The motoring icon for 100 years, Rolls Royce is known for creating instantly recognizable cars that have made the marque an enduring icon all over the world. It’s the one name which had predominantly been featured in most stables of the royal families of the world. We have earlier seen the top 15 most expensive Rolls Royce cars in the world, making it apparent that the Rolls Royce car is a chosen luxury amongst the rich, who not only pay hefty amounts to buy the new ones, but also the vintage and rare as well. Now, another one of the rarest and most important post-war coach-built Rolls Royce, the 1958 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I ‘Honeymoon Express’ Drophead Coupe will be offered at the RM’s Monaco Auction on 12th May, and is expected to fetch $1.59 million.
The 1958 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I ‘Honeymoon Express’ Drophead Coupe is exceptionally rare, as it is among one of only one percent of all Silver Clouds to carry truly bespoke coachwork. Buying this one of only two such Rolls Royce ever built is truly an unrepeatable opportunity. Highly respected firm of Freestone & Webb produced the body, and it’s one of just three with this radically designed drophead coupe style, two produced for Cloud I and the third on a Bentley S1 chassis.
Design journalists dubbed it ‘Honeymoon Express’ after they first saw it at the Freestone & Webb stand at the Earl’s Court Show. Designed for only two passengers, the 1958 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I offer the bucket front seats which had a pair of fold-down armrests with adjustable seat backs.
When the car was completed, it was delivered to Arnold Moreton, a high-ranking Freemason from Manchester, who further went on to become a Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler within a secretive organization. Powered by 178 bhp, 4,887 cc F-Head 6-cylinder engine along with 2 SU carburetors and 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, this Silver Cloud ‘Honeymoon Express’ has run only 42,070 original miles after three decades of single ownership.
The ‘Honeymoon Express’ truly represented out-of-the-box design as compared to the more typical four-seater drophead coupes. The body sides of this car features concave coves that stretched from stem to stern along with rear wings featuring aggressive vertical tail fins.
Notably, a pair of cocktail cabinets encloses the rear storage area, and each contains a cocktail shaker and four crystal whiskey tumblers, which is undoubtedly a great feature to attract the buyers with discerning tastes.
Each of the car doors, finished in two-tone Lugano blue with Silver chalice coves, features a round pull-out ashtray, and another ashtray slides out from under the original radio.
Rare of its time, the Honeymoon Express was featured with power-assisted steering along with power windows, and was fitted with car radio which was not common.
This car still retains its original Radio-mobile ‘His Master’s Voice’ medium and long wave radio with power antenna. Further, the car carries all the original road tools, the jack and the inspection torch, and rarely specified for the Silver Cloud, a tachometer paired with the speedometer.
Silver Cloud boasts scarlet red Connolly leather interiors and matching red carpets which are fitted with British Wilton wool broadloom.
In addition, the most luxurious and fascinating feature of this car is its hydraulic top, in which the metal flaps on either side opens along with the rear cover, allowing the top to rise effortlessly.
When considered this Rolls Royce in the context of its contemporaries, one will find that the fins and covers of the bodywork to the upholstery and extraordinary interior, each design was exclusive in its time.