Vintage and Prestige are proud to offer this Unique 1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Fastback Coupé Coachwork by Pininfarina For Sale.
Registration no. 270 YUW
Chassis no: SCA43
Engine no: S-90-A
Carrozzeria Pininfarina's best known collaboration with Rolls-Royce is the exclusive Camargue coupé, 531 of which were produced between 1975 and 1985, but before then the celebrated Italian coachbuilder had built a relative handful of one-offs on Crewe-built chassis. The unique car offered here is one of the earliest: a 1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, chassis number 'SCA43', which was ordered by Commendatore Luigi Bressani, a resident of Milan, Italy, split skirt pistons were specified, along with the speedometer in kilometres.
Immediately after World War II the managing director of Rolls-Royce, Sir Arthur Sidgreaves, decided to rationalise the Bentley and Rolls-Royce range. The first cars were the Silver Dawn and the Bentley MK VI. They used the same chassis and running gear with minimal performance adaptions for the MK VI. Pressed steel bodies were produced by the company and these entry level luxury vehicles gave the company considerable success worldwide.
Introduced in 1949 the Silver Dawn was produced alongside the Mark VI and the coachbuilt Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, albeit in far fewer numbers. A separate chassis was retained, the same basic design being built in three different wheelbase lengths, while other notable features were independent front suspension and hydraulic front brakes.
The range featured a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine with inlet-over-exhaust valve gear, which had been under development since the mid-1930s. The company used belt drive for the water pump and dynamo for the first time on this engine, which employed a Zenith Stromberg carburettor in Rolls-Royce configuration. The latter was preferred to the Mark VI's twin SUs as it offered smoother running and a cold start facility, which was not available on the SU-equipped Bentley until 1952.
Despite the popularity of the Crewe factory's 'standard steel' body, pioneered on the Mark VI Bentley and continued on the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, a coachbuilt alternative remained the preferred choice of many customers, including Luigi Bressani. The Commendatore must have been an immensely wealthy man, for the factory records show that the Silver Dawn cost him £2,100 – roughly equal to the average house price in the UK at that time and the equivalent of well over £200,000 today – and that was just for the chassis!
On 30th August 1950, the Silver Dawn was handed over to the shippers for onward transit from Dover to Dunkirk on the Hampton Ferry. Pininfarina duly completed the car at its factory on the Corso Trapani in Turin, by which time the total cost had risen to a reputed £10,000, and in 1951 it was displayed at that year's Turin Motor Show.
Its price made the Pininfarina Silver Dawn far too costly, even for Rolls-Royce, and any thoughts of a limited series were abandoned. When the Bentley Continental appeared the following year on the R-Type chassis, it cost only half as much. The only Silver Dawn bodied by Pininfarina, 'SCA43' is featured in many books on Rolls-Royce, including Lawrence Dalton's 'Rolls-Royce The Classic Elegance' and also 'Pininfarina' by Antoine Prunet.
Copies of old Italian registration documents on file show ownership passing in 1983 to one Anna Maggioli of La Spezia, believed a relative of Commendatore Brassani. The most recent Certificato di Proprieta (dated April 2013) lists the owner at that time as one Anna Maria Morale of La Spezia, believed to be another relative.
The Pininfarina Silver Dawn was then purchased from the Commendatore's relatives and registered in the UK with the age related plate ‘270 YUW’.
In May 2014 the car was presented at the Warren Classic Concours d'Elegance at Maldon, Essex where it received a 1st in Class award and was judged 2nd overall.
The current design team for the new Rolls-Royce Wraith Coupe recently described how this iconic Pininfarina design of SCA-43 was an influence on the current Wraith Coupe during a press conference. There can be no doubt that this wonderful car would be welcome at the world's most prestigious concours events including Pebble Beach, Villa d'Este, Salon Privé, etc.
The current vendor commissioned the world renowned Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists ‘Clark and Carter’ to go through SCA43 mechanically and have her in top driving order. The engine is strong and smooth, the speedometer shows a believed genuine 7,800 kms and feel and drive of this car would certainly warrant this.
After we collected her from Clark and Carter a sympathetic restoration was then undertake, the complete exterior has been beautifully finished in the original Georgian Silver, she is offered for sale today in excellent condition.
In our showroom and ready for viewing.
Office 01375 379719
Richard Biddulph 07967 260673
Christoff Cowens 07772188037
We accept Credit/Debit Cards.
Part Exchange welcome.
Weekend & evening viewings OK.
Viewings by appointment :
9 Globe Industrial Estate,
Grays, Essex, RM17 6ST