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1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud “Chinese Eye” Drophead Coupe. And it’s for sale.

rolls silver cloud chinese eye drophead coupe

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.

chinese eye silver cloud

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.

silver cloud chinese eye interior

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.

rolls royce silver cloud chinese eye convertible

[Linked: CCC]

March 04, 2010
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About the Author: Gunnar Heinrich is publisher of Automobiles De Luxe online and is executive producer of the Automobiles De Luxe Television series on PBS member station CPTV.

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  1. Gunnar,

    Great post. Do I detect that perhaps you feel as I do about the “Chinese eye” Clouds? Ugly cars wearing the R-R badge are as rare as hens teeth, but this is one of them in my not so humble opinion. There is much to love about mid – 1960′s automotive design, but this is not one of them.
    Best regards, Brad

  2. Rodney Dangerfield drove a red one of these in Caddyshack (1980).

  3. I remember that! Hated that flick.

    Brad,

    Despite my snarky tone, I actually do have an appreciation for the Chinese Eye – even if it isn’t as classical in its beauty as the standard Clouds. Part of the reason, I think, is that the Chinese Eyes translate much better in person than they do in pictures or in film.

    First hand, I’ve only witnessed one – a jet black on black DHC in Greenwich. Gorgeous car.

  4. I spotted the only one I’ve witnessed in person at the Winter Park (Fla.) Concours D’Elegance last fall. It was black over red, and extremely pristine in its original, unrestored condition. My recollection is that is was badged a Mulliner Silver Cloud III.

    Gunnar: You have done a great job with this blog. Keep up the great work.

  5. British movie producer here // very interested to buy !!

  6. My grandfather replaced his 1957 Bentley S1 Convertible with one of these bought new in 1965. He haggled with the designers at Rolls Royce for 4 months trying to get one in two-tone like his Bentley.

    Sadly the car is now for sale:

    http://www.fantasyjunction.com/cars/904-Rolls Royce-Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward Drophead-6.2 Litre V8

  7. I fine a Rolls Royce Chinese Eye Drophead coupe 1960′s.

    Could you send some pictures …

  8. …julie christie getting into one in the 1975 classic ‘Shampoo’
    gorgeous car.

  9. what a stunning motor car not many like that remaining can any one help me locate a 1963 rolls royce cloud 3 drophead that was owned by the pianist RUSS CONWAY he sold it in 1981 in england …reg number DMO 24 it was burgundy with white hood and had a double shift gearbox i used to drive this lovely motorcar in the early deventies and would love to have news about it there was only twelve made and the bonnet was longer and slightly lower than a normal cloud. isaw one for sale in jack barclays a few years ago for £250 000 it was mint any information greatly received dave 07855 175984 po

  10. Glorious car. For some it might need a second look to get accustomed to it, but it is a true classic in my eyes. I actually prefer it to the Corniche. Together with the latter and the Mercedes SEb one of my three fav Cabriolets.

    BTW, a blue one was also widely used by David Hemmings in the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni cult flick “Blowup”, co-starring Vanessa Redgrave.

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