Up until 1955, Rolls-Royce relied exclusively upon coachbuilders to produced the bodies of their cars. Chassis, complete with functional drivetrains and grilles, would leave the Rolls-Royce factory to be built into custom works of art tailored to clientele' needs. Unfortunately, this vehicle production method was prohibitively expensive and was largely falling out of favor by the beginning of the 1950s. That mindset shifted with the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II, a new steel-bodied sedan produced in conjunction with Bentley and powered by a brand-new 6.2-liter aluminum V8. However, Rolls-Royce would not wholly abandon the art of coachbuilding. Select models of their new Silver Cloud II, such as the drophead coupe and alloy-bodied cars, were constructed by the artisans at Mulliner Park Ward, James Young, and Hooper.
This 1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II is a rare Mulliner Park Ward drophead coupe, one of only 75 left-hand-drive examples ever constructed. It was ordered as an American-specification vehicle for Debbie Reynolds and her husband, Harry Karl, in 1961, at which time it was fitted with bespoke Lucas P100 headlights for a classic Phantom look. So striking was the conversion that it caught the eye of Lucille Ball, a close friend of Reynolds and the star of I Love Lucy. The Silver Cloud was subsequently sold to Ball's production company, Desilu Productions, during which time it could be seen driving around Hollywood with both Lucille and her son, Desi. A full restoration was commissioned in 1995 with work completed by Richard Gorman, a Rolls-Royce specialist, and proprietor or Vantage Motor Works. At this time, the original Porcelain White paint over Scarlet leather color combination was changed in favor of the Velvet Green over Biscuit leather that remains on the car to this day. It is a beautiful and quintessentially Rolls-Royce pairing that perfectly suits the lines of this Silver Cloud. The vehicle is in top mechanical condition and drives very well. For the Rolls-Royce enthusiast, few cars carry the same provenance. This rare, turn-key example is equally prepared for a Sunday drive or a showing on the Concours lawn.