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See The Vintage Car Queen Elizabeth Rode When She Visited Nigeria In 1956 - Photos

Talk about vintage cars, cars that buy some luxury cars then you may likely mention Rolls Royce.

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a lover of vintage cars. According to reports, he is said to have vintage cars in his garage to cost about 2 billion naira in value. These sets of cars are passed to him by his father who loves and buys them during his lifetime.

Not many people know that Emir of Kano's 1952 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith is the ONLY Silver Wraith in the world customized with unique elliptical, grasshopper eye-like headlamps with dual beam reflectors. An account has it that three of them (for Sultan of Sokoto and Emirs of Kano and Katsina) were bought by the Native Authority for Queen Elizabeth's 1956 visit to Nigeria.

This customized edition, which is the only surviving one among the said three, was sent to Kano for the Queen's visit. After the Queen's visit, the car was added to the fleet of the then emir, Muhammadu Sanusi (the grandfather of the present emir). In a strange twist, the car was seized from the emirate fleet and taken to Government House after deposition of the emir in April 1963.

Military governors of Kano State, CP Audu Bako and Col. Sani Bello as well as the first civilian governor of the state, Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi, all used the car during ceremonies. When Sabo Bakinzuwo was elected governor in 1983, he returned the car to the emirate, arguing that the car suited the Royals more than the politicians.

In 2005, during the reign of Emir Ado Bayero, the car was air-freighted to England and fully restored at the cost of 50,000 pounds.

A look at the engine shows that it has a straight six-cylinder postwar engine, which had been briefly made for the aborted by war Bentley Mark V, replaced conventional overhead valve gear with an F-head configuration of overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and reshaped combustion chambers. There were new main and big-end bearings and a more efficient drive to the timing gear. To this prewar mix, Rolls-Royce added chromed bores.

Initially, this engine retained the Mark V's capacity of 4,257 cc (259.8 cu in) increased from 1951 to 4,566 cc (278.6 cu in) and in 1955, after the introduction of the (standard wheelbase) Silver Cloud, to 4,887 cc (298.2 cu in) for the remaining Silver Wraiths. It has a capacity of 4,566 cc; from 1954 bore x stroke 95.25 x 114.3 mm (3 3/4 x 4 1/2 in), capacity 4,887 cc); cast iron cylinder block, aluminium alloy cylinder head, Stromberg carburettor (from 1951 Zenith carburettor, from 1956 twin SU carburettors); single dry plate clutch; 4-speed gearbox (from 1952 4-speed automatic gearbox optional), hypoid bevel final drive, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-elliptic springs rear; drum brakes servo-assisted; wheelbase 3,225.8 mm (127 in)(from 1951 wheelbase 3,378.2 mm (133 in); tyre size 6.50 x 17 (from 1951 tyre size 6.50 x 16, for export cars tyre size 7.50 x 16 optional, for long wheelbase cars standard).


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