The Silver Wraith was the first post-war Rolls-Royce. It was made from 1946 to 1958 as only a chassis at the company’s Crewe factory, its former Merlin engine plant, alongside the shorter Bentley Mark VI. The Bentley was also available as a chassis for coachbuilders, but for the first time could be bought with a Rolls-Royce built Standard Steel body.
It was announced by Rolls-Royce in April 1946 as the 25/30 hp replacement for the 1939 Wraith in what had been their 20 hp and 20/25 hp market sector, that is to say Rolls-Royce’s smaller car. The size was chosen to be in keeping with the mood of post-war austerity. Even very limited production of the chassis of the larger car, the Phantom IV, was not resumed until 1950 and then, officially, only for Heads of State.
Improvements announced were: chromium-plated cylinder bores for the engine; a new more rigid chassis frame to go with new independent front suspension; and a new synchromesh gearbox. Chassis lubrication was now centralised.
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Sedanca by H. J. Mulliner & Co, 4257 cc, max. speed 180 km/h.
H. J. Mulliner & Co. was a well-known British coachbuilder operating from Bedford Park, Chiswick, West London. The company which owned it was formed by H J Mulliner in 1897 but the business was a continuing branch of a family business founded in Northampton in the 1760s to hire out carriages. In December 1909 the controlling interest in this company passed to John Croall & Sons of Edinburgh. Croall sold that interest to Rolls-Royce in 1959.
“Mulliner” is now the personal commissioning department for Bentley.