1959 Rolls-Royce, Silver Cloud I (SMH31)

RR Silver Cloud

Picture courtesy of The Real Car Company.
(All car pictures are hyper-linked to bigger versions !)

Why a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I ?

We had always considered, that even though it was fun to own other Rolls-Royce, having first had a Silver Shadow and then a Bentley R-Type, we would hope to end-up with a Silver Cloud, and then keep it for quite a while.
When we realised our Bentley R-Type was showing signs of problems, we made the decision not to spend a great deal more on the R-Type, but instead, to find a way to exchange up to a Silver Cloud.

More details on why we bought a Silver Cloud.

RR Silver Cloud

Picture courtesy of The Real Car Company.

How did we find the car

We first saw 'Dick' in June 1998, on The Real Car Company's pitch at the 1998 R-REC annual rally. It looked great, but as it had just arrived from the USA, (on a trailer), had signs of a very recent, cheep re-spray and they were not able to tell us anything about the car, (i.e. what it was like underneath, how well it ran, it's history, etc.), we walked away.
Six months later we were happy to take the car in part exchange for our Bentley R-Type.

More details on how we found Dick.

RR Silver Cloud

Picture courtesy of The Real Car Company.

RR Silver Cloud

Picture courtesy of The Real Car Company.

Why did we call the car 'Dick' ?

As it had been fun having a nick-name for our last two cars, as soon as we had agreed the deal, Karen started to consider what might be a suitable name for this Silver Cloud.
The obvious place to start was with its number plate '456YYC'.
With all the recent problems and expense we had had with our last club car, I though that YYC, sounded like YYME (Why Why Me, poor me) and then thought yy ME - ME OWE, so suggested the nick names of 'ME-OWE', 'Cat' and 'Pussy Cat' but the links with the number plate were too tenuous for Karen.
It was then that Ray (of The Real Car Company), told us that the original registration index was in fact 111DYC and suggested 'Dick' as the nick-name. Karen liked that, so 'Nick' is was.
Other nick-names suggested were: Me-Owe, Cat, Pussy-Cat, Fluffy, King-Dick, Dick-Wittington, Ouch.

RR Silver Cloud

Picture courtesy of The Real Car Company.

A letter from the previous owner

Below is the text of a letter I received from 'Herb', the previous owner of the car while it was in the USA !

Dear Mr. Ferrier,

It is so nice to learn that my car found a good home and finally someone to
drive it a bit. I'm afraid most of the years I owned it the car sat in my
garage. Certainly I couldn't drive it in the snow or salty New England
weather and never in the rain (couldn't trust the wipers) and how could I
park it in downtown Boston should I be going there that day and in the
summer it tended to overheat which left about 3 days in the Fall and Spring
to use it. I felt sad seeing the car slowly deteriorate as cars do when they
just sit and I am very pleased that it is owned by someone using it.

In answer to your questions;

1. I bought the car from Paradise Garage in London July 1985 and I suppose I
was the third owner.
2. I owned the car from 1985 until June 1998.
3.I don't recall the exact odometer reading (clock) but 104,272 sounds about
4. The woodwork and pieces of the leather were done by Paradise Garage in
London before they shipped me the car. What we call the "dashboard" cracked
and I replaced it about 2 years before I sold it. The patching and poor
paint are my responsibility. I had brought the car to a small local auto
body shop when some rust started to appear and they poked around with it for
a ridiculous amount of time and brought it back to a reasonable appearance.
Fortunately they didn't charge a whole lot. As I recall the lower panels,
under the doors, had started to blister and rust. There were probably bits
of other "cancer" developing but I can't quite remember where. They probably
also did the chassis work. The car was never in an accident.

5. I put the air conditioner in around 1989. There is a small company in
Florida that specialises in after market air conditioners for Clouds. They
advertise in Hemmings and other car publications. The Real Car Company must
have taken the air conditioner out after I sold it to them. The unit never
was particularly effective. The engine tended to over heat when it was used
and it was very noisy.

6. I never did any major work on the engine or gearbox. I did find an
invoice for about $1,000 worth of front end work  by the very reliable
Vintage Garage. Other routine mechanical work was done by the local Rolls
dealer. I have found a few papers and will look for others and will forward
them along with any photos I can find. When I bought the car it had the
present paint colours but they probably were not the original ones. Someone
mention the paint colours were Mercedes ones.

It was quite kind of you to enclose the $10 but my wife says I have to
return it. What do women know about high finance?

It's a delight to be in touch with you and please don't hesitate to ask for
elaboration on any questions. Keep probing and perhaps my memory will
improve. I am 63 years old and while I still work as a humour writer mostly I
seem to travel the world with my bicycle. I leave for Kashmir next week. You
can find many of my books on Amazon.com and they are sold at many of the
less respectable shops in England.

Best regards,

Herb Kavet

Thanks Herb