Introduced in 1946, the Silver Wraith was the first large Rolls-Royce model to be produced after World War II. Available from the factory only as a bare chassis, it was then sent on to the purchaser’s preferred coachbuilder, one of which was Hooper & Co of Westminster, London.
Not surprisingly, the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith has been the presidential state car in Ireland and Brazil since 1947 and 1952, respectively, and has been used officially in Denmark, Greece, Australia, the Netherlands and Malaya. Even more interesting, the Silver Wraith has made film appearances in several James Bond, Batman and Arthur movies (among others).
This beautifully presented 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine was built by Hooper & Co in Teviot design 8098, making it one of only 114 built. In keeping with the mood of post-war austerity, the wheelbase is shorter. However, because it is a touring limousine, it offers more comfort for a taller driver. Documents show that it was delivered to new owner James Brennan, Esq./Brennan’s Cinemas of Manchester, UK on New Year’s Day, 1949.
The current owner has enjoyed and cherished this Silver Wraith for over 44 years, as evidenced by his extremely detailed provenance printed in the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club Early Post War Society Newsletter (included with the car). It also has been driven regularly and has been stored in a heated and air-conditioned garage.
More importantly, this stunning vehicle experienced a ground-up restoration in 2012. During the restoration body number 9448 was found and documented in numerous places, confirming the provenance of the car. While the specifics of all the work done are too long to list here, the newsletter article also recounts the owner’s journey in this superior restoration.
Still, here are a few highlights:
The excellent-quality body restoration, detailing and paint, were completed by Classic Body Works of Wellington, Kansas with the exterior now in stunning claret and black. Standifer Custom Upholstery of Haysville, Kansas paid similar attention to detail with the glove-soft beige leather Connolly hide.
And while this long list of high-quality restoration work is enough to convince anyone of its value, this sleek classic also has a rear seat that features a beautiful cocktail cabinet with a proper Tudor crystal decanter and glasses, twin fold-down picnic tables and separate radio volume control. For added safety, front and rear color-matching seat belts were added, directional turn signals with 4-way flashers were incorporated into the fog lights, and five new correct-size Coker Excelsior Stahl radial ply tires were mounted.
Everything mechanical and electrical works properly, and all of the engine, chassis, Bijur and brake fluids are changed regularly. In addition to tune-ups, the engine has new electrical coils, condensers, spark plugs and wiring. Even the original Smith’s clock was retained, but a new quartz internal mechanism was added for accuracy and usefulness.
Documentation includes copies and pictures of the restoration build and recent service invoices as well as the RROC newsletter article.
Today, the Silver Wraith remains one of the great classic Rolls-Royce designs, and this lovely 1948 Silver Wraith is no exception.