This 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith Landaulette by H.J. Mulliner is everything we expect from the marque – Stylish, dignified, quiet and comfortable! And in the same ownership since 1985 !  The factory records go all the way to new, when a Miss C Hartley purchased it, and by the early 1980’s it was on record as being in the USA under the ownership of a Mr. Bellman. It retains it’s original engine, B9WP, and it’s original H.J. Mulliner landaulette coachwork .  It was Delivered from H.J. Mulliner in December of 1938, and is therefore titled as a 1939 automobile.

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Once you have driven a nicely restored and properly sorted example of the Rolls-Royce, you realize why they have such a following. They were magnificent when they were new, and are still magnificent today. The book, “The Rolls-Royce Wraith” by Tom C. Clarke, gives a wonderful account of the development of the Wraith, and the great pains that Rolls Royce took to ensure that the production car was sorted out in every conceivable way, with extensive testing and design revisions before the Wraith series was released.

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Giant Lucas headlamps, driving lamp , horns and Rolls Royce club badges announce you are about to arrive!  Indeed, beyond enjoying the beautiful driving experience and superb build quality, a part of Rolls ownership is to announce your arrival in both a physical and symbolic way.

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The Parthenon in Grece was the inspiration for the iconic Rolls-Royce radiator shell, and somebody’s hot mistress was the inspiration for the spirit of ecstasy radiator ornament!  This radiator is in better condition than the Parthenon, note the excellent condition of the radiator shell and plating!  I like what the Autocar magazine said on September 22, 1939: “The appeal of the classically simple but exceptionally effective radiator is always evident. None other has quite the same bold but at the same time restrained outline, setting off the whole car and giving a frontal apearance which is known and respected everywhere”

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Here it is with the leather landaulet top open.

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A closer look at the landaulet feature.

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The driving experience of this car is wonderful, with easy starting, very quiet operation, smooth clutch and brake operation, and a solid tight feel. The doors fit and close with that perfect double click thunk, all of the panels line up nicely, and the bodywork is very straight and nice.IMG_0495.

a nice clean profile of the passenger side. You’ll note this coachwork carries a single sidemount.

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Stately and dignified! The paint is vibrant and shiny and absolutely smooth, and was a very high quality paint job when it was applied, although it does show some chips and signs of age and road use.

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Beautiful rear compartment, with quintessential English charm – rich wool, polished burlwood, lambswool carpeting. Wonderful!

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The view from the rear seat reveals a radio with a burlwood speaker grille, and 2 occasional seats.

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The occasional seats are just that – for occasional use, or the occasional passenger!

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the very lap of luxury

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Detail of the lined landaulet top.

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Nice grey leather chauffer compartment, in good shape, and revealing some touring miles.

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Look at the beauty of this dashboard! Wow! I can’t get over how wonderful it is.

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Even the sunvisors are carefully engineered – a tinted sunshade can be pulled down in case the sun’s rays are lower than the regular sunvisor!

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The Windshield can be cranked out for ventilation using this knob, another nice feature!

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Here’s the passenger seat of the chauffer compartment, in grey leather.

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Nicely kept engine, in excellent operating condition. It runs exactly like it should, with easy starting, very, very quiet , and smooth.  Not show detailed but definitely ready for touring!

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The engine specification is 6 cylinders, with overhead valves, 4,257 CC, 4 speed manual transmission with synchro-mesh.

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Another view. Note the wheel removal tool stowed on the firewall where it belongs.

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The driver’s side of the engine. The Chassis specification includes 11’4″ wheelbase, 4 corner hydraulic jacking, bijur chassis lubrication, 4 wheel brakes with transmission servo action power assist, and wire wheels with self-locking hubs.

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Detail of the firewall.

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Note the splash pan between the frame and engine.

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A wonderful car, ready to tour or display at shows.