• Rolls-RoyceDropHeadCoupe
1964 Rolls-Royce MPW Drop Head Coupe

In 1962 the final change in the Silver Cloud and Bentley S models took place, the result being the Silver Cloud III and the Bentley S3. More importantly, this series would be the last model that Rolls-Royce would offer as a coach built car. A monocoque body/frame design was implemented with the succeeding model, the Silver Shadow. This new design technology required that the chassis and coach be constructed together, thus precluding the separate manufacture of a chassis and coach and concluding the era of coach built cars.

At the time this car was built, Rolls-Royce had acquired and merged the coach building houses of H.J. Mulliner & Co. with Park-Ward Ltd. The new coach building company was named Mulliner Park Ward (MPW).

MPW was primarily engaged in the design and construction of head of state cars, Phantom models IV, V and VI. During the early 1960’s Rolls-Royce decided that there was a market for an owner-driven coupe.

Vilhelm Koren, a Rolls-Royce stylist had designed the successful Bentley S2 drop head coupe. Consequently he was assigned the task of designing this new esoteric coupe that featured small fins, slanted head lamps and a recessed rear window. Construction was of steel with an aluminum bonnet, boot, and door panels. The completed body was then mated with a Silver Cloud III running chassis that came fitted with a 6,230cc aluminum alloy block V-8 engine with a top speed of 133 mph. Only 659 MPW/S2 coupes were manufactured between 1963 and 1966 of which 49 were left hand drive convertibles.

The MPW coupe was available as either a hard top or convertible (drop head coupe) and could be ordered as either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley. This car is known as a Mulliner-Park-Ward coupe if badged as a Rolls-Royce or a S3 Continental Coupe if badged as a Bentley. Aside from the badges and radiator shell, the primary difference between the Rolls-Royce and the Bentley was the tachometer installed in the latter.

The MPW Coupe became the forerunner of a series of “modern” Rolls-Royce and Bentley personal luxury coupes succeeded by the Cornich and Camargue models.