The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was the main car manufactured by Rolls-Royce from April 1955 until March 1966. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was, in turn, replaced by the Silver Shadow.
The design was a major change from the pre-war models and the highly derivative Silver Dawn. The main design work was by J. P. Blatchley.
The chassis was a simple steel box section, welded together and very rigid. Construction was still split into chassis and pressed steel and aluminium coachwork (unibody construction did not arrive until the Silver Shadow). The car was 5.38 m long, 1.90 m wide, and massed 1.95 tonnes. The engine was a 4.9 L six-cylinder unit, the transmission a four-speed automatic. Brakes were servo-assisted hydraulic drums and suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear.
The Silver Cloud II was introduced in 1959. Little changed externally but it now had a 6.2 L V8 engine, which pushed the weight to 2.11 tonnes. Performance was greatly improved and top speed was raised to 183 km/h, but the main improvements were in acceleration and torque. The Silver Cloud III arrived in 1963. External dimensions were slightly tweaked, the interior remodelled, the weight reduced by a little over 100 kg (220 lb) and improvements to the engine boosted speed and performance slightly. The headlights were changed to a four-headlamp layout remarkably similar to that of the later Silver Shadow, a model which the company had been brainstorming since the late-1950s. Official Rolls-Royce documents indeed state the four-headlamp layout was introduced to prepare customers for the radically new, then-forthcoming Shadow.
A notable, but not particularly favoured among classic car circles, version is the "Chinese Eye", featured on the Mulliner-Park Ward coachbuilt cars, of which only about 100 were made and one drop-head coupe was owned by Peter Sellers for four years, and another by Lucille Ball, among others