Live Auctions

British Barn Find: 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

When you find a vintage Rolls-Royce or Bentley tucked away in a barn, the questions behind its existence tend to be more varied than that of a Mustang or similar muscle car-era discovery. Those questions are easily answered – someone liked speed, or at least the appearance of speed. To own a Silver Cloud II like this barn find listed here on Facebook Marketplace, or a similar Bentley S2, there had to have been some real money and prestige at play at one time, as owning one second- or third-hand still requires a decent-sized maintenance budget. There are more questions than answers with this example, which has been listed with next to no information.

The Rolls-Royce is listed in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, a fairly well-to-do suburb of Boston, depending on how you define suburb – Hopkinton is more towards the central part of the state, in an era typically referred to as Metrowest. It’s also where the Boston Marathon traditionally starts. So, it’s not entirely surprising that a vehicle like this could be discovered in the tumble down garage of a massive colonial home where an elderly owner has passed away. The bodywork looks a bit crunchy towards the lower portions of the panels, but it by no means is the worst I’ve seen on a New England vehicle. Of course, the floors may very well be toast.

The Silver Cloud represented a major redesign in the company’s lineup, replacing the Silver Dawn. Among other thing, The Silver Cloud II adopted V8 power over the traditional inline six arrangement, in the form of a 6.2L mill. The engine was praised for its increased power and top speed, but it was perceived as being a step backwards in smoothness compared to the outgoing six cylinder. Of course, smooth or rough isn’t a concern for the next owner of this example, which clearly hasn’t been fired up for some time. And given it’s listed for sale on the back of a flatbed, I doubt the new owner will spend much time attempting to determine engine health.

The limited photos we see of the interior seem to suggest it’s in fair shape. There doesn’t appear to be any major damage to seats or door panels, and the wood trim dash – a must have in any vintage Rolls-Royce or Bentley – looks to be holding up well, but that’ s a major guess in a grainy photo like this. The few options for a Silver Cloud of this vintage included power windows, but this one appears to have traditional crank units. The lack of information makes this one a hard example to form an opinion around, but the $15,000 asking price would seem to suggest the seller is confident you’ll like what you find should you check it out in person.

Comments

  1. sluggo

    the term money pit the thrown around a lot these days…

    Like 11
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Well, at the risk of someone busting my balls for pointing out that this is a rusty POS huge money pit, let me say that this is a rusty POS huge money pit.

    But don’t believe me! Yeah! Drop 15 large to own it and keep spending! And everyone knows how easy British cars are to work on, am I right?

    As I have mentioned numerous times, (and will now once more), with a few obvious exceptions, $15,000 will buy a really nice example of just about any classic car you’d like to own, without all the work. And if you enjoy the work like I do, well then 7500 will buy a decent project car.

    Like 32
    • The_Lingering_Cynic

      “Crappy cars with crappy listings get what they deserve….crapped on by crappy individuals without the cash nor inclination to know what to do to own one!”

  3. Steve R

    Sold.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  4. Mike

    If you’re asking $15k, you should not post the as found pic and give more info beyond half a sentence.

    Oh, just noticed it’s a FB listing. Nevermind…..

    Like 8
  5. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    LS swap…airbag suspension…cut a sunroof…but only if you can get it under 9k.

    Like 6
    • DOUGLAS HUNT

      I have a rusty fzj80 Landcruiser
      If they wanted to donate it i could set that body on the toyota frame ??? :-)

    • the_lingering_cynic

      Chop n’ channel, too?!

  6. B.A. Schoen

    I can’t imagine anyone buying a car with this much time, tears and treasure required to even get it road worthy on the basis of what this post tells us.

    Like 1
  7. grant

    Where do these sellers keep finding film for their 110 cameras?

    Like 18
  8. MKG

    $2,500 Parts car.

    Like 2
  9. Steve Clinton

    A Rolls Royce barn find? Now I’ve seen everything.

    Like 5
  10. Richard Haner

    I find the negative commentary on here tiring….my father always said, “if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing”…if you don’t like what you see kids, then just simply move on….

    Like 38
    • Craig

      AGREE 100%!! I guess “Old Farts” have nothing better to do than to just negatively trash EVERY SINGLE Barn Find that gets presented. Enough already with the garbage.

      Like 12
      • unclemymy Member

        Grouchy? Me? Well, I never…HEY, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

    • Steve R

      It’s typical. A friend recently bought a car I saw featured on this site. Like normal it was trashed as being too expensive with condition issues, which either didn’t exist or were overblown. It was a high performance drivetrain in a rarely seen body style, though missing its original short, it had all of its other hard to find and expensive components, which were not considered. At also had rare options such as AC and power windows, best of all it was a rust free souther California car.

      Same thing thing happened to a friend that was selling a car featured on this site. Every single comment said it was an overpriced parr’s car that was a waste of time to list. Funny thing, it was sold almost immediately, while sitting in this sites queue.

