Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (1949)

Price: GBP45,000
 

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 Vehicle Specification 

  • Year: 1949
  • Colour: Black
  • Engine: Petrol
  • Mileage Not Specified
  • Condition Good

 Vehicle Description 

  The Real Car Co Ltd  

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By the early post-war years, Sedanca de Villes were going out of fashion and not the most popular of designs, but this car is a delightful exception to the rule. The car is handsome, correct, original, nicely balanced in design and in good order. The car was delivered new to the USA, but found its way to Europe in 1959 where it was bought in Paris in 1960 by US Army Colonel Jack Babcock. The following year it returned with him to the states, remaining with him until he passed away in 2017 at the age of 102! 57 years altogether with one owner, some of that time back in Europe, including restoration work in the UK in the late sixties/early seventies. Within the history file are many invoices from the 1960s, various documents, shipping papers, letters, correspondence, handbook, etc, and we also have copies of the original H.J. Mulliner specification and construction records. The car has an air of mature originality about it and although not pristine, is charming and very useable, and benefits from a very appealing interior, brown leather to the front, beige cloth to the rear, twin occasional seats and picnic tables, with lovely figured walnut veneers, all in fine condition. Structurally nice & sound, mechanically good, running and driving very nicely, and soon to be registered in the UK for the first time.

Chassis No. WDC82 Reg. No. T B A

Snippets: A Wealthy Widow & a Career Soldier
WDC82 was delivered to Mrs Jonathan Duncan whose residence of 19 E72nd Street was, prior to it being demolished and rebuilt in 1937, designed and built for the art nouveau jeweller & designer Charles Tiffany. Mrs J. Duncan was the daughter of Cory Kilvert, artist and freelance illustrator best known for his comic strips Buddy Spillken’s Diary & The Killies, Mrs Duncan’s mother was Elsie del Ora Bernado who prior to her marriage was a model of some note and Cory Kilvert’s muse. Cory & Elsie divorced with Elise becoming the lifelong companion of the businessman Samuel Kress. Elsie and her daughter Audrey Cory Kilvert toured Europe and in 1936 it was reported that Audrey had eloped with the well-connected Duncan David Armstrong-Jones, nephew of Laura Corrigan (widow of James Corrigan of Corrigan-McKinney Steel). By February 1941 Audrey & Duncan had divorced with Audrey remarrying immediately to Joseph Jonathan Duncan who in 1934 was the USA National Downhill Ski Champion, in 1942 Joe Duncan enlisted with the newly created 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment – the US Ski Troop – and in April 1945 he was killed in action. Audrey remarried a 3rd time to The Cuban Ambassador to France - Hector de Ayala (his father was a survivor of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915), the Ayala’s in Paris and after retirement moved to Spain where Audrey, having inherited her father’s artistry painted with her work being shown internationally. The 2nd owner of WDC82 was Charles William Rendigs head of Nanty Frocks who specialised in producing copies of ball gowns and cocktail dresses designed by French couturiers, apparently Christian Dior used to call Charles Rendigs “the best copyist in America”. WDC82 travelled to Paris with C. W. Rendigs and in 1960 the Silver Wraith was purchased by Colonel Jack Emerson Babcock who in 1961 took WDC82 back to Fort McClellan with him. In 1968 Brigadier-General Babcock retired from the Army having been awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for “exceptionally meritorious & distinguished services” & in 1969 he returned to Europe, namely Brussels & took WDC82 with him, in 1970 the Silver Wraith was treated to a major overhaul by Mascot Motors of London.

 

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