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Cars of 98
Car of the Month Selection

Car of the Month - August 1998
Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple Experimental Car /
Bentley Mark V, 1939, #1R1, Park Ward Sports Saloon

Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple

Presumably the rarest ever version which has been sold by the company to a customer is this car, of which only one had been built. Having been built just prior to the outbreak of World War II the "Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple" was sold during the Fifties as "a pre-owned Bentley Mark V" - and it still exists.

Based on a chassis with 124 in wheelbase a 'small' Rolls-Royce should become subject to severe tests. The start of hostilities set an untimely end. The motor car with sports saloon coachwork by Park Ward was laid up during wartime and remained a company car during the early post-war period. Several modifications were carried out - for example a change to a fully hydraulic brake system did away with rods and brake servo - but none ever found their way into the series production of post-war Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith or Bentley Mark VI respectively.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple Engine

For several years the car was powered by a B40 four cylinder in line engine from the retionalised range of engines Rolls-Royce produced for commercial use. This engine later was replaced by a B61 Continental six cylinder in line engine and a gearbox from Bentley Continental was fitted too. With its lightweight body on a short wheelbase chassis the car accelerated impressively and its top speed was considered sufficient.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple ToolsExactly in this condition the car was fitted with a Bentley radiator and then sold to a customer who was advised that his acquisition was "a previously owned Bentley Mark V". This is a "Rolls-Bentley" in the true sense of the word. The complete history of the car during the following years isn't documented completely. It is a fact that the car was imported to the USA and again it was laid up for years. The 'Sleeping Beauty' became the property of a new owner who arranged for a meticulous restauration to be carried out. As a result the unique Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple/Bentley Mark V is now in a condition like a new car.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple
The photos have been taken in the USA by Malcolm Tucker (England) and he kindly provided a set to the Archives.



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