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1955 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn with Automatic Gearbox.
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Hello.

I've just acquired a 1950s Silver Dawn and am starting on a long journey to learn about the car and make some changes and improvements.
We previously owned a Silver Seraph but sold that car a year ago, and have been keen to acquire another Rolls Royce. This time we wanted something with rather more of a classic look, albeit a car in which we will be making more stately progress.

First of all, the Silver Dawn is in good order, without any substantial rot and has a very good interior, but, don't be fooled by the picture, she needs a repaint from bare metal, however, this was reflected in the price. The paintshop will be starting the work in January and it will take up to three months to complete.
When she is finished, she will be a very good example, but, as we want to use her, she won't be entering any concours competitions.

First of all, were any of these cars fitted with power steering and aircon, particularly for the US market ?
I have looked at modern electric power steering but that seems expensive at £6,000 to have my own column rebuilt with the assistance built in, That's three times what I paid to fit it on my MGC and does not include fitting. If the necessary standard parts for hydraulic power steering are available, particularly secondhand, I can't imagine they would be quite as expensive to buy as that. I could then fit it myself.

Ditto with aircon. Was it an optional extra in the USA in 1955 ? Every expensive US model had it available at the time, so it seems likely. This would be more difficult for me to fit, but not impossible. However, if there was not a standard system it would be far more difficult to do without substantial modifications to the car and would best be avoided.

Any information would be welcome.

Thanks.

Chris S

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That's what they call a long-boot Silver Dawn, it will have (or should have the 4.5 litre engine) and quick release oil filler cap if it is a 4.5 litre engine, the 4.25 litre is an all bake-lite cap that screws into position.
The 4.5 litre had many improvements over the smaller engine.

I've never seen one with factory power steering, I don't think it existed, but with the front end all rebuilt and aligned properly, the steering is surprising light, so before going to all the work of adding power steering, the mechanical part has to be in top condition.
What goes wrong is the Bijur oiling system fails and all those little needle bearings in the king pin and lower control arm is starved for oil.
This is a common occurrence as the felt seals dry out and absorb water like a sponge and rust the needle bearings _ lots of binding and seizing occurs.
Very often on disassembly, you find black rust and bits of needles all broken in a pile.
People who don't use the oiling system enough because it makes a mess on their garage floor cause this problem as well.
You're in the UK, so it's best to keep it in a heated garage all year round.
 

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Hello.

I've just acquired a 1950s Silver Dawn and am starting on a long journey to learn about the car and make some changes and improvements.
We previously owned a Silver Seraph but sold that car a year ago, and have been keen to acquire another Rolls Royce. This time we wanted something with rather more of a classic look, albeit a car in which we will be making more stately progress.

First of all, the Silver Dawn is in good order, without any substantial rot and has a very good interior, but, don't be fooled by the picture, she needs a repaint from bare metal, however, this was reflected in the price. The paintshop will be starting the work in January and it will take up to three months to complete.
When she is finished, she will be a very good example, but, as we want to use her, she won't be entering any concours competitions.

First of all, were any of these cars fitted with power steering and aircon, particularly for the US market ?
I have looked at modern electric power steering but that seems expensive at £6,000 to have my own column rebuilt with the assistance built in, That's three times what I paid to fit it on my MGC and does not include fitting. If the necessary standard parts for hydraulic power steering are available, particularly secondhand, I can't imagine they would be quite as expensive to buy as that. I could then fit it myself.

Ditto with aircon. Was it an optional extra in the USA in 1955 ? Every expensive US model had it available at the time, so it seems likely. This would be more difficult for me to fit, but not impossible. However, if there was not a standard system it would be far more difficult to do without substantial modifications to the car and would best be avoided.

Any information would be welcome.

Thanks.

Chris S

View attachment 30874
Welcome to the forum. Nice project.
 
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