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Our Rolls Royce Limousine – What Luxury Is Made Of

Antique Limousine’s pride and joy is a 1963 long wheel base Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III. A total of 2,297 were built between 1962 and 1966. Of these, only 253 were long wheel bases.

The engine is an 8-cylinder with a V configuration. Inside are all the components you’d expect in a fine luxury car:

  • 4-speed automatic gearbox transmission

  • Dual carburetors for extra airflow

  • Independent front seats with adjustments and automatic windows

  • Air Conditioning

  • Dual fan belts

  • Brake drums with a servo unit for better stopping

  • Dual fuel pumps

  • Wood trimming throughout with picnic tables

  • Maximum speed: 120mph

The Silver Cloud was still produced even after their replacement, the Silver Shadow, was introduced. They ran until 1966.

You’ll know our Silver Cloud no matter where you see it in the Bay. Cruising the streets of San Francisco or heading down to San Jose, everyone will instantly recognize that you’re sitting in a classic Rolls Royce.

History of the Rolls Royce – Secrets of the Classic Luxury Car

The Spirit of Ecstasy

The Spirit of Ecstasy - photo
Photo by: Tanja Lippert Photography                                              

“The Spirit of Ecstasy,” or “Emily” as some have called her. Americans sometimes call her “The Silver Lady” or “The Flying Lady.”

Designed by Charles Sykes, this mascot has been used by Rolls Royce ever since 1911.

Lord John Montagu wanted a mascot for his Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. A small statue was made to resemble a woman in a robe, fluttering in the wind, with a finger to her lips. The sculptor chose Eleanor Thornton, Lord Montagu’s secretary, as the model. She was said to have bewitching beauty and intellect. In fact she and Lord Montagu had a secret relationship for years, but it was kept quiet because of her social status.

The new mascot, called “The Whisper” was placed atop Montagu’s radiator. This became the style for all future Rolls Royce’s.

In 1911 Charles Sykes presented The Spirit of Ecstasy statue, the one in use today. It closely resembled The Whisper—mainly because Eleanor Thornton was the model for both designs.

The technique used for these statues was known as the lost wax method. This guaranteed that no two designs were alike. Sykes and his daughter made the mascots for many years. Rolls Royce took over the casting in 1948, but continued to put Charles Sykes’ inscription on them until 1951.

The Spirit of Ecstasy was silver plated. But since this was a precious metal, many thought it would catch the eyes of thieves. The smaller mascots are made from highly polished nickel alloy.

On December 30, 1915 Eleanor Thornton lost her life on the SS Persia. She was on a trip to India when her ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. Also on the ship was Lord Montagu. He was thought to have died in the attack, but survived and was rescued by another ship. On his return to England he read his own obituary in the newspaper.
 

kneeling version of the Spirit of Ecstasy

Photo by: Tanja Lippert Photography                                              

After World War II, Sykes created a kneeling version of the Spirit of Ecstasy for the Silver Wraith and the Silver Dawn cars. All the models that followed had a standing mascot, which are smaller than the earlier models.

Mascots were forbidden in Switzerland during the late 70s because they were considered dangerous. So new Rolls Royce’s were delivered with the mascots in the glove compartment.

The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur cars were equipped with a mascot that sank into the radiator. This satisfied the safety regulations.

In 1920 Rolls Royce took first place in Paris with a gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy. Ever since then, you can order a gold-plated version from the Rolls Royce factory for an extra charge.

Rolls Royce Facts

  1. There have been 61 different models built by Henry Royce’s company since 1904, when the first car left the factory. Among these are also various models of Bentleys.

  2. From 1904 to 1939, all Rolls built was the chassis. After World War II, Rolls did the coachwork with a standard steel saloon.

  3. In 1946 motor production moved to Crewe, where aero engines were built. The first car built at Crewe was a Bentley Mk V1, not a Rolls Royce.

  4. The Silver Ghost (1907-1925) was considered by Royce to be the best car he ever made.

  5. In 1913 there were 4 Silver Ghosts entered in the Austrian Alpine. They took almost every award!

  6. During World War I, Roll Royce cars were used as ambulances, armored cars and staff cars.

  7. Claude Johnson took the 12th chassis built, fitted it with a 5/5 seat touring body that was finished in aluminum paint with plated lamps and fittings, and built a 40/50 HP car. A silver-plated brass plaque was fitted on the car with the name The Silver Ghost. The car (still owned by Rolls Royce!) is still running today, with over 490,000 miles.

There were 7,870 Silver Ghosts built by 1925. 1,700 of these were built in Springfield. American production stopped in 1931, because Americans liked cars built in Britain.


About Rolls Royce - Did You Know…

  • The Rolls Royce Grille is made completely by hand. No measuring tools are used.
    Six out of ten Rolls Royce’s built are still running.

  • The trademark of the Rolls Royce radiator wasn’t done until 1974.

  • It takes one day for a man to complete a Rolls Royce radiator, plus 5 hours of polishing.

  • It takes 800 man-hours to build the Phantom V1 body.

  • A Rolls Royce may fail to proceed, but it never breaks down.

  • No one knows who invented the grille, or the interlocking RR of the Rolls Royce badge.

  • To this day, every Rolls Royce engine is completely hand-built.

  • Thomas Love Jr. of Scotland has the oldest known Rolls Royce on the road: a 1904 10hp.

  • The first job Royce had was as a paperboy for W H Smith & Son Ltd.

  • Rolls Engines once held the records for speed on land, on water and in the air at the same time.

  • The original color of the Rolls Royce badge was red, later changed to black.

  • Every Silver Spirit has 27 electric motors.

  • Rolls Royce made rifles during World War II.

  • Modern Rolls Royce’s automatically dump cigarette butts.

  • Rolls Royce did not make a complete car until after World War II. They made the chassis only; other coach builders added the bodies.

  • Royce never flew in an aircraft.

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