1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn
For Sale: This superbly presented, J-Series Silver Dawn has spent all of its life lightly used and properly cared for in the warm climate of Australia and remains in remarkably original condition.
Fiennes Showroom are pleased to be able to offer this incredibly original Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, one of the 116 right-hand drive examples which were supplied to Australia at the end of production. It’s a J-Series car (October 1954-April 1955) and benefits from the larger boot and the larger (4,566cc) engine of the later cars often described as “Big bore, big boot”.
#SVJ39 has recently returned to the UK having spent all of its life ‘down under’ and the Australian climate has obviously been very kind to the car judging by its exceptional level of preservation. It’s finished in Tudor Grey and Shell Grey, popular factory colours in the mid-50s and the paintwork retains a deep shine and appears virtually blemish-free. Panel gaps and door shuts are as they should be, the grille and chrome work are superb and the whole car looks remarkably ‘factory fresh’.
The interior is classic Silver Dawn with Light Grey Connolly Hide piped in Navy Blue, Navy carpets and Burr Walnut woodwork. The seating is very gently patinated, the carpets hardly worn, the veneers have survived well with very little evidence of shrinkage or cracking and, with the exception of a newish cassette player, everything is delightfully original. The odometer indicates 26,149, which is unconfirmed at this stage, but given the Dawn’s amazing condition, could well be accurate.
Bentley Motors made a complete departure from their former policy by announcing in 1946 an entirely new model, a car produced totally in-house avoiding future dependence on the rapidly depleting number of coachbuilders. The Bentley MkVI fitted with their design of “standard” all-steel bodywork was built at Crewe and began life with a 4 ¼ litre engine. It was later up-rated to a 4 ½ litre (4,566cc) engine and the basic MkVI shape was adapted slightly in 1952 with the introduction of the Bentley R-Type. The new model was almost identical to the MkVI up to the rear doors; however, the boot was enlarged giving greater luggage capacity and arguably a more attractive and balanced overall profile. Codenamed “Ascot”, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was built alongside these two models, albeit in far fewer numbers, designed to be a compact, owner-driver, factory-built Rolls-Royce to run concurrently with production of the larger Silver Wraith, whilst sharing its running gear. The final iteration, the J-Series, incorporated all the earlier developments and was in production from October 1954 until April 1955.
A total of just 760 Silver Dawns were built (116 destined for Australia) and are often regarded as one of the most attractive factory-bodied motor cars by either Rolls-Royce or Bentley. #SVJ39 is almost a time-warp example of these late cars and we welcome any inspection of this classic Silver Dawn.
6 cylinder in-line engine, cast iron cylinder block, capacity 4,566cc, aluminium-alloy cylinder head, Zenith carburettor, single dry-plate clutch; 4-speed automatic gearbox, hypoid bevel final drive; independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-elliptic springs rear; drum brakes servo-assisted, wheelbase 3,048 mm (120 in); tyre size 6.50 x 16