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Car of the Month Selection


More information and a special chapter on Hooper in this book:
Rossfeldt: All Model from 1904...

Car of the Month - May 2002
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I
Hooper Saloon with division, 1958, #ALC11


Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I

Body Number 10226 in Hooper's Body Book was allocated to a „RR S. Cloud LWB” , chassis number ALC11. A body in the form of a “Saloon with Division” was erected. In accurate handwriting details listed the body as made to Design-No. 8504 and delivered in May 1958 to J. Davis, Esq. Added information is “as 10115 but 14'' Long WB, cut out spat”, i.e. similar to a previous body number but on a long wheelbase chassis and showing altered rear spats.

This is a later variation of the “New Look” theme that Hooper's chief designer Osmond Rivers had created in an attempt to amalgamate lines of the pontoon-body, that became popular during the post-war period, and traditional styling elements, e.g. clearly accentuated wings. Hooper didn't concentrate entirely on coachbuilding for Rolls-Royce and Bentley but did produce a great number of bodies for Daimler, too, notably on “Daimler Empress” chassis. Over the years it became almost common to talk about “Empress Line” as regards this special design. Everyone knows the designation, although some purists don't leave a doubt they don't accept it as “unofficial”.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Hooper Saloon
 

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Hooper SaloonThis shouldn't detract from the simple fact that the coachwork offers the fine advantages of unusually wide rear seats and comfortable footroom plus an enormously spacious boot. For decades Hooper had enjoyed the reputation to be one of the very best coachbuilders - indeed experience from almost 100 years of building coaches had been a solid basis when the company started to build bodies for motorcars at about the turn of the century. The outstanding quality of workmanship is truly impressive on this Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I. The doors of this motor car of some 50 years of age are fitting perfectly correct. No force is necessary to open the picnic tables. Virtually each and every detail shows that Hooper combined most carefully selected materials and competent craftsmanship to achieve an impeccable result. This car is part of Hans-Guenter Zach's collection (see www.rolls-royce-sammlung.de).

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Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Hooper Saloon

Nonetheless this is one of the last creations made by Hooper, who ceased coachbuilding shortly afterwards. A main reason was that the price for any coachbuilt car at least was 50 % or 60 % more expensive than for a motor car with standard factory body. The number of clients, who were willing to invest the higher amount, was dwindling. The final remark in Hooper's Body Book is “Production ended December 1959” signed by Director and Chief Designer Osmond Rivers - the last Body Number was 10300.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Hooper Saloon


 

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