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Published on Jan 22, 2008
Elegance and class
The Silver Wraith was the first post-war Rolls-Royce model and was made at the Crewe factory from 1946 to 1959.
The first cars had a 127 inch (3226 mm) wheelbase chassis based on the one from the pre-war Wraith with coil sprung independent front suspension and semi elliptic rear with a live axle. The engine was also based on the Wraith but had a new cylinder head with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and initially a capacity of 4257 cc. From 1951 this was increased to 4566 cc and in 1954 to 4887 cc on the long wheelbase models. The braking system was a hybrid hydromechanical system with hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears using the mechanical servo from the pre-war cars.
The long, 133 inch (3378 mm), wheelbase chassis was announced in 1951 and 639 were made until 1959. The last short wheelbase cars were made in 1953.
Initially only a four speed manual gearbox was offered but this was suplemented by a General Motors automatic option from 1952.
None of the cars carried factory bodies, all chassis going to independent coachbuilders.
The Irish Presidential State Car is a 1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, and Brazilian Presidential Cerimonial Car is a 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.