Villa Erba

23 May 2015

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Lot 135

1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé Adaptation by H.J. Mulliner

  • Chassis no. LSAE639
  • Engine no. 319ES
  • Body no. 6585

Sold for €375.000


185 bhp, 6,230 cc OHV V-8 engine with two 1¾-inch SU carburettors, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones, semi-elliptical rear springs with electrically controlled shock absorbers, and mechanical servo-assisted/power-assisted front and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,124 mm

  • The last Mulliner Drophead Coupé Adaptation built on a Silver Cloud II chassis
  • Original U.S.-specification, left-hand-drive car
  • Fitted when new with numerous bespoke Radford fitments
  • Documented by copies of original build records
  • Perhaps the ultimate Rolls-Royce convertible


Amongst the most elegant post-war bodies created for Rolls-Royce was the Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé by H.J. Mulliner, design number 7504. The car was known as an “adaptation”, and it was created using a factory Standard Steel Saloon body that had been modified into a convertible by removing the steel top, fitting two doors in place of the usual four, and adding a modified chromed waistline moulding. So extensive were Mulliner’s modifications that the resulting car was, in its every detail, essentially a fully custom body, and indeed, the cars were available with the same range of bespoke options available to any Rolls-Royce client—that is to say, anything the buyer desired.

This Cloud II is a remarkable example of an H.J. Mulliner coachbuilt convertible, which is generally accepted to be amongst the most elegant of all post-war coachwork. The accepted term for this H.J. Mulliner Design 7504 is “adaptation”, as the cars were adapted from saloon bodies. Rolls-Royce specialists agree that this was the most popular body H.J. Mulliner ever created. The car shown here, chassis number LSAE639, is the last Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé adaptation of 107 built, and it is described in the definitive work on these cars, Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining by Davide Bassoli, as “the last one built…gorgeous lines, perfect proportions”.

Copies of its original chassis cards, which are on file, indicate that the car was specially ordered by Boyd Calhoun Hipp, of Greenville, South Carolina, a decorated World War II hero who became a leader in the insurance, finance, and television broadcasting industries. Mr Hipp requested a left-hand-drive, U.S.-specification model with a power radio aerial and windows, the newly developed Rolls-Royce air-conditioning system, and special Sundym glass. Mulliner also installed an array of special features that has been supplied by London coachbuilder Harold Radford, including Perspex sun visors, a fitted locker with an ice thermos in the left-hand door pocket, fitted cocktail bars with three spirit flasks and six tumblers in the backs of the front seats, and most amusingly, removable “toadstool” cushions that affix to the rear bumpers, providing seating for elegant “tailgate” dining in the most literal sense.

Mr Hipp accepted delivery of his Silver Cloud II in England in September 1962, with records indicating that it accompanied him home to New York in the most stylish of fashions, aboard the fabled Cunard liner the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The car was later restored in previous ownership, and it still presents beautifully in Sand with fine red coachlining and an interior luxuriously trimmed in Magnolia Connolly hides, Cumberland Stone Wilton carpeting, and a Fawn West of England headliner under a fresh mohair top. Correct whitewall tyres augment the car’s chic yet sporting stance, and the odometer reads scarcely over 42,000 miles. Marque specialists in the UK recently completed a freshening of the car’s mechanical components.

Whether in motion or on concours display, historians generally consider the rare Silver Cloud II coachbuilt cars as offering the best of all Rolls-Royce worlds: superior engineering, fine quality, and timeless design. This car, as the last of a proud series and one filled with bespoke features, is particularly special, and it will find a home in any fine collection of cars bearing the Spirit of Ecstasy.



185 cv, 6.230 cc, motore V-8 con albero a came in testa, con due carburatori SU da 1¾ pollici, cambio automatico a 4 rapporti, sospensioni a ruote indipendenti con molle elicoidali e bracci oscillanti, molle posteriori semi ellittiche con ammortizzatori a controllo elettrico e quattro freni a tamburo con servo assistenza meccanica anteriori ed elettrica al posteriore. Passo: 3.124 mm

• L’ultima Mulliner Drophead Coupé Adaptation costruita su telaio Silver Cloud II
• Originale guida a sinistra, con specifiche per il mercato Americano
• Equipaggiata fin da nuova con numerosi accessori Radford realizzati su misura
• Documentata dalle copie delle schede originali di costruzione
• Probabilmente il massimo tra le Rolls-Royce convertibili

