1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Park Ward Drophead Coupe 1 of 12 Built
This Park Ward Drophead Coupe, design number 355, is one of only twelve made. The swooping, black front fenders blend seamlessly into the tapered rear with spats covering the rear wheels. The dual-tone Grey paint set off the matching Maroon seats and convertible top. Left hand drive enhances the driving experience in North America.
According to copies of the factory record, this stunning Rolls was ordered by Hess Brothers department store in Allentown, Pennsylvania. With offices in London, Rome, and Paris, Hess Brothers were known for being purveyors of the latest fashions, so it is little surprise that their vehicle of choice was also on the cutting edge. In addition to its elegant, aforementioned colorway, it was fitted with a power top, medium wave radio, white wall tires, and all the accoutrements required for the American market.
Completed at the factory on May 29, 1952, Hess Brothers took receipt on August 25 of that year and kept by them for about nine months before heading to the Woodbridge, Connecticut garage of Sereno Clark Sperry, Jr. in June 1953. Mr. Sperry would enjoy his droptop for six and a half years, trading it in on the purchase of a brand-new Bentley Continental Flying Spur with J.S. Inskip on April 17, 1959. A copy of the invoice for the new Bentley listing the trade is on file—Inskip valued the Rolls at $7,500 at the time, leaving a $14,275 balance for the new car. In December of 1959, Inskip sold the Rolls to James C. Ryan.
There is no recorded history for the car until January of 1972 when it came into the collection of Richard Thomas of Stuart, Florida. Mr Thomas would retain the Rolls for the next 36 years, eventually restoring it and regularly showing it, including at the 2004 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance where it went home with the Amelia Award. Acquired by its previous owner in May of 2008, the Drophead has remained on static display for the last 14 years. Still retaining its 20 year old restoration, the car has mellowed over the years but still carries with it plenty of presence, although recommissioning will be required prior to active use.
An exciting opportunity to own a unique coach built open car from Britain's most prestigious manufacturer during the period when the British motor industry regained its footing after the war. It is a rare beauty that would be the perfect transportation to one of the world's great automotive events, whether the driver is a participant or a spectator.
Coachwork by Park Ward & Co. Ltd.
Chassis no. LSHD48
Engine no. S24D
- One of only twelve made
- Delivered new to Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Heavily optioned with power featured
- Exceedingly rare, coachbuilt luxury