The 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was the first Rolls-Royce model ever based on a Bentley -- usually it was the other way around. It shared the "standard steel" bodyshell, chassis, and all running gear with the Bentley Mark VI of these years, though engine output was rumored to be lower. It was marked, of course, by the distinctive Rolls-Royce grille.

Unlike the Bentley, models with left-hand drive featured a steering-column gearchange. Engine displacement was increased in 1951, followed shortly afterwards by a long-tail "B7" body style. The Silver Dawn automatic transmission was made standard beginning in 1953.

Styling usually followed the British "razor edge" school, with semi-integrated headlamps; separate, sweeping fenderlines; and semi-enclosed rear wheels (covered by "spats"). As expected from Rolls, interiors were plushly outfitted with leather upholstery, wood cappings for dash and doors, and lots of detail conveniences.

A good many 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawns were sent to North America, as the model was never sold in Britain.

Pluses of the 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn:

  • A Milestone car
  • Comfortable, well-furnished cabin
  • Dignified styling
  • Many mechanical parts still available
  • Silence and refinement
  • The Rolls-Royce name

Minuses of the 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn:

  • Body parts extinct
  • Milestone status
  • Not very fast (85-90 mph tops)
  • Rust-prone
  • Too much like a Bentley

Production of the 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn:

  • 4-1/4-liter: 170
  • 4-1/2-liter short tail: 110
  • 4-1/2-liter long tail: 481

Specifications of the 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.0
Length, inches:
192.0 (1949-1951), 199.5 (1951-1955)
Weight, pounds: 4,100 (average)

Price, new
:
NA

Engines for the 1949-1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
F I-6
4,257 cc (260 cid)
NA*
1949-1951
F I-6
4,566 cc (279 cid)

NA*

1951-1955

*Rolls-Royce customarily did not quote power or torque output

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