By Maz Woolley
All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author except where otherwise stated.
The latest 1:43 scale Rolls-Royce by Oxford Diecast is another new casting; a Silver Cloud I. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I was made by Rolls-Royce Limited from 1955 to 1959. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was replaced by the Silver Cloud II. The J. P. Blatchley design is part of the evolution away from the upright pre-war style still used for the Silver Dawn. The Cloud I had a six cylinder 4.9 litre engine which was replaced by a larger V8 in the Cloud II. In 1957 performance was increased by the fitting of twin carburetors. Brakes were hydraulic and servo assisted and the suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear.
Rolls-Royce did not build a monocoque car until the Silver Shadow in the 1960s so the Cloud body sat on a frame. This allowed some special bodied versions to be made but the overwhelming majority sold were built with the standard Pressed Steel Company manufactured steel body shell. A lightweight aluminium based alloy was used for the doors, bonnet and the boot lid.
The British Motor magazine tested a standard factory-bodied Series I in 1956 recording a top speed of 102.9 mph and acceleration from 0-60 mph in 13.5 seconds. The car tested cost £5078 including taxes.
The car modelled by Oxford Diecast is a real one which was auctioned for over 21,000 GBP in May 2015. It was originally made in 1959 and the model retrains most of the original’s features though it does not reproduce the red pinstripe and red stripe on the wheel trims. Photographs by the Silverstone Auctions of the original in 2015 are shown below.
43RSC001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Sand and Sable.
The Oxford model is another excellent Rolls-Royce model from them, particularly as it sells for only a little more than Atlas models and less than most Corgi Models. Whilst it lacks any photo etched parts it really doesn’t miss them. Oxford has again used multi-part windows which press fit into all window apertures to give flush glazing. The side window glazing has chrome printed on raised frame lines which gives an excellent effect.
The paintwork matches the original well. Please note that my photographs make the sable area look a little lighter than it really is. One or two minor items have been dropped from this model such as the red wheel trim on the original but this is not missed and could be added if one wished.
As on all the Oxford Rolls-Royces a lot of effort has been made to capture the RR radiator and mascot with a finely printed RR symbol on the radiator setting it off well. The mascot is again a little overscale but that is understandable since it would be easily breakable if modelled to scale size.
The rear is lovely with number plate, RR symbol, and handle finely modelled. The only slight let down is the rear lights being printed in flat red and orange on a silver printed background and the left hand light being raked inwards more than the right hand one. If Oxford has to print these lights then printing the base fitting straight and using a translucent paint over the silver would give a much better effect.
The wheels are good with the central section of the cap hinting at the flat side sections. The white wall on the tyre is kept small in keeping with that on the original car. The side view of the car is excellent capturing the flowing lines of the original really well though the thicker lower brown paint does slightly soften the cast lines on the body.
The interior has been finished to a high standard with wood effect dashboard, door cappings and seat back fitments. Seating is in white which is a match to the white leather fitted to the original car. The instrumentation is printed on the dash and the door fitments have been printed in chrome too.
Underneath, the frame, engine, propshaft and rear axle and springs are all modelled in a basic manner.
The Silver Cloud has been modelled by many in the past with the 1:45 scale Budgie/Seerol model perhaps being the most commonly seen in the UK, especially as it was on sale in London Souvenir shops for many years. Less commonly seen is the Lone Star model of a four headlight 1960s Silver Cloud. My personal favourite obsolete diecast Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is the Verem model which also comes in a Sand and Sable finish. This was an enhanced casting based upon the 1960s Solido Silver Cloud. Although we have had many Chinese resin Silver Clouds from a variety of makers many have not captured the Cloud accurately in some respects.
Although Minichamps Silver Cloud II does have separately inserted rear lights to my eyes it offers nothing else that the Oxford does not. The available paint schemes are also less attractive, though the white and black solid colours may make them popular as replicas of wedding cars. At about half the price of the Minichamps the Oxford model is outstanding value for money.
I look forward to Oxford making this car to 1:76 scale at some point in the future which is sure to be popular as collecting in this scale seems to be growing at the moment.
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