      Steve R

      Like 12
    • the_lingering_cynic

      Yes but your dad never realized a world with the soapbox called the internet.

      Like 2
    • Micheal

      Ok, I’ll try to be positive here.
      Nice for the seller to start high. He might get his price and cash in.
      Finding non-existing parts should be fun challenge.
      You’ll have way more money into it than it’s worth, but it’s the journey that counts.

      Like 2
      • Steve R

        The ad shows SOLD and has since last night.

        Steve R

  11. ChingaTrailer

    A very early Rolls Royce V8 – worst engine they ever built. But by 1963 or so it was pretty well debugged and built as a bulletproof Bentley powerplant until very recently. This car however? I’m confident the corroded aluminum block is ready for the scrap pile. Put a Chevy into it, use the original Hydramatic and servo brakes if you can.

    Like 1
  12. Bob Roller

    There was a local junk yard owner that had a Rolls with a Chevy 6 under the hood.The RR engines was a 6 as well so it didn’t take much to change it to a maintainable engine,

    • ChingaTrailer

      A six cylinder Rolls-Royce engine should never be replaced! Much more reliable than anything else! Cheap to maintain – they even share ignition points with a Chevrolet. Best motor they ever built!

      Like 4
  13. Rusty Trawler

    Interesting, I thought the 59 was the last year for the 6 cylinder? This says it’s a V8. Well at least it’s left hand drive which is what you would want.

    • MLG

      You are correct on both accounts. It was a mid year model change. I thought the same but checked http://www.rrab.com, It lists all of the models, years and numbers.
      I would hope no one here would mistake truth for negativity. Experience speaks louder than opinion.

      Like 1
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Right MLG. If you consider the overall body of comments, it would show that the negative comments are usually well-placed. I feel that if a seller presents a car for sale online, he should expect a reaction commensurate to the effort he’s put in to presenting the sale.

        Crappy cars with crappy listings get what they deserve….crapped on!

  14. Jim Mitchell

    One person’s trash is another person’s highly prized treasure!

    Like 4
  15. Bob McK Member

    I have always wanted a Cloud II and almost purchased one many years ago. Then I found out what it cost to maintain one. My annual income would not support one, so I passed. I saw this one and got all excited again. But for $30K, I could buy a nice one not needing 100K worth of deferred maintenance.
    The most expensive Rolls you can buy is a cheap one.

    Like 2
    • B.A. Schoen

      True words.
      No such thing as a cheap ladder.
      In the ’60s, my Dad (a dentist) had a colleague who bought a used one.
      Dad liked the idea of no depreciation.
      Then the Rolls needed a muffler.
      $900.
      Dad bought a new Corvair for $1,800.

      Like 2
      • Pierre

        IO never understood why RR parts and maintenance had to be so expensive. A muffler is only a muffler , after all. How different can it be from a regular muffler to justify its price?

  16. HC Member

    If you have the money to spend on a 1952 Rolls you better have a the money for the salary of its mechanic living above the garage. Rolls arent worth much these days unless they are in fully working mechanically, and roadworthy. And thise days are gone unless you have unlimited funds to tak on this type project.

  17. Groo

    Everything I have seen on Rolls-Royce suggests that this is a huge money and time pit that will never be filled by a reasonable person. Engine and electronics, while I’m sure acceptable for the era need to go. My understanding is that they like to sandwich some of the sheet metal in these, so a little surface rust showing suggest a major cancer operation. Interior is going to have to be 100% stripped to look decent. There are so many better things to do with your life than mess with garbage like this.

    Like 1
  18. Gerard Frederick

    Most all negative comments around here are right on the money. Also, I don´t think there is an excessive amount of those, especially when it comes to old iron such as this Rolls. One must be a passionate fan of the make to see anything redeemable here. Logic dictates to move on, nothing to see here, folks.

    Like 2
  19. The_lingering_cynic

    Yesssirreee…jsut sooo so many farts lost in the windstorm

  20. Old car truck guy

    “Old Farts”? I think it is more likely “Young Farts” who got old-minded early on. What makes you think the negativity is coming from “Old Farts”? We OFs really like the old stuff, even if we cannot afford a lot of it.

    Like 9
  21. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    I’m all about saving old cars… any old cars, and what it takes to get them from “barn find” to a nice driver or even show quality is entirely the new owner’s decision and burden to bear… Why they do it is anyone’s guess, but to me all that matters is that they are doing it and saving this old iron.
    I can agree that tearing apart someone’s advertisement may not be very productive and sometimes, they may be bringing things on themselves with 5 blurry photos…
    However, when someone presents a car like this in this condition and obviously hasn’t taken a gander at any of the numerous price guides and evaluations sites out there and prices it at a point where most solid driving cars would be priced at, it’s hard to stay quiet.
    I am selling a very nice driver 52 Bentlely MK VI big bore 6, for just a hair more than this rusty project.. so I can relate to those making cracks about the pricing.
    There are also a couple dealers out there (fairly well known but to remain nameless) who snatch these up at dirt prices and somehow manage to find buyers at these rather inflated prices… not sure how they do it.