Tra le più eleganti carrozzerie create per Rolls-Royce nel dopoguerra, c’era senz’altro la Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé di H.J. Mulliner, disegno numero 7504. La macchina, conosciuta come un’”adaptation”, cioè una versione modificata, creata partendo da una normale Standard Steel Saloon che era stata trasformata in una vettura aperta togliendo il tetto in acciaio, mettendo due porte al posto delle solite quattro ed aggiungendo un diverso profilo cromato all’altezza della linea di cintura. Le modifiche apportate da Mulliner erano così estese che, la macchina ottenuta era, essenzialmente in ogni dettaglio, una carrozzeria realizzata su misura. In aggiunta, per le macchine, rimaneva disponibile tutta la serie di accessori a richiesta abitualmente riservata ad ogni cliente Rolls-Royce, in pratica, si potrebbe dire, qualsiasi cosa che il committente potesse desiderare.

Questa Cloud II è un esempio importante di convertibile prodotta dalla carrozzeria H. J. Mulliner, che è generalmente considerata tra le più eleganti tra tutte le carrozzerie realizzate nel dopoguerra. Il nome solitamente riconosciuto per questo modello, disegno H.J. Mulliner 7504, è di “adaptation” (trasformazione in inglese, ndt), visto che le vetture erano trasformate partendo da delle carrozzerie berlina. Gli intenditori Rolls-Royce sono tutti d’accordo nel definire questa carrozzeria, la più riconosciuta tra tutte quelle realizzate da H.J. Mulliner. L’auto mostrata qui, telaio numero LSAE639 è l’ultima, delle 107 costruite, Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé adaptation, ed è descritta nel libro più importante e completo dedicato a queste auto, Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining di Davide Bassoli, come “l’ultima costruita… linee spendide, proporzioni perfette”.

Copie delle schede originali, che sono disponibili nell’archivio, indicano che questa macchina fu espressamente ordinata da Boyd Calhoun Hipp, di Greenville, South Carolina (U.S.A.), un eroe di guerra, decorato nel corso della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, che aveva fatto fortuna nel campo delle assicurazioni, della finanza e delle trasmissioni televisive. Il Sig, Hipp aveva richiesto una vettura con guida a sinistra, con specifiche per il mercato americano, con antenna radio elettrica, finestrini elettrici, ed il nuovissimo impianto di aria condizionata, appena proposto da Rolls-Royce, oltre agli speciali vetri Sundym. Mulliner, inoltre, installò tutta una serie di accessori speciali, forniti dalla carrozzeria londinese Harold Radford, come le alette parasole in Perspex, uno scomparto su misura, ricavato al’interno della portiera sinistra, con il thermos del ghiaccio, un armadietto bar, con tre bottiglie da liquore e sei bicchieri, nel retro degli schienali anteriori e, i più sorprendenti cuscini a fungo, da appoggiare ai paraurti posteriori, che avrebbero fornito i posti a sedere per eleganti cene “sul baule”, nel senso più letterale del termine.

Il Sig. Hipp ha preso consegna della sua Silver Cloud II in Inghelterra, nel Settembre del 1962, con i documenti storici che indicano come siano andati a casa assieme, nel modo più elegante possibile, imbarcati sul leggendario transatlantico della Cunard, la HMS Queen Elizabeth.

La macchina è stata restaurata da uno dei proprietari precedenti, e si presenta ancora meravigliosamente in color Sabbia con il delicato filetto rosso,con gli interni lussuosamente rifiniti in pelle Connolly color Magnolia, tappetini Wilton in color Cumberland Stone e cielo Fawn West of England a rivestire il fresco tetto in mohair. Le corrette gomme a fascia bianca aumentano ancora la classe e la sportività dell’automobile, ed il contachilometri riporta poco più di 42,000 miglia. Specialisti Inglesi della marca, hanno recentemente portato a termine una rinfrescata generale di tante componenti meccaniche.

Che sia in movimento o in mostra ad un concorso, gli storici generalmente considerano la rara Silver Cloud II con carrozzeria speciale, come la quintessenza del meglio del mondo Rolls-Royce: tecnica di livello superiore, qualità assoluta e design senza tempo. Questa macchina, come l’ultima di una serie importante e come vettura dotata di interessanti dotazioni speciali, è particolarmente unica, e si troverebbe a casa in qualsiasi raffinata collezione di vetture caratterizzate dallo Spirito dell’Estasi.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

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+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

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+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

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Paul Darvill

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+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

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+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

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