Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Every Silver Cloud has a custom lining

It's wedding and graduation season and so I'm featuring two classy visions that happened to cross my path. I can't vouch for the originality of either of these rides but they fit the bill for your prom:
Alright this one is the more interesting of the pair for me! This seems to be a 1959-1962 Bentley S2 4 door saloon that has been converted to a convertible. I'm inclined to think that this car started out as a true Bentley S2 for a couple of reasons. Firstly the driver is on the UK-appropriate right side.
The second reason I'm thinking this is a legit Bentley is that it is a Bentley as opposed to a Rolls Royce. When the S2 was built it was 95% identical to the RR Silver Cloud II. While production numbers were within 100 or so of each other the Rolls Royce name and trademark grill are more famous to the general public than Bentley. It is also Black when most are pearly White.
Both marques sold incomplete cars to independent coach builders for completion so there are several unique and one-off examples out there (one famous example is the 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III drophead coupe with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward driven by Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack). Chances are better that a 4 door Bentley was professionally chopped into a convertible.
On to a creamier block of cheese:
Alright now we're getting into suspicious territory (although my footnote about coach builders still applies). At first glance this seems to be a 1959-'62 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II Long Wheelbase. I ain't buyin' it for a second!
There are a few clues that make me think this is a "tribute" Rolls specifically built for prom & wedding use. The big one is the lack of subtlety on that body side swooping line coming off the front fender. It is close to the original but a bit heavy handed. The rear door ought to cut further into that flank of the rear fender. Glaringly this is ride has suicide doors which the original would not have had. The rear roof is too tall to be legit in my opinion as well, and it has a sunroof!  
Don't get me wrong this car would make a man feel like a king and a lady feel like a princess, especially from 30 feet with a phone camera like this woeful shot, but it just isn't the real thing (I think). My thought is that this was probably produced by a company such as this one. *Scrolling through the options on the link above is interesting. I recommend the Armored Vehicle section.
Well that's that for this post. If you're like me and you scroll through Craigslist classic car ads for fun (this is sadly true btw) you might notice that old limos litter the landscape with few takers. The ultra classic lines of Rolls Royce & Bentley will always find a home, but what about the K-Car limo of the '80s? Or any number of square Caddilacs from the same decade? For a glimpse into truly useless vehicles search for "airport limo"; no orphan has fewer adoption prospects than a Cadillac with 6 doors and 3 bench seats.
I'll close this out with my favorite of that weird category; the 8 door Checker Aerobus!

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