enhances any special occasion…the respect and admiration afforded this supreme achievement in motoring is astounding. No other formal saloon in the world is held in such esteem as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V and Phantom VI series.
1959-1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V by Park Ward
Distinctive forward opening rear coach doors are a hallmark of Park Ward for the Phantom series.
The Rolls-Royce Park Ward Limousine and the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Park Ward Limousines are elegant hand-built motorcars that not only offer a 24” extended wheelbase but also a raised roofline by 2” adding more headroom. There are also Park Ward Touring Limousines based upon the Silver Spur saloon. These are very rare and very expensive Rolls-Royce formal saloons.
These highly bespoke motorcars were built to the exacting requirements of the client. The official Touring Limousines were built from 1991 through 1999. Two body-styles were available. One version was lengthened at the rear “C” pillars with fixed opera windows. Another style was lengthened at the “B” pillars between the front and rear doors. Both versions have altered rooflines for increased headroom.
A Rolls-Royce limited edition is a dream…with a little bit of fantasy. These dramatic motorcars all take their illustrious positions in automotive history. Each highly bespoke creation is built at a highly restricted pace to retain its exclusivity. One such eminent motorcar is the magnificent Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph Park Ward Touring Saloon.
It has all the panache and exclusivity of a true masterpiece…and is built out of a tradition of excellence. The Silver Seraph Park Ward is the ultimate expression of contemporary coachbuilding and personal commissioning for its day. Rolls-Royce engineers have always preferred Park Ward bodies on their prototype cars which is due in no small part to their superior build quality.
Sophistication augments the Park Ward in its relentless quest for sheer elegance, luxury, and distinction. The cabin seats four in the epitome of splendor. All four exclusively hand-tailored lounge seats are heated, cooled, and are electrically adjustable providing prodigious assuagement from mundane routines. An extended central console conveniently houses a control panel for rear seat passengers to operate special features and to interpose the seating. The additional legroom allows the installation of special audio, visual, and communication equipment including a hard drive for computer and peripherals to interface with the home or office for the executive who must work while traveling.
The Park Ward is created following the protocol of the eminent Touring Saloons which proceeded it. These eloquent road-going extended wheelbase saloons provide refined handling characteristics with the notorious ride quality and comfort long associated with the brand. The Silver Seraph Park Ward synthesizes the better of two worlds: all the attributes of a world-class touring saloon with the legendary opulence of a Rolls-Royce motorcar. This fabulous motorcar is among the last hand-built Rolls-Royce models to motor out of Crewe. Rolls-Royce saloons have always been augmented by an extended wheelbase model to compliment the standard saloon.
The long wheelbase versions emphasize rear seat comfort with extra legroom. Usually, these formidable saloons provide 4” of extra room where it counts…the Park Ward adds an ample 10” in overall cabin space. Both front and rear doors are increased in size to anonymously incorporate the extra inches to superbly balance and blend the addition into the architecture gracefully. The discreet refinement isn’t immediately apparent to the untrained eye. A Rolls-Royce never screams its existence…it merely whispers its presence. There are only 127 Park Ward Touring Saloons built from 2001 until 2002 when Rolls-Royce production ceased at Crewe.
Whatever one desired in an ultra-luxury motorcar…Park Ward could provide. Exemplary fit and finish are hallmarks of this eminent coachbuilder. Each custom-crafted vehicle was hand-built as if it were their very own. These automotive masterworks were built out of a tradition of excellence at a highly restricted pace to retain exclusivity. No two Rolls-Royce motorcars will ever be alike…coachbuilt versions are the ultimate expressions of the best car in the world.
Rolls-Royce engineers have always preferred Park Ward bodies on their prototype vehicles because of their superior build quality. These dramatic one of a kind motorcars all take their illustrious positions in automotive history as part of the legendary heritage of the Crewe facility in the UK. Park Ward and Crewe left an indelible impression upon the automotive industry and will live on in the hearts of connoisseurs world-wide. These are two essential factors that made these special Rolls-Royce motorcars…the pride of the UK, and the envy of the entire world –
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