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In the Garage: Rolls-Royce
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
Rolls-Royce owned by H. Roy Jaffe
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
There’s no better way for classic car enthusiasts to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee than to covet a vintage Rolls-Royce, such as the Jaffes’ black and cream sedan. “It is probably the most beautiful post-war Rolls-Royce,” says H. Roy Jaffe. “The entire Silver Wraith series were all custom-bodied by coach makers in many countries. Rolls-Royce built the chassis with the engine and the dashboard.
A total of 1,883 units were made from 1946 to 1959. About 25 bodies of this ‘Empress’ design were custom-built by Hooper,” a London-based firm in existence from 1805 to 1959. “It is a long-wheelbase limousine with an electric divider window. The fenders are steel and the remainder of the body is aluminum. The rear compartment has two fold-down seats with a bar and a center armrest enclosing a swivel make-up mirror.”
HOW LONG THEY’VE OWNED IT
WHERE THEY FOUND IT
Jaffe sent letters to owners in a Rolls-Royce directory and found the car in Florida. He had it shipped to New York by train. “Although the car’s height was restrictive, I was advised to bring it for loading,” he says. “We deflated the tires and leaned down on the bumpers to place the car.”
“All of the exterior is the original paint and chrome,” Jaffe says. “It’s not perfect, but very presentable. When it is entered in car shows, I do not have it judged. I prefer to meet with friends and answer curious spectators. The interior leather seats were redone and completed in the original red.”
Jaffe estimates the value “in the $75,000 range.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
“It is just a beautiful car to own and drive,” he says. “It is extremely comfortable, quiet and easy to drive with the General Motors “Hydramatic” transmission. Although it does not have power steering, it handles and steers very well with the added radial tires. Although it is a right-hand driver, there are no blind spots due to the front-mounted fender convex mirrors. Our daughter grew up with this car. It became her wedding car for transportation that day and for memorable pictures.”