Lot '25: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I
Launched in 1965, the Silver Shadow was the first 'modern' Rolls-Royce with a monocoque body, aluminium doors, boot and bonnet and no separate chassis. Other innovations included a fully hydraulic braking system, based on Citroen patents, that included four wheel discs, twin circuits and rear self-levelling suspension. Squat and purposeful on the outside but still aristocratically luxurious on the inside, it was perfectly timed to attract the nouveau gentry of the Swinging Sixties who were more likely to have made their money from business, pop or fashion than inheriting it from the ancestors.
Even today, to slip behind the wheel of a well kept Shadow is to enter a different world where every journey is an occasion and the feelgood factor is off the scale. Beautifully crafted, technically advanced and good to drive, it sold like no Rolls-Royce before or since with 37,000 examples rolling from the Crewe production line before it was replaced by the Silver Spirit in 1980.
Over 2,000 improvements were made along the way, the most important being the introduction of the 6,750cc engine and GM three-speed box in 1970, radial tyres in 1972 and the launch of the Shadow II in 1977, though this rather lost the looks of the earlier car with chunky rubber bumpers in place of the more elegant chrome items.
Dating from September 1976, this late Shadow I looks most sophisticated in light metallic blue with a cream hide interior. It has undergone considerable refurbishment during the current three year ownership after a period in storage due to the previous owner's health problems. Recent work includes: fuel system stripped and overhauled with new petrol pumps; all metal hydraulic pipes to the rear replaced and suspension and ride height corrected; brake system accumulators replaced and hydraulic tank cleaned and refitted; gearbox stripped and overhauled by IC Automatics of Bath; new battery; new carpets; new CD/radio system with iPod input; underbody rust-proofing applied and new tyres fitted.
Other features include air conditioning, front and rear headrests, rear footrests, original toolkit and owner's handbook. Said to be very good mechanically and electrically, the bodywork is described as 'fair'. Now in regular light use and with some 124,000 miles on the clock, it is said to drive very well with an MOT and tax until February 2011 and is due to be driven some 300 miles to the sale.
Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles|
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||PHU 319R|
|Engine capacity (cc)||6750|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|