2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction

1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon

$50,000 - $55,000


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Engine 4.5 litre six-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed automatic
Engine No. S23B
Chassis No. SDB 46
Body Work Sedan
Colour Black over cream
Interior Burgundy
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel with hubcaps
Brakes Drum/drum

Vehicle Report

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The Silver Dawn was introduced in 1949 and was essentially the Silver Wraith model on a shortened 120-inch wheelbase, with the vast majority of examples produced carrying Standard Steel coachwork by Pressed Steel. Developed from the popular Mark VI Bentley and in parallel with both that car and its successor, the R-Type, the Silver Dawn was the first Rolls-Royce to offer standardised coachwork, the first built in England to feature left-hand drive as an option and came with either a column-shift four-speed gearbox or - as was virtually standard on cars delivered to America - an automatic transmission. All initial production of the Silver Dawn was destined for export and, of the total figure of 761 cars built, some 116 were delivered new to Australia. The final examples were completed in 1955, at which time it made way for the new Silver Cloud. The Silver Dawn is an underrated member of the post-war Rolls-Royce family, offering the same appeal as the much more common Bentley Mark VI with the added cache of the Flying Lady mascot. For anyone looking for compact, high-quality motoring with superb fittings and finish, along with lively performance, particularly with the bigger 4.5-litre engine, the Silver Dawn is unsurpassed.


- 1951 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn
- Complete & in good condition
- Used regularly

One of the challenges of collector cars is that those that sit around and are used irregularly tend to suffer, with mechanicals and seals deteriorating over time. That’s not a problem with this 1951 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, as it has been pressed into service regularly as part of a hire car fleet. Discretion is assured in these circumstances, of course, but imagine the stories this Roller could tell about its many passengers. Needless to say, this ’51 Silver Dawn has been well and regularly looked after plus according to the owner, reconditioned engine, brakes, front suspension, shockers and clutch have been done. The car still presents nicely, with its black over cream paint though the duco is looking a bit tired in the detail, as is the plentiful chrome work in places, but both would respond nicely to some TLC. Inside, it’s all luscious burgundy leather and woodwork of course, the leather a bit creased and worn on the driver and passenger seat, and pretty good in the back. A modern Panasonic stereo sits below the dash to provide a soundtrack for its excited or nervous guests, while an aftermarket air-conditioner keeps them cool. So, this 1951 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn could slip nicely into more hire car work or make a prestigious addition to any personal fleet, and could be progressively made very sharp with a little work. Previously on full Victorian registration, the ‘51 Silver Dawn is being offered for sale here unregistered.

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.

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