Cadillac once assumed the advertising slogan, “The Standard of the World.” But was it really?
Back in my day – the ‘50s and ‘60s – there was only one brand that said you had made it in a big way, and that was Rolls Royce. The elegant cars from England were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth, style, prestige and elegance.
Fast forward a half century or so, and you will find a plethora of wannabe top dog names in the world of luxury automobiles driven by the rich and famous.
When I was just a lad, wet behind the ears, my uncle Leonard – a WWII fighter pilot and later an executive for many companies in his lengthy career – lived in the Indianapolis area. We once went to visit him, my aunt Nora and cousins Barbara and Nancy for a weekend, during which we paid a visit to the local Rolls Royce dealership. I was in awe just stepping into the showroom to set eyes on a Rolls Silver Cloud II, like the one shown on this page. I went away with an official factory sales brochure which I treasured for years to follow. The experience left a memory that stayed with me through the years, and the Silver Cloud II has been my favorite Rolls to this very day.
People are also reading…
The Silver Clouds were manufactured from 1955 through 1966 model years and were divided into three groups, Silver Cloud I, 1955-1958; Silver Cloud II, 1959-1962 and Silver Cloud III, 1963-1966. Production for the three series totaled 2,238; 2,417 and 2,044 respectively. While all are basically similar in styling, I especially liked the I and II series because of the large, single headlamps which gave the car’s frontend a more classic look. And after all, the frontend was the predominant styling feature of the car – that, plus the elegant side treatment and that ‘bustleback’ trunk. By the time the’80s rolled around, all three of ‘the big three’ were mimicking the classic Rolls Royce with the bustleback trunk design: Cadillac with its 1980 Seville, Chrysler following suit with its totally new Imperial and Lincoln with the 1982 Continental.
The Rolls you see on this page was on display at the 2017 Father’s Day Car Show, held each year at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri. The beautiful Silver Cloud II is owned by Steve Spencer, formerly a St. Louis resident who now resides in Naples, Florida.
Upcoming events you won’t want to miss: This year’s Father’s Day Car Show at the MOT on Father’s Day, June 19– presented by the Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri. This is a medium-sized event with plenty of grass and shade trees. For more info see the announcement at the MOT’s site: tnmot.org/event/horseless-carriage-club-show-on-fathers-day.