The number plates on the Royal House’s cars all bear the crown followed by a short number, hence the name ¨Crown cars¨.
The flagship among the royal cars is a Rolls-Royce, called Big Crown. It was acquired by Frederik IX for official use and is still used when the Royal House’s foreign guests are driven around. Big Crown remains in good condition and has run more than 140,000 km.
Big Crown, more specifically Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith seven-seater LGLW 25 body no. 10181, was built in 1958. LGLW 25 stands for L- Left-hand drive, G- 1958, LW- Long wheelbase (133 inches), 25- the 25th vehicle of its type produced that year.
A total of 52 Silver Wraiths were built in 1958. The warranty was issued on 11 April 1958 to His Majesty, The King of Denmark, The Royal Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark by the seller and supplier, Hooper & Co. At that time, Rolls-Royce vehicles were sold in the form of a ¨rolling chassis¨, meaning that they were without bodywork, which afterwards was hand-built by various bodywork-makers such as Hooper & Co. Ltd. or Freestone & Webb.
The motor in Big Crown is a 6-cylinder, 4.887 ccm in-line engine with top-valve intake and side-valve exhaust. Rover used the same valve arrangement in its models in the 1950s; Harley Davidson already had pocket-valve engines in the 1920s. The motor is fed by two SU-carburettors and unofficially generates approximately 180 horse power according to test drives of Silver Wraiths by the British car magazine, Autocar. The motor is the largest for the Silver Wraith models and was developed in 1954, when it was bored up from 4.257 ccm. After using the motor type for 19 years, Rolls-Royce stopped producing it in 1959.
Rolls-Royce does not provide performance ratings for the car, but a test drive of a Bentley version by the British magazine, Autocar, in 1956 showed that the Silver Wraith, despite its size, is fast. It can go from 0-100 km per hour in 12.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 190 km per hour. For a car from 1958, those are extremely impressive standards.
The transmission is a four-step RR-General Motors Hydramatic. The wheel base is 337.8 cm, track width in front-148.6 cm, track width in back-162.6 cm, length-528 cm, breadth-183 cm; and height-178 cm. The weight is 2,358 kg. The tires are 6.5 x 17 inches on 5-inch rims.
Between 1946 and 1959, a total of 1,783 Silver Wraiths were built: 1,144 with a short (127 inch) wheelbase, and 639 with a long (133 inch) wheelbase. The chassis were built at the Rolls-Royce factory in Crewe.