1994 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III £16,950. This well-presented and low-mileage gentleman’s express offers good value, says Ben Wanklyn. This Silver Spur’s original owner specified the unusual colour scheme of Wildberry Purple paintwork, topped off by a maroon Everflex roof covering. Although differing from the more sombre hues that typically graced Crewe-built products of the period, these rosy colours seem remarkably well-suited to the long-wheelbase body.
Regardless of their colour, it’s difficult to find fault with this example’s body panels. Keen eyes will spot a light scratch that runs along the top of the offside front wing, in addition to a handful of stone chips, though these have been neatly touched-up. Otherwise, the car’s flanks are as Rolls- Royce intended, with the paintwork boasting a deep shine.
All four doors shut firmly, hiding clean and unmolested doorsteps and crisp-looking sill structures. The floorpans and chassis members appear to be in similarly good health. At the base of the window frames on the rear doors, corrosion has caused the metal to crack slightly, although attempts have been made to rectify this.
The taut roof covering is exceptionally well presented, holding its colour well. It’s a similar story with the brightwork, from the shiny sections of the bumpers and alloy wheels to the Spirit of Ecstasy mounted on a flawless grille. The easily scratched black plastic bumper assemblies are undamaged, as is the matching under-valance front spoiler. However, the top offside corner of the windscreen has started to go milky.
The 6750cc V8 appears outwardly clean and free from oil leaks, and is filled with golden lubricant. It fires easily and, unsurprisingly in light of its mere 78,000 miles, pulls with vigour. The engine warms up quickly, displaying strong oil pressure under load on the all-in-one dashboard dial. The four-speed automatic transmission changes ratios smoothly and instantly, kicking down eagerly.
Typically, the rough surfaces of our test route were unable to unsettle the suspension’s Automatic Ride Control system. The brakes performed equally well, although the front pair of Avon whitewall tyres are worn and will be replaced by the vendor. Although the long-wheelbase Silver Spur’s raison d’etre was its passenger accommodation, this example’s rear seat appears to have been barely used. As a result, only the cream hide of the driver’s seat faces and door armrest displays light wear. The rest of the trim is virtually as new, save for the driver’s heel mat.
The timber dash is in exceptional fettle, matched by the unmarked door cappings and fold-down rear picnic tables. A remote control for the radio, for the benefit of rear seat passengers, is a charming feature. This first-class Silver Spur offers a lot of luxury for the money.
Mundane plastic cover conceals the majesty of the highly refined, vigorous 6750cc V8
Interior shows barely any wear. Great road manners mean driver’s seat is the one to have
CHOOSE YOUR ROLLS
► Silver Spirit launched in 1980 with 6750cc V8 and three-speed auto gearbox. Girling self-levelling independent suspension. Silver Spur 4in longer. Bentley Mulsanne variants joined by fiery Turbo.
► Pared-back Bentley Eight from 1984; 135mph Bentley Turbo R the following year. Twin SU carburettors replaced by Bosch fuel injection on all models in 1986. High-spec Mulsanne S from 1987.
► Silver Spirit II and Silver Spur II unveiled in 1989, with sophisticated Automatic Ride Control, allowing both a soft ride and sharper handling. Restyled dashboard and ABS, plus aluminium alloy wheels – the first on a Rolls-Royce. Four-speed auto from 1991, followed by Silver Spirit III and Silver Spur III.
► 1994 Flying Spur became first turbocharged Rolls; Bentley Turbo S also offered. 1995 MkIV versions never badged as such, but new 16in wheels, bumpers and engine management system. Limos renamed Silver Dawn, plus full-house Bentley Turbo R Sport from 1996. Silver Spirit disappeared in 1997, as all Rolls-Royces were now LWB. Silver Spur given Garrett turbo. All Silver Spirit-based models discontinued in 1998 to make way for Silver Seraph.
|Car||1994 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III|
6750cc OHV V8
215bhp @ 4200rpm
325lb ft @ 1450rpm
Discs front and rear