by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Cooper Classics Collection ::: Rolls-Royce Chinese Eye Convertible
IN the (swinging) Sixties, horn rimmed glasses were all the rage.
So, too, were fins, rockets, and a zest for the unusual. Elvis, anyone? Rolls-Royce wasn’t immune to experimentation that stuck an impertinent tongue out at the staid status quo. Hence – the 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud “Chinese Eye” Continental Drophead Coupé.
Powered by the exceptionally long-lived V8 (powered the Bentley Arnage) and shifted by a four-speed autobox, the Chinese Eye weighed in at a rotund 4,558 lbs, every bit as stout as the Silver Cloud III saloon.
That said, in every way that the sedan’s rolling fenders conveyed a billowing ball gown, the Chinese Eye seemed a trim, lean skirt that cut tight across the lady’s legs – like some Oleg Cassini number that Jackie O. would wear.
Mulliner Park’s straight edged body gave a lightness to the DHC while the diagonal sets of sealed beam Lucases and tri-tail lamp clusters added that jolly bit of sport.
Chassis No. LCSC35B on offer by NY’s Cooper Classics Collection, lived its entire life as an East Coast ride; calling Park Ave and Easthampton home. Eighty-six thousand miles seem just right for a collectible in near-original condition that’s eclipsed the half-century mark.
That the terribly un-PC “Chinese Eye” moniker does little to restrain the $195,000 ask, stands as testament to the rare Silver Cloud’s enduring appeal. At least for some, that is. Not everyone’s a fan of horn rimmed shades.