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B. King: The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn & Silver Wraith

M. Nutland: R-R Silver Wraith, Silver Dawn & Silver Cloud

Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn
(1949 - 1955)

R-R Silver Dawn, 1954, #SVJ39
Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, 1954, #SVJ39, Standard Steel Sports Saloon
(Big Bore, Big Boot).

When the Silver Dawn appeared in 1949 it was only for export and not before 1953 this restriction was lifted and home market customers got access to this model too. Not surprisingly hence considerable percentage of Silver Dawns were built with left hand drive. This model was badge-engineered Bentley Mark VI to raise Rolls-Royce's export sales (though documents exist verifying that the Silver Dawn was intended to be introduced prior to the Mark VI, but an eleventh hour decision by Rolls-Royce preferred the Mark VI). Only the entwined R-R logos, a different bonnet on the standard steel saloon and the square radiator distinguished it from the Mark VI. An engine with increased capacity was fitted from 1951 onward. When the Bentley Mark VI was replaced by the Bentley R with its bigger boot, the latter's coachwork was suitably altered for the Silver Dawn too, but no reason for a name change was seen then and led to the terms "small boot" Silver Dawn or "big boot" Silver Dawn being coined later.

Technical Data:
6 cylinder in-line engine, cast iron cylinder block, bore x stroke 88.9 x 114.3 mm (3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in), capacity 4,257 (from 1951 bore x stroke 92,08 x 114,3 mm (3 5/8 x 4 1/2 in) capacity 4,566 cc), aluminium alloy cylinder head, Stromberg carburettor (from 1951 Zenith carburettor); single dry plate clutch; 4-speed gearbox (from 1952 4-speed automatic gearbox optional, from 1953 standard), 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;

Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, 1951, #LSDB30, Park Ward Drophead Coupé
Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, 1951, #LSDB30, Park Ward Drophead Coupé. This car's breathtakingly fine condition cannot be over-emphasized.

No. made:

170 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4 1/4 litres
110 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4 1/2 litres with small boot
 481 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4 1/2 litres with big boot
761 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn altogether (64 were fitted with coachbuilt bodies)
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