A month before the public announcement of the new Rolls Royce Wraith model in early October 1938 Scottish agents John Croall & Sons placed an order for today’s featured chassis #WXA78 which was to be fitted with the 6 cylinder motor #D5WU.
Factory records indicate that John Croall & Sons sold the car to a Mrs Tod of Edinburgh, Scotland the widow of a stockbroker who had died in 1935.
Mrs Tod asked that her Wraith be fitted with a Hopper drophead coupé body which was given the Hopper design drawing number 9050 which specifies among other details; accommodation for golf clubs, a sixteen by 8 inch hat box, birds eye maple trim, ivory door and window handles, primrose over black painted wings and side panels and an optional kneeling Spirit of Ecstasy mascot.
Mrs Tod kept the Wraith, the first of what turned out to be just three drophead Coupés built and one of only two with Dickey seats, until 1948 when she sold the car to London Rolls Royce dealer Jack Barclay.
Barclay’s had the car painted Mason’s black and sold it the following year to a gentleman in Wilmsow, Manchester.
Jack Compton, founder of the Rolls Royce and Bentley Drivers Club, and West Norwood, London based dealer brought the car back to ‘the smoke’, London, in June 1949 and kept it there until 1966.
Mrs Tod’s Wraith was then treated for foot and mouth disease prior to being sent to the United States and the first of an unbroken chain of five owners to the present day with the Calumet Collection in San Diego becoming the present owners in 2010.
The car was used to take the owners daughters to school in Greenwich Connecticut in the late 1960’s, before restorations began in 1986 which were not fully completed until the 1990’s.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s taken at the 2013 Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance.
Thanks for joining me on this “The Stockbroker’s Widow” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a chain driven World Land Speed Record breaker. Don’t forget to come back now !