The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn is a full-size luxury car that was produced by Rolls-Royce at their Crewe works between 1949 and 1955. It was the first Rolls-Royce car to be offered with a factory built body which it shared, along with its chassis, with the Bentley Mark VI until 1952 and then the Bentley R Type until production finished in 1955.

The car was first introduced as an export only model. The left hand drive manual transmission models had a column gear change, while right hand drives had a floor change by the door. In the British home market the Silver Dawn only became available from October 1953, with the introduction of the model corresponding to the Bentley R Type.

In 1944 W. A. Robotham saw that there would be limited postwar demand for Rolls-Royce or Bentley chassis to be fitted with bodies from specialist coachbuilders, and negotiated a contract with the Pressed Steel Company for a general-purpose body to carry four people in comfort on their postwar rolling chassis, fitted as always with a distinct Rolls-Royce or Bentley radiator. Though he stretched the demand to 2000 per year, Pressed Steel were “nonplussed” by the small demand.

A mere 760 were produced between 1949 and 1955. Silver Dawn Series A-D had bodywork identical to the Mark VI.

In 1953, with the “E” series (Chassis Number SKE2), the Silver Dawn body was modified in parallel to the Bentley Mk VI body and a large boot was added. While the Bentley Mk VI was renamed the Bentley R after this change, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn kept its name. Even with mass produced Standard Steel bodies, all panels forward of the bulkhead/firewall were slightly different for the Rolls-Royce to those fitted to the Bentley.

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