The Silver Wraith was introduced in 1936 as an entry level model and as a replacement for the 25/30HP. It was available in two wheelbase sizes: 127 inch (approximately 1,244 examples) and 134-inch (639 examples). For the first time, Rolls-Royce products were offered as complete cars with factory coachwork, however in the tradition of the great prewar coachbuilt cars, the Silver Wraith was also available to dealers, clients and coachbuilders as a rolling chassis. The price for the chassis alone was £1,800. These special cars were fitted with custom coachbuilt bodies by multiple British coachbuilders, such as H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Freestone and Webb, and of course Hooper, but also by other European coachbuilders like Franay for instance, and there's even a one-off made by Vignale.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith picured here is a so called "Empress Line" Limousine with design number 8390. Hooper's chief stylist Osmond Rivers, originally designed this type of body style on the Daimler "Empress" and that is the reason why anyone talks about the "Empress Line". Hooper themselves never mentioned the term "Empress" when they applied similar coachworks onto non-Daimler chassis.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
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