Each Model ever built
Coachbuilders, Special Cars...
Car of the Month Selection
of the Month - August 1998
Rolls-Royce Silver Ripple Experimental Car /
Bentley Mark V, 1939, #1R1, Park Ward Sports Saloon
Presumably the rarest ever version which has been sold by the company
to a customer is this car, of which only one had been built. Having been
built just prior to the outbreak of World War II the "Rolls-Royce
Silver Ripple" was sold during the Fifties as "a pre-owned
Bentley Mark V" - and it still exists.
Based on a chassis with 124 in wheelbase a 'small' Rolls-Royce should
become subject to severe tests. The start of hostilities set an untimely
end. The motor car with sports saloon coachwork by Park Ward was laid up
during wartime and remained a company car during the early post-war
period. Several modifications were carried out - for example a change to a
fully hydraulic brake system did away with rods and brake servo - but none
ever found their way into the series production of post-war Rolls-Royce
Silver Wraith or Bentley Mark VI respectively.
several years the car was powered by a B40 four cylinder in line engine
from the retionalised range of engines Rolls-Royce produced for commercial
use. This engine later was replaced by a B61 Continental six cylinder in
line engine and a gearbox from Bentley Continental was fitted too. With
its lightweight body on a short wheelbase chassis the car accelerated
impressively and its top speed was considered sufficient.
in this condition the car was fitted with a Bentley radiator and then sold
to a customer who was advised that his acquisition was "a previously
owned Bentley Mark V". This is a "Rolls-Bentley" in the
true sense of the word. The complete history of the car during the
following years isn't documented completely. It is a fact that the car was
imported to the USA and again it was laid up for years. The 'Sleeping
Beauty' became the property of a new owner who arranged for a meticulous
restauration to be carried out. As a result the unique Rolls-Royce Silver
Ripple/Bentley Mark V is now in a condition like a new car.
photos have been taken in the USA by Malcolm Tucker (England) and he
kindly provided a set to the Archives.