The 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith sedan, part of the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith series
1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith sedan

The 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith was the last and most modern junior Royce of the prewar period, taking over for the Rolls-Royce 25/30. Wheelbase was extended four inches over that of its predecessor, for a chassis thoroughly revised along Phantom III lines, featuring GM-like independent front suspension with enclosed coil springs.

A semi-elliptic leaf-sprung solid rear axle and servo-assisted four-wheel hydraulic brakes were as before. More graceful though still very stately bodywork was supplied by specialists, as per Rolls-Royce tradition. Most Wraiths were sedans with razor-edge lines, but a few, more flowing coupes and convertibles were also completed.

Development of the Rolls-Royce Wraith was cut off by the outbreak of World War II, and the model would not be revived postwar, making this effectively a two-year-only offering and thus among the rarest prewar Royces today. It bears no mechanical relationship with post-1945 models.

Pluses of the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith:

  • CCCA Classic status
  • Exclusivity
  • High-quality build
  • Magnificent furnishings and detailing
  • Marque's customary snob appeal
  • Pleasant, up-to-date handling

Minuses of the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith:

  • Costly to buy and restore
  • Generally "heavier" styling than earlier Rolls-Royce juniors
  • Rot-prone wood-frame bodywork a real headache
  • Still not fast (about 80 mph tops)

Production of the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith:
491

Specifications of the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith:
Wheelbase, inches: 136.0
Length, inches:
Variable with body
Weight, pounds: approx. 5,200

Price, new
: NA

Engines for the 1938-1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv I-6
4,257 cc (260 cid)
90*
1938-1939

*Estimate -- not officially quoted.

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