Post Number: 9
|Posted on Wednesday, 07 July, 2004 - 10:02 pm: |
I am thinking of buying a 1953 Silver Wraith - I have alwys been crazy about them. It is an automatic model, LWB, with all the tools included. Mileage is either 28 500 or 128 500 miles. From the leather, which is in good condition, it looks more like 28500 miles. Electric centre division, picnic tables, foot stalls, no drinks cabinet, but a box in it's place which houses air and heated air to the rear passengers. Paint is still good although there is some flacking here and there, but not a lot. Asking price is around GBP 28500, and then I still have to import it to South Africa.
Can anyone give me an opinion on the car. Is the price to steep. I've read that the Silver Wraith can give a lot a trouble with it's engine and some are even unserviceable at low mileage due to traffic driving.
Does the 4.667 L engine supply adequite power. What could I expect my average speed to be? 70 mph, or less?
Thank you - any input will be appreciated!
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Wednesday, 07 July, 2004 - 11:29 pm: |
Silver Wraiths are very enjoyable cars.
Value depends on condition and desirability of the coachwork. Please give additional information: What is the Chassis number of the car you are considering? From this number I can tell much about the particular car, and comment on the desirability of its coachwork.
For an inexperienced purchaser, I would always recommend a thorough mechanical inspection by an expert. Mechanical repairs to any part of the car will be expensive.
Really not possible to say if it is a good buy without more information. In general, with the current exchange rates, cars purchased in the US are probably better value than UK purchases.
General comment on value: The best-condition car you can find, at any price, is probably the best value. Do not be tempted by a cheap car in rough condition. Repairing that will be very expensive, and it will ultimately cost you far more than an excellent car. I am thinking about a car for which I would expect to pay $50,000 US, but in the UK that car might cost £40,000 or more.
General comment: LWB cars are not as good as SWB cars for road use because they are bigger, heavier, and do not have high-speed rear axle gearing. The LWB chassis was designed for limousine coachwork with an expectation of chauffeured city use. There is adequate power, but they are not fast cars. I would not drive a long distance at more than 60 mph, although it will run at 70. How do you like to drive? If you like speed, acceleration, and responsive handling, you will find a LWB Silver Wraith frustrating.
How do you see yourself using the car?
SWB cars (chassis numbers beginning with "W") in my opinion make better touring cars, but if you really like high speed touring, look for a Silver Dawn or Bentley MK VI or R-type.
What do you mean by "a lot of trouble with the engine"? In general, the engines run long distances without problems, but when problems come, they will be expensive. That is true for all RR cars. SW cars from DLW 163 onward have the 4.9 engine, which is more durable. In my opinion, the 4.9 L six is the most reliable, trouble-free engine RR ever made. The 4.5 L engine can have piston trouble, but other than that it is also very good.
Best advice: Join a good club, look at as many cars as you can find, and read all the books you can get. Learn first and buy second for the most satisfying purchase.
There are several RR cars in South Africa, but I do not know what RR club has the greatest presence.
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Wednesday, 07 July, 2004 - 11:44 pm: |
Thank you for the advice Bill. The chassis number is BLW55.
Please find some pictures attached.
I have tried searching, but cannot find anything I lik in South Africa. Could you perhaps supply me with some website details?
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Thursday, 08 July, 2004 - 11:10 pm: |
BLW55 is an H J Mulliner design 7348 "all-metal lightweight touring saloon." 20 cars total were made to design 7348, which makes it a less common design than most built during this period. This particular one was the the first built and was on the H J Mulliner stand at the October 1953 Earls Court show. It has had at least some repaint work because originally it was two-tone black and cream. The cream was on the top of the car. The division between the colors was along the corner of the bonnet, following along the chrome strip below the windows and then above the rear wings down to the rear bumper. You might want to look carefully for evidence of how the repaint was applied. If all of the old paint was removed first, that's good. It is much less expensive to just spray over the old paint, but if it was done like that, the paint will not last very long.
The 7348 design has an important advantage in that the body does not have wood framing as do most Silver Wraiths. Instead the body framing is aluminum. Therefore, the body is not subject to suffering rotten wood, and is likely remain solid for a long time. Discounting the styling of the car, which is very personal, a Mulliner 7348 is a good car.
The 7348 has a different character than most Silver Wraiths, having a more rounded appearance, less angular than the more popular designs of that time period. I think it has the look of a Silver Cloud, which appeared more than a year later, but most likely Mulliner knew what was coming, and tried to be somewhat avant garde with this design. This styling was also offered by Mulliner for Bentley VI, R-type, and Silver Dawn cars with a divided windscrean. Unlike the 7348, all of those others had a divided V-windscrean with flat glass. This styling also appeared on a few drop head Silver Dawns and Bentleys. Later on Silver Cloud chassis the design evolved into the currently very desirable Flying Spur, which has sharper curves and a more angular appearance. I think the reason the 7348 didn't sell very well is the rounded character of the styling, which was new to the Silver Wraiths, and may have impressed buyers as not looking quite like a Silver Wraith should look. That's my opinion of the design, but as I said, styling is personal. The one-piece curved windscrean looks very nice, but if you were to ever catch a rock, it would be very expensive to replace. For that reason alone I would always want a flat glass.
This car has been for sale at Real Car Co. for a long time, perhaps a year, and they are probably anxious for it to move to a new owner. Perhaps the price is negotiable. I have no personal knowledge of Real Car Co., but they are well known, and I think honest about the condition of the cars they have for sale. If you ask them very direct questions about the mechanical condition of the car, they most likely give you straight answers. I think they probably know a lot about the condition of the car. I believe they are very interested in their reputation, and they will not want you to be surprised later by some problem. If something on the car needs repair, they can do it. I suggest you ask them for a list of what they might do to the car if they were going to drive it extensively. They can also probably give you a very accurate assessment of how long the paint is likely to last.
