Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 146

1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Estate Car by H.J. Mulliner and Radford

  • Chassis no. LSMH65
  • Body no. 6208

Sold for $583,000

Est. 178 bhp, 4,887 cc F-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, unequal-length wishbone and coil-spring front suspension, solid rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and hydraulic front and mechanical servo-assisted rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • One of just two original examples built on a short-wheelbase chassis
  • Factory left-hand drive with numerous bespoke features and Radford accouterments
  • Known ownership history with four owners from new
  • Wonderful, extensive ownership documentation, including original guarantee

As long as Rolls-Royces have existed, wealthy clients have been using them as the basis for not only their limousines and sedans, but also for “shooting brakes” – gentlemen’s wagons for the hunt. The tradition continued into the late 1950s with coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner’s luxurious estate cars, built on Silver Cloud I chassis in collaboration with the London shop of Harold Radford.

Four of these sumptuously outfitted estate cars were produced, two each on standard and long-wheelbase chassis, both by modifying the factory’s “Standard Steel Saloon” coachwork. The lower portion of the body was largely unaltered, with the greenhouse above the beltline extended upward and rearward through the cargo area to form the large luggage space typical of a “shooting brake.” The tailgate was horizontally split into two separate panels, below the rear windows, one of which is hinged up and the other one down.

This fetching example was supplied on 8 May 1959, to original owner Robert L. McCormick of Wichita, Kansas, who intended to use it for regular travel all over North America. Typical of a “Radford-ized” Silver Cloud, it was lavished with one-off features, which included a Webasto folding fabric sunroof with wind deflector, factory air conditioning, a 202R radio, Marchal sidelights, coat hangers, and special Radford-fitted seats. The rear seats, in particular, could be folded flat, accommodating luggage up to six feet long. Fittingly for a Rolls, final delivery to the United States was aboard the fabled Cunard flagship Queen Elizabeth.

The estate car remained with Mr. McCormick until December 1965, when it was sold to Lewis M. Schott of New York City. Writing from the Broadview Motor Hotel to his car’s new owner, Mr. McCormick explained the salient points of the coachbuilt wagon, noting, among other gems:

The Radford conversion is a “complete job.” I will explain to your chauffeur and secretary how it makes into beds, etc., etc.

I’ll explain the 3-way horn switch to your employees. I used the loud horn for “blasting” livestock off the Mexican highways.

Finally, I hope you have as much fun out of the car as I have had. It should go 200,000 miles without work on it . . . . A serious sacroiliac precludes long motor trips for me for a few years, and I’m an unhappy warrior when I think about it.

Mr. Schott retained the Silver Cloud estate car until 2007, when respected Florida Rolls-Royce expert Richard Gorman convinced him to sell after several years of pursuit. True to Mr. McCormick’s word, the car had run over 116,000 miles, quite comfortably. Mr. Gorman kept the car as one of his personal automobiles for four years, before selling it to Orin Smith, who became the latest and fourth private owner from new. He submitted the car to Mr. Gorman’s Vantage Motorworks for a thorough restoration, lasting over 18 months, liveried in Velvet Green and Sage with Parchment leather interior piped in Velvet Green, and tan wool carpets with matching mouton overlays. As part of this restoration the air conditioning was upgraded using one of Vantage’s improved systems, for more efficient modern driving use.

The car’s presentation is overall very authentic, down to the exceptional woodwork of the interior, and a period-correct set of suitcases stashed in the rear, and is beautifully finished both inside and out, with only light road wear visible underneath. It is offered with its original owner’s handbook, the proper set of hand tools, and a collection of documentation that includes ownership records and the original Rolls-Royce guarantee to Mr. McCormick.

Numerous Rolls-Royce shooting brakes exist, but many of them are crude later conversions. This car is a true and authentic coachbuilt original, created to the exacting specifications of its original owner, and restored to that same high standard – air horns and all. Errant cattle, consider yourselves warned.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more