1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

Coachbuilt Limousine
Sale Price
$70,000 - $105,000
Est. Range
3 March 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Visually maintained, largely original
Auction House
Chassis no. LWVH87; Engine no. W86H. Maroon and Black over Beige leather. 4566 L6/125hp, 4-speed manual, wheel covers, Lester wide whitewalls, Lucas driving lights, fender skirts, division window, rear cabinets and tables.

Evaluation: Sold new to Eli Lily heir Josh Lily and then to Yves Saint-Laurent partner Pierre Bergé. Reportedly used for fashion shows and photo shoots in period. In France until the late 2000s and the last major mechanical work was performed in the mid-2000s, although there are no records of it. Tired chrome. Tired but presentable old paint. The left front fender got crunched at some point, severely cracking the paint and bending the bodywork awkwardly. This reportedly happened in transit and will be fixed at the expense of the shipper. Decent older interior with mostly solid wood and upholstery, but there are a few scuffs in the seats and a few cracks in the wood around the division window. Inherently desirable as a coachbuilt Rolls limo, but no prize, especially if you look at it from the left. It has also been sitting for years, like so many cars in this sale.

Bottom Line: This car sold at Bonhams’ Retromobile in 2009 for $177,663 (€138,000). It hasn’t gotten any better with time, and its “celebrity” ownership carries less weight outside of France. It’s certainly a little harder to sell a car that won’t start, too. Hooper also isn’t the most sought after coachbuilder on a postwar Rolls, and Bonhams Amelia had a veritable buffet of scruffy Rolls-Royces and Bentleys on offer this year. Given all that, this price is entirely fair.

by Andrew Newton
11 March 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.