Even the name of this car is elegant! The Silver Wraith was the first Rolls-Royce model built after the war at the new Rolls-Royce factory in Crewe, England (still the headquarters of Bentley Motors Limited today). This car was one of the final Rolls-Royces to have coachwork designed by a coachbuilder, rather than having the entire car built in the manufacturer’s factory. Under the hood lies a powerful six-cylinder, 4.5-liter engine.
The coachwork for this particular Rolls was built by J.S. Inskip, the New York City-based distributor for Rolls-Royce in the U.S. Inskip got his start as a salesman for the defunct Locomobile Auto Company in the early 1920s. By 1929, he had worked his way up to Vice President in charge of New York sales for Rolls-Royce, and along with designer Carl Breck, also managed coach-building activities at the Rolls plant in Long Island City.
Clearly, Inskip and Breck were a talented team, as this car is the epitome of grace and style with its sleek, swooping fenders, tasteful chrome accents, and stately grille; not to mention an interior appointed with rich leather upholstery and a beautiful burlwood dashboard. This Rolls, along with another Inskip-built 1947 Silver Wraith, was displayed at the 1949 New York Auto Show.
The car is owned by Don Williams, who runs the Blackhawk Collection automotive brokerage and the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, as well as the Auto Collections showroom in Las Vegas. Williams was also one of the original partners in the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Photo by Rex Gray