    Like 4
    • Rusty Trawler

      How do they do it? Does the saying there is a sucker born every minute help?

      Like 1
      • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

        Yeah, I fully get that.. but the time it must take to find that one sucker..LOL

  22. Autoworker

    Let this roll off your tongue. “Rat Rod Rolls Royce”. LOL

    Like 2
    • ChingaTrailer

      ICON – has been there, done that

      Like 1
  23. MikeInLA

    It’s kinda funny that if you let cars get old enough, a Rolls Royce is worth about as much as a Duster 340.

    Like 1
  24. Bob Roller

    Barnum was right!

  25. CharlesSawka

    Before retiring, I was a RR technician. I have many years in the restoration side as well. I could give you detailed reasons for not touching one of these, but I won’t, instead I believe the Silver Cloud series were the quintessential Rolls/Royce. Junk, barn find, shed dweller,cut in half to make a farm truck. None of this matters. It will ultimately take a lot of man hours to restore but when you cruise into the Cars n Coffee this is the one they want to look at. The 6 was probably one of the finest automobile engines ever produced. The V8 could possibly after all these years have some aluminum issues but if not is equal to anything Detroit could offer. If done well it’s worth it. If buying just to clean up and flip for profit. Look elsewhere. Plenty of Mustangs and Camaros for that.

    Like 3
  26. John Walsh

    Sometimes I just dont get you guy’s. One minute you trash someone for dragging a car out of its long term resting place covered in crap, then blast the sh++ out of them for not giving them a clean up. Fair enough he could have taken better photographs. As for price. The old adage goes. It will sell for whatever someone is willing to pay. Stick it on the market for $15k. Some interested guys comes along and offers $10k. Sold. Seller probably happy, buyer happy. End result. Car saved.

    Like 3
  27. Ward William

    I will never understand why people post cars for sale with crappy out of focus and incomplete photos ( often no engine or no interior photos). I mean how damn hard is it to take an in-focus photo ? It is not rocket science.

    When I sell cars, I insist on taking great quality shots that show the car off to it’s best advantage but I also post clear shots of any problem areas.

    Like 1
  28. MKG

    In Re to Silver Cloud series there were only 7,886 total produced. This over a 10 year period. THAT is why, as asked, it costs so much for parts. They are exclusive, made for no other car in the world. Not everything on it of course, but the main parts. GM spits out 8,000 cars in an hour, lol.
    Regardless, if as mentioned, it hasn’t been maintained, then it is a nightmare to restore.

    • ChingaTrailer

      As a 35+ year Bentley Rolls Royce owner I must disagree – carburetors and fuel pumps – generic SU parts, electrics – standard Lucas. Brake parts – standard hydraulic pieces. Ignition points – Chevrolet. Transmission – GM. Most bearings – off the shelf fare. Nothing exotic or irreplaceable unless you need a cylinder head or crankshaft etc.

      • MKG

        Have you ever replaced your water pump? How much do you pay for an engine oil filter? What other car uses that type of master cylinder and brake system? Tie rod ends and such all the same as a Triumph Spitfire? Body parts a dime a dozen? How much for a wheel? I said not all, but a good amount.
        NOW, let’s not even start on the hydraulic cars.

  29. HC Member

    Beat decision on an older RR like this is keep the great body style but replace engine and drivetrain and brakes with either GM or Ford. That way at least you can service and work on them in the future and way more reliable.

    • ChingaTrailer

      How many have you owned, driven or maintained? Best plan is usually to keep them correct and original – easier, cheaper to maintain and far more reliable! One quick question- where and how are you going to mount and operate a master cylinder without the brakeservo?

  30. ChingaTrailer

    Water pumps – $250 rebuilt exchange, lifetime guarantee. Oil filters – I generally convert to a modern spin-on. A brakeservo can be relined/rebuilt under $100. Anyone who resleeves brake cylinders can do Silver Cloud parts. Parts are available to rebuild tie rod ends. None of my comments apply to Silver Shadow and later cars which I avoid like the plague and/or Covid!

    • MKG

      AND you can do this at your local Pep Boys! You remind me of the so called RR repair guy in town that would use Chevy, Chrysler etc parts on customers cars, put then in RR boxes and charge them RR list plus 20%. LOL.

      • ChingaTrailer

        To MKG – I think your statement might very well fit the definition of libel and slander. Were I in the auto repair business I would probably pursue litigation for such an irresponsible allegation.

  31. Gerard Frederick

    Ya, unfortunately auto repair shops, like auto salesmen have gained an unsavory reputation which in fact is libelous, because I know from over 30 years in the business that the majority of the guys are decent, merely making a living and frequently getting abused by the customers, against whose treatment they are defenseless. As far as repairmen go, I have met some of the nicest guys with screwdrivers sticking out of their back pockets.

    Like 1

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