1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe

Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward

In the mid-1950s, Rolls-Royce embraced series production with the Silver Cloud series to stay competitive. The Silver Cloud Standard Steel Saloon, designed by J.P. Blatchley, modernized the classic Silver Dawn. Its factory body became immensely popular, remaining virtually unchanged for over a decade.

Despite waning demand, Rolls-Royce engaged both external and internal coachbuilders, benefiting from the sturdy full ladder frame of the Silver Cloud chassis. Renowned British coachbuilders like Hooper, James Young, and Freestone & Webb crafted bespoke designs. H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward, now part of Rolls-Royce, offered unique Cloud variants through official dealers, reminiscent of pre-war custom catalogs.

With the Silver Cloud II’s introduction, Rolls-Royce streamlined operations, merging H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward into H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Ltd. The creations persisted, including the favored Drophead Coupe based on the Standard Steel Saloon. For a modern twist, there was the striking H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward Design 2045, conceived by Norwegian Vilhelm Koren.

This design, with its clean lines and sleek profile, departed from Rolls-Royce’s traditional curves, foreshadowing the Silver Shadow’s design in the late 1960s. Among the 7,372 Silver Clouds produced, only 101 bore Design 2045, 52 of which were left-hand drive.

Photos by Robin Adams courtesy of RM Sotheby’s