Rolls-Royce has long established itself as one of the premier car manufacturers in the world. The company’s luxury vehicles are some of the greatest to ever be devised. The Silver Wraith is an epic example of what Rolls-Royce are capable of. Considered the first post-war Rolls-Royce, the Silver Wraith was a historically significant vehicle. We’re looking into the history of this exquisite motor to see how it came into existence.
A luxury vehicle for post war Britain
The original Wraith had been brought out in 1938, though it only survived for a year due to the outbreak of WW2. When the war ended, Rolls-Royce built a new factory in Crewe, with the Silver Wraith being the first off the line. Announced in 1946, the Silver Wraith was meant to be an improvement on the original.
The Silver Wraith came with a 4257 cc straight six-cylinder engine that had chromium-plated cylinder bores. It also had a new, rigid chassis that featured coil sprung independent front suspension. The braking system was a hybrid hydro-mechanical system that had hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears. The chassis represented Rolls-Royce’s new philosophy of a simplistic design, as opposed to a lot of complex parts.
In 1951, the engine capacity increased to 4566 cc, adding more power to any already impressive vehicle.
Setting up the future
Many Silver Wraiths came with custom coachwork, with a dominant theme being a limousine look. This added to the luxurious appearance of the car. For a few years, if customers wanted to buy a Roll-Royce fitted with a smaller body they could purchase the Silver Dawn. It had a shorter chassis than the Silver Wraith and looked similar to the Bentley Standard steel saloon.
Due to the price and economic conditions of the time, the Silver Wraith had a limited production of 1783 examples. The cars reached the height of coach building, though the specialists who made them were disappearing. Production ended in 1958, though the sophistication of the Silver Wraith laid the groundwork for future models like the elegant Silver Shadow.