The Silver Cloud I was first introduced in 1955, and this shooting-brake version was bodied by Mulliner and Radford and displayed at the New York Auto Show in 1959, complete with hidden gun rack with space for cartridges.
Beer magnate John Ballantine bought it, and it remained in the US until current owner Marcello Fratini brought it to Tuscany. A keen hunter, Fratini actually uses it for shoots on his farm – though sparingly – and also has shooting-brake versions of the Silver Shadow and Seraph. Fratini was happy to leave the boot open with four of his own vintage Purdeys on display in the gun rack.
The car had a full restoration before leaving the United States and formed part of Rolls-Royce’s centenary celebrations at Pebble Beach in 2004. Just four shooting brake-bodied Silver Clouds are believed to have been made: two short wheelbases, and two long, of which one has been lost.
Photography: Richard Pardon