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Lost Star Cars: The Bee Gee's Maurice Gibb's Silver Cloud and Aston Martin DB6

    
                                                                        By: Patrick Smith




      They were stars twice over. The BeeGees were top hit makers in the 1960s, followed by excess and crack ups in 1970. Then they reunited and worked their way up to the top in 1977 with their disco opus, "Staying' Alive." The Brothers Gibb were very fortunate to learn valuable life lessons and prove it was worth the struggle. Along the way, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb enjoyed fame, fortune and the good life. One of the perks in the good life was owning some truly righteous automobiles
 
Two of the Brothers Gibb were very much into cars; Maurice and Barry had excellent taste. Born on the Isle of Man, near England, the Gibbs lived in Manchester then Australia. The Gibbs were already involved in singing before they reached Brisbane, Queensland in 1958.Barry, Maurice and Robin continued their singing act. During the early 1960s, the Bee Gees sang on the ABC network (Australia Broadcasting Corporation). They had some tense moments when Beatlemania hit Australia in 1964 but In mid 1965, it started happening for them. "Wine and Women" broke into the Sydney charts at #35 eventually hitting #19. They did well in Australia but they realised England was where they had to break big.

      They reached England in 1967 and within months they were signed and released a hit record. The Bee Gees were able to really enjoy themselves by mid 1968 and that's where our car oydessy begins; with Maurice Gibb buying a Rolls Royce convertible. It was a beautiful Silver Cloud drophead convertible featuring coachwork by H.J. Mulliner. The Silver Cloud era of Rolls Royce had three phases and Maurice’s car falls into the third phase from 1962-1965. The new for 1963 design of Silver Cloud featured larger twin two-inch SU carburetors instead of the previous 1 3/4. The compression ratio went up to 9:1 and the crankshaft was nitride hardened to prevent cracking. Externally, the chrome plated wheel trim was replaced with stainless steel starting in April, 1963. The front seats became wider for January 1964 and by June the headlamp bezels started using the RR monogram.
 

Maurice Gibb with his 1964 ( at the latest) Silver Cloud drophead. Note no RR monogrammed headlamp bezels
and the wider front seat, this places it between January and June 1964.
    Looking at Maurice Gibb’s car, we can see it is no later than a June 1964 built car. In spite of the press release touting Maurice as having bought a brand new Silver Cloud with his earnings in 1968, the absence of monogrammed headlamp bezels and wide front seat gives the date of this car away. It was a well equipped car at the time and British bespoke workmanship was one of the best in the world at this time. Maurice’s Silver Cloud appears to be finished in black. Once source claims it was black but as the photograph is black and white, it’s hard to be certain. Rolls Royce also used dark blue. Maurice also owned an Aston Martin DB6 and a Morris Mini Cooper S. Maurice was very much a party goer at the time and indulged in a fair bit of drinking in the late 1960s. Sadly, he crashed the Rolls Royce against a tree one evening. The car was damaged but not extensively. You have to realize the grille of a Rolls Royce was exceptionally stiff and combined with the front bumper and steel bodywork, a tree in the city isn’t going to do a lot of damage. The Ringo Starr Rolls Royce coffee table with glass top produced in limited edition in 1969 required 4 men to lift it. Does that give you an idea how strong these grilles are?The car was most likely repaired and life went on.

     Maurice decided to get straight after meeting and marrying Lulu. The band was in trouble at this point with Barry and Robin drifting apart and being consumed with spending sprees and drug habits. By 1970, Maurice was down to one car, his Aston Martin DB6 and quit boozing to excess. Barry and Robin started working together again to make albums. It was a long road to success again with Saturday Night Fever in 1977.

      Strangely, Maurice Gibb’s Silver Cloud hasn’t reappeared. We know where Barry Gibb’s collection of Rolls and Bentleys went. His 1963 Bentley S2 MullinerPark-Ward convertible has been on auction as well as his 1965 Silver Cloud Mulliner-Park-Ward Chinese Eye convertible. Maurice’s Roller is missing. Someone owns it, there’s no question of that. The Silver Clouds have long been established as collector cars since the early 1970s. The question remains who owns it?

    While we’re pondering that one, here’s another cool ride with a Bee Gee’s connection that has slipped away to obscurity. In 1978, The Bee Gees were on top of the charts again with a smash hit LP, Saturday Night Fever. To reward the band, their manager, Robert Stigwood, presented them with a platinum 1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham sedan. The paint was platinum silver as was the full vinyl roof. The interior wasn’t silver though. It appears to have been dark red or maroon. This makes sense because silver would fade very quickly in Florida’s sunlight. Of course, metallic silver paint would fade too, but this was a promotional gesture, not a gift planned for lifetime use. Which brings me to my next point….what happened to this Cadillac? It doesn’t appear to have been kept by any of the Gibbs. In an interview with Maurice in November, 1979, he relates, “Before I was 21, I had 3 Rolls Royces and two Aston Martins. Now I have one Rolls Royce in London, a station wagon in Miami and a Cadillac Seville…that’s it.” The Cadillac was an all new redesign featuring the downsized body from 1977 so it likely was released into the car dealer network and sold as a demonstrator. Platinum by the way, was a standard Cadillac color in 1978, code 15.
 


The Bee Gees collect their 1978 Platinum Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham for platinum sales of
their Saturday Night Fever album. Current wherabouts is unknown. Pic was taken in Miami.
       Barry Gibb, likewise hinted he had pared down in an interview from his Miami home in 1978, although no specifics were mentioned as to what cars he owned. Robin lived nearby but his family was in England and he headed home as soon as the tax exile period was over. At the time of Maurice’s death, his car was a Pronto Cruiser. Most likely he owned other ones as well but that’s the only one mentioned in his interview.
http://beegeesfanfever.blogspot.nl/



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