Is it a good buy? Well if it is what you want, you are not likely to find another elsewhere very soon, so maybe the price doesn't matter very much. I think it is priced lower than it might be if it were a more popular design, like a 7356. Real Car Co. is a retailer, and will quite reasonably have a higher price than a private seller. For this premium you get better assurance you are not buying someone else's trouble. As I implied previously, I think that if this car were for sale in the US, it would not be priced as high.
If you want to look at other cars, i suggest you join a club and look at the amgazine advertisements. The RROC (US) magazine usually lists 2 or 3 Silver Wraiths for sale, sometimes more. Current issue there is a very desirable HJ Mulliner 7349 on a SWB chassis for sale in California asking $35,000. My opinion, the HJM 7349 is the best-looking SW of them all, and I would be hitting on that car if I had room in the garage. $35,000 is more than the usual price for a SWB SW, but that California car claims very low documented mileage, and it is probably a very nice, very original and authentic car.
I repeat my previous advice, Join a club and read the books. Also, be patient. Part of the fun is the hunt. If you buy too soon, you will be cutting off that part of the fun.
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Friday, 09 July, 2004 - 07:55 pm: |
Good day Bill
Thank you for all the info. I found a BLW100 Silver Wraith in South Africa for much less. Could you please supply me with the same info on the car? Where do you get all your details from?
It is the same design as the BLW55? Why the big gap between 55 to 100 if only 20 cars were made?
Please e-mail me - perhaps I can send you some photo's to get your opinion on the car as well as the price - I will appreciate it a lot!
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Monday, 12 July, 2004 - 05:43 am: |
All of the Silver Wraiths have at least one line of information in Bernard Kingís The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn & Silver Wraith. Additional detail is provided on show cars (BLW55). Other books have additional information about the coachbuilders. Chassis details including what changed when and options offered as well as interesting production stories can be found in the books also.
This new car you have found, BLW100, is a Park Ward 550, a ďtouring saloon,Ē that had a half division, i.e., no glass but a bulkhead with cabinet work below the waistline. 28 cars were made to design 550, but three other designs, 598 (16 cars), 702 (7 cars), and 703 (14 cars) have almost identical appearance. 598 and 703 have a full division. BLW 100 is a completely different car from BLW55, not even by the same coachbuilder.
Posted From: 220.127.116.11
|Posted on Friday, 23 May, 2014 - 10:38 pm: |
I would have a similar question. I have purchased RR Silver Wraith BLW87 and I love to get any possible information about it (design type, how many cars have been made, etc.). I tried to get any RR book but they are really hard to get.
Can anyone help me with this? I will appreciate it a lot!
(Message approved by david_gore)
Post Number: 1388
|Posted on Saturday, 24 May, 2014 - 08:32 am: |
You can start by using Dr Google/Wikipedia to get the design/production history. The Silver Wraith is based on the post WW2 Silver Dawn series.
You should also browse the Technical Library where you can download a lot of information free-of-charge:
Posted From: 18.104.22.168
|Posted on Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 - 01:15 am: |
been there, done that I already looked all over RR clubs and sites and get all kind of techincal stuff.
Now I was trying to get more information about BLW87 as I bought it already. I have all documents from RR Archives and I think there are more informations about this car, but not on the web - e.g. in B. King's The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn & Silver Wraith book, or M. Pastouna's Royal Rolls Royce Motorcars (as this car belongs to High Commisioner for U.K. in S.E. Asia) there might be some additional information. Unfortunately these books are sold out in my country, so I was looking for some help.
(Message approved by david_gore)
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
|Posted on Wednesday, 03 June, 2015 - 10:02 pm: |
According to Bernard King's Complete Classics No 3, BLW87, with engine L86B, was delivered in March 1954 to the Commissioner-General for Singapore. It was recorded as back in Britain by 1980, with the registration GPT 2C, which suggests, but does not prove, that it came back in or after 1965. It's not on the current RREC database, which proves even less.
Its limousine coachwork was by Park Ward to their design 551. This was their fifth most popular design for the Silver Wraith, or second most popular if you include the similar designs 408 and 704.
This thread began with discussion of cars to H J Mulliner design 7348, and I own, but may soon be selling, one of the few to this design, CLW38. John Waite in Canada has traced as many survivors of this design as he can, and is hoping to have an article in Flying Lady. He notes that BLW55 was sold in 2004 to a buyer in Spain, but has not been able to track down the owner.
I'd argue that, although a few Silver Wraiths are spectacularly ugly to most modern eyes, overall they are one of the most under-valued of Rolls-Royces. Their time will come! Soon, I hope.
(Message approved by david_gore)
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Thursday, 04 June, 2015 - 05:14 pm: |
I own 2 Silver Wraiths, a 1947 SWB Sedanca De Ville by H J Mulliner and a 1953 LWB (BLW66) by Hooper and they are both superb cars.
I have noticed little difference in performance between the two but this may be due to the fact that the LWB has the 4 1/2 litre engine and the SWB the 4 1/4.
BLW55 is a fairly rare car and I really like the design.
Good luck with your purchase and I am sure you will be happy with your choice
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Friday, 05 June, 2015 - 11:04 am: |
"The Elegance Continues" by Lawrence Dalton details many of the post war coachbuilt cars, many of which were the Silver Wraith.
Trust that helps.