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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Hooper Touring Limousine.

Chassis No. WVA10 〰 Reg No. JYT994 〰 Price £55,000

Having been with one family for several decades from new until late in the 20th century, this car has been subject to a great deal of high quality work in recent times, including a full re-paint to a very high standard, new upholstery, carpets, headlining, all in black and woodwork restored to a lovely, satin finish, far nicer and more appropriate than the high gloss modern products sometimes used. The chrome is very good as well, and the car is sound, extremely smart, running well and all in all is an excellent example of an early Silver Wraith, which is offered prepared, serviced and MoT tested until September 2018.

Snippets: The Diplomat's Ladies & scandalous connections.

WVA10 was ordered by Sir James Leishman Dodds KGMC a career diplomat whose postings included Madrid, Berne, Stockholm, The Hague, Teheran, Tokyo, Bolivia, Cuba & Peru.

His father was Sir James Miller Dodds, a civil-servant being the Under-Secretary, Scottish Office (1909/21).

James L. Dodds studied at Oxford University and whilst there he, Michael Nethersole (later RFC, DSC, CIE & Commissioner for Indian Civil Service) & a Mr. Gamble were all charged with being drunk & disorderly & with assaulting a Cinema Attendant who had earlier that evening thrown them out of the Palace Cinema!

By 1919 James Leishman Dodds had entered the Foreign Office where he made his way up the career ladder from 3rd Secretary to that of British Ambassador. In 1927 he met & married the young glamorous widow Bertha Etelka (Surtees) Bell whose previous husband, Edward Bell (1882/1924) had also been a career diplomat.

Edward Bell was the nephew of the publisher & somewhat notorious rake James Gordon Bennett Jr (trigger-point for the exasperated exclamation Gordon Bennett); Edward's mother Jeanette Gordon Bennett was James Gordon Bennett sister. Edward Bell was a close friend of F. D. Roosevelt (later 32nd President of America) having attended Harvard University at the same time during the early 1900s.

Sir James's step-daughters Evangeline & Virginia Bell both went onto to live the life of a Diplomat's wife with Evangeline marrying David K. E. Bruce (American Ambassador in France 1949) & Virginia to Ashley Clarke (British Ambassador in Rome 1953).

Sir James used WVA10 in Peru as the British Embassy car & in August 1949 the car was used as a wedding car when Sir James's daughter Josephine Leishman Dodds married Sqn Ldr Hugh Glyn Lawrence Arthur Brooking – the "King's Foreign Service Messenger".

We have recently spoken to Sir James' grandson Hugh Brooking who confirms that WVA10 was shipped back to the UK & remained with Sir James until his death in 1972 when the car was passed to Sqn Ldr Brooking. During WWII the Sqn Ldr had served with the RAF and in 1940 he was stationed in Ottawa where he took part in an air training plan.

By 2005 the car had been acquired by Vincent Tcheguiz (Iranian Property & Investment Magnate – Vincos Ltd & Rotch Property Group) who registered the car with his private number plates of 2V, 3V and 38V! Vincent's home of 3 Lees Place was originally built as a coach-house & stables in 1889 for Samuel Lewis and converted in 1932 to a house for the 1st Viscount Furness (better known as the husband of Thelma Furness – companion to both the Prince of Wales & Prince Aly Khan).