2019 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic Auction

1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith Gurney Nutting Sedanca Coupe




Engine 4257cc, six-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed Manual
Body Work Sedanca Coupe
Colour Maroon / Gold basket weave
Interior Tan
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel with full covers
Brakes Drum/drum


This lot is no longer available

The original Rolls-Royce Wraith was built at its Derby factory from 1938 to 1939 and supplied to independent coachbuilders as a running chassis. Thus, the original Wraith wore a variety of bodies from conventional four-door sedans and closed coupes to the more elaborate, such as this Sedanca Coupe in the Brougham style with its retractable roof above the driver. Rolls-Royce Wraiths featured an in-line six-cylinder, overhead valve, 4257cc engine with a crossflow cylinder head, while the four-speed gearbox had synchromesh on second, third and fourth gears and retained the traditional right-hand change. The Wraith featured an independent coil sprung front suspension and semi elliptical leaf springs on the rear axle. In a portent of much more modern cars, the Wraith’s hydraulic dampers at the front had their damping rate controlled by governor and so varied with the speed of the car. The drum brakes were assisted by a mechanical servo driven by the engine, a system patented by Hispano-Suiza and built by Rolls-Royce under licence. Wheels of 17-inch diameter were fitted, with the spokes usually covered by removable hubcap-like discs. There was also a built-in hydraulic jacking system was fitted operated by a lever under the passenger seat. Underpinning it all, the separate chassis was now of welded rather than the traditional riveted construction. Wraith is an old Scottish word meaning "ghost" or "spirit", continuing Rolls-Royce's (at the time) new adopted nomenclature of words relating to silent, gracious, elegant, rarely seen and highly sought after. Rolls-Royce re-introduced the Wraith name of a new stylish Coupe model in 2013.