Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Vs. Rolls Royce Ghost
We realize that comparing the Cloud to the Ghost is like mixing oranges and bananas because, in truth, the two vehicles share a brand name but little else. (We will compare them anyway. Here are some ways the new Ghost compares to the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
The Legacy Of Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Anxious to get their production facilities running after the Second World War, Rolls turned their attention away from building plane and tank engines and back to luxury automobiles. However, with the nation in a recovery period, sales of opulent vehicles were virtually non-existent. The company recognized that a perfect market might be the untapped upper class in America. In 1949, incorporating many features from pre-war models, Rolls introduced the Silver Dawn, a left-handed vehicle made to appeal to wealthy American corporate elites. The Silver Dawn would not be available to Britain’s elite until 1953.
In 1955, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud replaced the Silver Dawn, making it one of the first post-war designs from the company. The body-on-frame construction enabled Rolls Royce to expedite production (rather than sending a chassis to a coachbuilder) while enabling RR to continue to ensure the vehicle’s quality.
The new car was blessed with a 4.9L inline six-cylinder engine that drew from the legacy of Rolls Royce’s prewar models. The car’s transmission was a four-speed automatic designed by GM and featured hydraulic drum brakes with front coils that were independent of the springs in the rear. A year later, Rolls offered both air conditioning and power steering as options. The interiors were roomy and wide with leather upholstery.
Rolls upgraded the car to the Silver Cloud II in 1959, when it also equipped the new vehicle with a 6.2L V8, which pushed the power output to 114 hp and improved both torque and acceleration considerably. Three years later, the luxury company offered a newer version named the Silver Cloud III in Paris in 1962. The car had a redesigned interior and exterior, with a light-weight and somewhat smaller dimensions. The model also featured a four-headlamp layout, new sloped bonnet and restructured taillights. The engine was still a 6.2L V8 but with greater power levels (Rolls kept the exact figures to themselves, but most experts felt it ranged near 220 hp). Eventually, Rolls Royce replaced the Silver Cloud III in 1966 with the Silver Shadow after producing over 7k Silver Clouds over the twelve-year run.
When Rolls Royce decided to reuse the Ghost name in 2009, the company was drawing on a luxury car it had made in the early part of the 20th century (1906 - ‘26). The Silver Ghost had been an integral part of the Rolls legacy, defining the luxury automobile for more than a generation. The latest version had a grand reputation to live up to.
Since 2009, the Ghost has gone through two generations. (The first generation has a Series 1 made from the model year 2010 - 2014 and a Series II made from 2015 - 2020). The current model, starting in 2021, is the second generation. The car continues to offer the epitome of excellence, with interiors designed to embrace riders in the finest comforts money can buy. Owners are cocooned in ultra-quiet, heavily insulated cabins with accent color combinations to fit each customer’s specifications.
The 1955 Silver Cloud is 212 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 64 inches tall. The car had a weight of almost two tons. The 2024 Ghost is 218.99 inches long, 79.1 inches wide, and 61.9 inches tall. The Ghost is considerably heavier than its Silver Cloud predecessors at 5500 lbs.
Engine and Performance
Initially, when the Silver Cloud was introduced in 1955, it was equipped with a 4.9L straight six, producing 155 hp and had a top speed 102 mph. Later versions of the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud saw the availability of a 6.2L V8 with ever-increasing amounts of power outputs. The original Silver Cloud had an advanced suspension for its day with separate coils and rear springs.
The 2024 Ghost is equipped with a 6.7L V12 producing 563 hp and can post a 4.6 second 0 - 60 mph mark, and a top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. (The Black Badge variant produces 700 hp and does 0 - 60 mph in 4.5 seconds). The Ghost has an electronic suspension system that actually scans the road ahead and automatically adjusts the car’s ride to adjust to impending road conditions.
The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud was very opulent for its day, with its use of leather seating surfaces and deep-grained dark wood dash. Instrumentation was set into the center of the dash to the driver's right (or left) and included numerous gauges and dials. Wall-to-wall plush carpeting covered the floor, and a sizable three-spoke steering wheel with an iconic Rolls Royce logo fills the center.
The 2024 Ghost has an opulent interior in every way you can imagine, from ultra-upscale leather to color-coordinated accents on the dash and armrests. The dash has natural wood (like the original Silver Cloud) and a headliner with embedded LED lighting to simulate a star-lit night sky. The cabin has ample room for front and rear passengers, with reclining, massaging seats for each passenger (both front and rear), individual entertainment controls, and ample storage space for valuables like laptops or tablets.
It is not fair to compare the technology of the 2024 Ghost to an almost seventy-year-old car. However, the large infotainment screen is user-friendly with a large navigation system, and the 18-speaker upgraded sound system surrounds listeners with perfectly balanced acoustics. Voice-activated controls make changing settings easy and straightforward. The car has wifi, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wireless charging, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The original Silver Cloud sold for roughly $6200 in 1955, which translates to about $70,719 in today’s dollars). The Rolls Royce Ghost is considerably more expensive at nearly $400,000.
While no one in the world was concerned about safety in the fifties. Even though many states in the US were adopting seat belt regulations in the early sixties, it would not be until 1965 that Britain would enact a seat belt requirement for all vehicles manufactured after that date. The Silver Cloud missed the legislation.
The 2024 Ghost has every safety feature you can imagine a luxury car having, including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front crash warning, and pedestrian detection. While the 2024 Ghost has not been rated, the 2022 model earned five-star safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS, making it the safest model in its luxury class.