Part 3 - By David Marshall-Martin
Here is the next in the series of this great article David has written for our enjoyment.
Picture 9 below-25/30 HP. 1936 saw the upgrade to the 25/30 HP, increasing the cc. to 4,257. The wheelbase was increased to 132 inches. 1,201 chassis were produced between 1936 and 1939. This is an Oxford model of a 4 door saloon by Thrupp & Maberly.
Picture 10 below - Phantom III. 1936 also saw the introduction of the Phantom III. This was a real break with tradition as these cars were fitted with a V-12 engine of 7,340 cc. Similar to the size of the Silver Ghost, P IIIs had a wheelbase of 142 inches with an overall length of 191 inches. Many consider some of the finest coachwork was built on these chassis, although only 710 were built between 1936 and 1939. The chassis alone weighed over 4,000 lbs., so with added coachwork it is no surprise that they only averaged around 10 m.p.g. This is a TrueScale Miniatures model of a 1936 HJ Mulliner 4 door/4 light saloon, chassis #3AX79 with a forward sloping vee windscreen and a swept rear boot. It is famous for having been owned by Lord ‘Monty’ Montgomery.
Picture 11 below - Wraith. The successor to the 25/30 HP is the Wraith. With a six-cylinder engine of 4,257 cc. on a chassis wheelbase of 136 inches and an overall length of 203 inches. Manufactured between 1938-1939 only 492 chassis were produced. Other than the Phantom IV, this is the smallest run of Rolls-Royce cars. Naturally this tended to limit the interest in scale models so again I have turned to the Danbury Mint for this 1939 4 door saloon (probably) by Park Ward. Unfortunately, proportionally, the mascot is slightly too large.
During the early years of World War II Rolls-Royce managed to build only a handful of cars known as the Bentley Mk V. Following the end of the war the first car to be produced was the Bentley Mk VI. This was Rolls-Royce’s foray into providing a complete car with a standard steel saloon body. Nevertheless many dyed-in-the wool enthusiasts wanted a Rolls-Royce in the old ‘style.’ Thus was born the Silver Wraith.
Picture 12 below - Silver Wraith. So, while the factory built complete Mk VI Bentley motor cars, Rolls- Royce manufactured chassis, motors, running gear and radiator grills for the Silver Wraith. Customers then, as of old, went off to HJ Mulliner, James Young, Freestone and Webb, Park Ward or Hooper and had the body built, usually a limousine. From 1947 until 1959 1,144 short wheelbase (127 inches) and 639 long wheelbase (133 inches) chassis were produced. A six cylinder engine was used which was eventually 4,887 cc. In 1952 an automatic gearbox was available. This is a TrueScale Miniatures model of a 1952 Park Ward Saloon with division.
In keeping with Rolls-Royce custom we won’t use the number 13.
Picture 14 below - Silver Dawn. Americans tended not to want Bentleys, so to rake in much needed overseas dollars Rolls-Royce was allowed to produced the Silver Dawn, initially for export only. The Silver Dawn standard saloon was basically a Bentley Mk VI or R-Type with a different bonnet configuration and a kneeling Spirit of Ecstasy. A few bodies were coachbuilt, but the vast majority of the 785 chassis were the standard steel saloon (made by the Pressed Steel Company). This is an Oxford model of a 1950 short boot saloon. In this model the radio aerial is too thick and should be silver.
To be continued.... Part 4
By David Marshall-Martin, GSM