1960 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection. Originally purchased in Phoenix, AZ; then bought by a person from Omaha; then acquired by Bernie Taulborg.
Original cost: $15,665 – $22,745 (1960: Average cost of a U. S. car: $2,600; average household income: $5,315; average cost of a house: $12,700)
Number made: Silver Cloud II was introduced in 1959; 2,238 were produced during the total Silver Cloud I, II, and III production time, 1955 – 1966; H. R. Owen body works
Engine, etc.: All-aluminum V-8; 6. 2 liter, 380.2 cu. in. 185 hp; 4-speed automatic; 4,420 lbs.; steel body on steel frame; top speed of 104.7 mph, 0 – 60 in 10.9 seconds, and mileage of 11 miles/gallon
The Silver Cloud I was introduced in 1955 as the first completely new postwar model but it had the same six cylinder engine as the post-war Silver Wraith model. It replaced the low-volume Silver Dawn series and was eventually replaced by the Silver Shadow.
Sales in 1955 were in need of a new car but a new engine was not ready.
Rolls-Royce was following the pattern of other car manufacturers in not producing a wholly new car but, instead, offering a new shape with an old engine. The hazards of development work were thus reduced and, since the “Rolls-Royce gestation time is elephantine to say the least, this was an understandable situation”. (Source below, five pgs. inside back cover) Rolls-Royce believed in evolutionary design improvement, rather than innovation, and this was the key to its success.
In September, 1959 the new V-8 was ready and the Silver Cloud II was announced. Its design was influenced by what had been gained during the company’s long experience designing aircraft engines. This 6.2 liter engine would continue to be used for the next forty years. As in all Rolls-Royce vehicles to the time, when asked about the power output, the factory’s response was simply “adequate”.
The Silver Cloud II was available in two wheelbases.
A major change in the Cloud series was the disappearance of the manual gearbox, lamented because it felt as smooth as “shifting through butter”.
The final version, the Silver Cloud III, was introduced in 1962. It had minor improvements to both engine and coachwork but was essentially the same car.
The Silver Cloud II was enormously successful in the United States, and the slogan coined by David Ogilvy’s advertising agency, “At 60 mph, the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce is the ticking of the electric clock” became a classic of its own.
The Cloud II set new standards of refinement and performance and was said to be the “best car in the world”.
Sources: The Complete Book of Rolls-Royce. Michael Frostick. Libreria dell’Automobile. Grafiche Milam Segrate, Italy. 1980. no paging.
https://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/en-GB/the-spirit-of-ecstasy.html (Story of how hood ornament, “Spirit of Ecstasy”, originated.)