The 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III was the last model from a ten-year span where Rolls Royce doubled-down on delivering luxury and performance. The 1965 Rolls Royce defined a time period when the art of arriving in style and comfort was mastered. One of the most well-known brands globally grew its image from a tiny luxury carmaker to an aspirational mode of transportation.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud models were developed from 1955 to 1966 following the Silver Dawn series. The goal was to combine performance and incredible style as a symbol of ultimate driving luxury. Rolls Royce produced around 6,000 Silver Cloud models over the span of those eleven years, with three different variations.
The Silver Cloud I, which ran for four years from 1955 – 1958, was a four-door, four-speed automatic transmission saloon car. Heads turned to gaze at the Silver Cloud, not only from the body style but also from the interior features like air conditioning and power steering. The Silver Cloud I included luxury amenities and had the ability to reach a top speed of over 100 mph.
Rolls Royce produced the Silver Cloud II models from 1959 – 1962 with a few notable upgrades. Silver Cloud II focused on power with an upgraded engine. The new six-liter V8 increased top speeds to nearly 115 mph. Again, Rolls Royce delivered outstanding power but presented interior features not all that common at the time with the introduction of electric-powered windows.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III
Finally, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III was the third and final version of the Silver Cloud series. Exterior design changes were minimal, but the Silver Cloud III would become a signature for Rolls Royce as the ten-year focus on delivering luxury began to pay off.
After its introduction at the Paris Motor Show in 1962, roughly 2,000 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III vehicles were produced from 1963 – 1966. The newly introduced Silver Cloud III models featured a more powerful V8 engine and a much lighter overall weight. Although the weight reduction helped the Silver Cloud III with performance relative to the Silver Cloud II, it still weighed 2 tons, thanks to the extensive wood trim finishes and heavy sound deadening carpets on the interior.
At the time, the 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III was recognized as the pinnacle of luxury driving. If your goal was to get noticed arriving in an extreme style, this was your mode of transport. Celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Lennon owned Silver Clouds and helped raise the carmakers brand to new heights during the 1960s. If you were looking for a prestigious accolade, you wanted to arrive in a Silver Cloud.
1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III Values
One big differentiation between Silver Cloud models is whether you want a Rolls Royce or a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe by Mulliner Park Ward. These words might not mean anything to you now, but they are the difference between about $300,000 in value at current Silver Cloud prices. Mulliner Park Ward was a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce and a well-known coachbuilder from Bedford Park, West London.
Recently, a 1965 Silver Cloud Drophead Coupe by Mulliner Park Ward sold at a Sotheby’s auction with a final hammer price of $450,000. When regular Silver Clouds would sell for 100k – 150k, the Mulliner versions are much more valuable. The recent Sotheby’s sale featured a Mulliner in excellent condition, which was one of only 52 left hand drives to exist. The car was originally purchased by Curt Strand from Southern California in December of 1965.
For comparison, a left-hand drive, 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III standard sedan in good condition was recently purchased for $63,500. This classic car had 45,000 original miles, a 6.2l V8 engine, separate front seats, tan leather, power windows, and silver exterior paint. What makes the difference in values is the standard model vs. the Mulliner Drophead Coupe. Nearly a $400,000 difference between these two recent sales. Even with a standard Silver Cloud in spectacular condition, values don’t go beyond $200,000. The Mulliner Park Ward, however, has reached values of nearly $700,000.
Other Amazing Rolls Royce Models
Rolls Royce Beginnings
Henry Royce and Charles Rolls founded Rolls-Royce Limited in 1906. After being dissatisfied with his Decauville automobile, Henry Royce decided to create his own car from scratch. The two partners met in 1904 and very quickly struck up a partnership to sell the first Rolls Royce models featuring 2, 3, 4 & 6 liter cylinder vehicles. After a few years of experimentation, the 40/50 was developed for Claude Johnson, who was instrumental in the Rolls Royce venture. The epic model 40/50 was such a popular car; it remained in production for an amazing 22 years before getting replaced by the Phantom I.
Charles Rolls would die just a few years later, in 1910, during an airplane accident. Henry Royce continued on, and Rolls Royce eventually purchased struggling carmaker Bentley in 1931. Just four years later, the company debuted the Phantom III. This would be the last model car that Charles Rolls would participate in before his death in 1933. Rolls Royce would continue building cars until the beginning of World War II, where it ceased production. To support the war effort, Rolls Royce began developing Merlin engines for The Royal Air Force.
The Spirit of Ecstasy
The Rolls Royce logo is one of the most distinguishable features of any car, and the original idea for the logo is based on Eleanor Thorton, the English actress and model. The flying lady is still included on every model even to this day. And who could ever forget the carmaker’s legendary slogan, “The quality remains, long after the price is forgotten.”