Lot 240 - 1962 Rolls-Royce II Drophead Coupé Adaptation by H.J Mulliner
|Chassis Number||LSAE 281|
|Odometer reading||59,000 miles|
|Estimate||£340,000 - £370,000|
Introduced in 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II set a new standard for luxury cars. For the first time ever, a Rolls-Royce was powered by a V8 engine and the chassis and suspension were significantly updated from the original Silver Cloud. Although the new Silver Cloud offered a host of innovations, in the traditional sense, ever-conservative Rolls-Royce still implemented a ladder frame chassis that allowed for one-off, coach built bodywork.
Unexpectedly, the factory did not offer an open version of their standard saloon body and customers who desired the ultimate in top-down motoring had to commission a coachbuilder to create a custom body on the new Rolls-Royce chassis. Perhaps the most exquisite Silver Cloud II of all was the Mulliner Drophead Coupé, a delightful open body and amongst the most elegant post-war bodies created for Rolls-Royce, 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 fine example, chassis LSAE 281, was delivered new to Albert Stevenson of Long Beach, California, on 3rd August 1962 via well-known main agents Peter Satouri Motors in Los Angeles, California. The car was specified from new with an electric hood, aerial and windows. In addition it had Sundym glass, seatbelts and, most unusually, twin cocktail cabinets fitted to the rear compartment. Sadly Mr. Stevenson passed away some six months later and the car was sold to a Mr. Alhadeff who used it as daily transport for several years. When he died in 1968, his wife kept the car using it mainly for special occasions and she continued to keep the car fully serviced and maintained at the local main agents over the next twelve years. Lee Alhadeff, their daughter, inherited the car from her mother in 1980 at which time the car had covered 40,000 miles from new. Lee Alhadeff then moved to Honolulu, Hawaii and the Rolls Royce followed. Without far to travel on the island the mileage remained low, the car only being used sparingly for special occasions. During the 15 years spent on Hawaii, only a further 12,000 miles was added to the odometer and after 36 years in the family, the car had covered just 52,770 miles in total.
It was at this point, the car left the family for the UK where it was first registered on these shores in June 1997 and underwent a restoration with Rolls-Royce specialists, P.J Fischer Classic Automobiles of Putney, London in 1998 totalling over £26,000 (excluding vat). More recently in June 2014, a further £7,509 was spent at Rolls-Royce specialist Michael Hibberd with the invoices included in the history file.
In July 1998, the car passed to Felix Dennis, one of three editors of Oz Magazine who went on to become a hugely successful magazine and book publisher; by 2013 his Dennis Group was putting out 70 magazines, plus digital magazines, magbooks, websites, apps and mobile sites and he became one of the most wealthy men in the UK. The car is supplied with a V5 document, 13 old MoT test certificates as well as a current certificate with no advisories valid until February 2017, a file of bills and receipts including the aforementioned invoices from P.J Fischer as well a service booklet and handbook, copies of the build sheets and a typed history of the car. With only 106 models of design number 7504 built, this Cloud II is a hugely desirable and rare coach built Rolls-Royce for the discerning collector.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.