Car producer :
Silver Wraith 4,3 litre Drophead Coupe SWB by Franey
The Rolls-Royce Wraith was built by Rolls-Royce at their Derby factory from 1938 to 1939 and supplied to independent coachbuilders as a running chassis.
Wraith is an old Scottish word meaning Ghost or Spirit
The in-line six cylinder, overhead valve, 4,257 cc engine was based on that of the 25/30 but featured a cross-flow cylinder head. The four-speed gearbox had synchromesh on second, third and fourth speeds and retained the traditional right hand change. The later engines were used as the basis for the Bentley MK V and the Corniche.
The Wraith featured an independent coil sprung front suspension based on a Packard 120 retaining semi elliptical leaf springs on the rear axle. The hydraulic dampers at the front had their damping rate controlled by governor and so varied with the speed of the car, making it superior to its predecessor, the 25/30 H.P. and on par with the Phantom III. The car was still built on a separate chassis but this was now of welded rather than the traditional riveted construction. The drum brakes were assisted by a mechanical servo driven by the engine patented by Hispano-Suiza and built by Rolls-Royce under licence. Wire wheels of 17 inch diameter were fitted, with the spokes usually covered by removable discs. A built in hydraulic jacking system was fitted operated by a lever under the passenger seat.
Cars based on the Wraith chassis could reach 85 mph (137 km/h); this was very dependent on the weight and style of body fitted.
In 1938, a typical touring car cost £1700, which included the chassis cost of £1100. 492 chassis were made. Although chassis were only produced in 1939, cars bearing 1940 or later delivery and registration dates are not uncommon. Some cars were finished off during early 1940. Others were held in storage and sold and first registered during the war years. A few were actually bodied during wartime. In addition, 16 prewar chassis were bodied in early 1946 and duly delivered to the government. The final Wraith was delivered in 1947.
The Silver Wraith was the first post-war Rolls-Royce model and was made at the Crewe factory from 1946 to 1959.
The first cars had a 127 inch (3226 mm) wheelbase chassis based on the one from the pre-war Wraith with coil sprung independent front suspension and semi-elliptic rear with a live axle. The engine was also based on the Wraith, but had a new cylinder head with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and initially a capacity of 4257 cc. From 1951 this was increased to 4566 cc and in 1954 to 4887 cc on the long-wheelbase models. The braking system was a hybrid hydromechanical system with hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears using the mechanical servo from the pre-war cars, patented by Hispano-Suiza and built by Rolls-Royce under licence.
The long, 133 inch (3378 mm), wheelbase chassis was announced in 1951, and 639 were made until 1959. The last short-wheelbase cars were made in 1953.
Initially only a four-speed manual gearbox was offered, but this was supplemented by a General Motors automatic option from 1952.
This was the last Rolls-Royce model to be delivered in "chassis only" form, in order to receive a wide variety of bespoke coachwork designed and made by a rapidly declining number of specialist coachbuilders. Most of the bodies selected used "formal" limousine designs. For customers wishing to buy their car with a standard body already fitted, the manufacturer already offered the Bentley Mark VI.
You may also like these cars