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  •   Paul Hardiman reacted to this post about 11 months ago
    Ross Alkureishi created a new group
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  •   Richard Dredge reacted to this post about 11 months ago
    CAR: #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Shadow-LWB / #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Shadow / #Rolls-Royce /

    Name Paul Capper
    Age 46
    From Winchester
    Occupation Funeral director
    First classic 1977 Jaguar XJ6
    Dream classic R-R Phantom VI
    State Laundaulette or a Corniche Convertible
    Daily driver Bentley Mulsanne
    Favourite driving song Mascara Negra (from Crewe-supplied 8-Track tester tape)
    Best drive Bilbao to Alicante in a day

    NELLIE, QUEEN OF THE TRUNK ROAD

    Anyone who knows me will readily confirm that I have been a Rolls- Royce and Bentley enthusiast all of my life. Growing up in the 1970s when the Silver Shadow and its derivatives were at their height, and from the first Matchbox models, I was hooked. I bought my ’1975 Silver Shadow in 1997 and, while the car was attractive from a distance, she was a million miles away from her current condition. I say ‘she’ because the Shadow is known affectionately as ‘Nellie’ throughout the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club and the Gay Classic Car Group.

    When I was about to embark on the purchase, I remember a wise old club member advising me that, once all of the rough white Shadows had gone and been broken for spares, the good cars that were left would rapidly rise in value. Well, 16 years on, the prices of the best ones are definitely on the increase.

    My interest in Nellie was further enhanced because she is one of the rarer Long Wheelbase versions built without a central division, but extended 4in from the B-post.

    An LWB option was intended from launch, but the pressure of preparing the standard saloons for the Paris Salon launch in 1965 – as well as developing the two-door models – meant that any stretched variants were delayed longer than had been anticipated. It wasn’t until the spring of ’1969 that production of Long Wheelbase models began.

    A pilot batch of 10 cars was made during 1966/’1967, however, including one built specially for HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. This particular example had several styling touches to suit the princess. It was finished in dark green with bespoke matching hide and pale green carpets.

    Now 4in may not sound like that much, although it did provide a notable increase in space in the rear. Once the floorpan and sills were cut, the body received longer rear doors and roof panel, which was always covered with Everflex vinyl that some say was to hide the join, while a smaller back window gave an extra measure of privacy. An electric glass division was all well and good in the Phantom V and VI state limos of the day, but it was of little use in the Long Wheelbase Silver Shadow – and would have stolen any extra rear room.

    When Nellie came into my possession she had a mere 65,000 miles on the clock, but was riddled with rust in the wings, peppered with cigarette burns in the woodwork and had a tired-looking cabin.

    Now, 53,000 miles later, the car has been fully restored to day-one showroom glory. It recently landed three top awards – including First in Class and First in Elegance, plus The Dr Shu Shahid Memorial Trophy for Best Silver Shadow – at The RREC Concours d’Elegance at Rockingham Castle, Northants.

    The Shadow is ideal for continental touring. It has been driven extensively through France and behaved faultlessly on a run from Bilbao to Alicante in 12 leisurely hours. Driving her in a straight line at speed is truly wonderful. Having said that, bends and roundabouts – if not negotiated properly, as a jaunt around the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans vividly proved – can make your journey feel more like The Poseidon Adventure. And you expect Shelley Winters to float past your window at any minute!

    Nellie was pressed into service and looked her very best when she regally conveyed my 92-year-old grandmother – along with my then partner’s 90-year-old grannie – to Windsor Castle as part of a display For HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th-birthday celebrations, on an event organised by the RREC.

    All in all, if you ever get the chance to own a Silver Shadow, go for it. If you get the right car, it will give you many hours of motoring enjoyment and is just like driving your favourite armchair. And, as with any prospective car purchase, shop around, buy the best that you can afford – and attend one of the RREC’s technical seminars on how to look after them properly.

    Clockwise: cheeky photo at Buckingham Palace; in Alicante; Cathedral of Murcia; parade for Prince Philip’s 90th-birthday do; gongs galore at concours.

    ‘The Shadow behaved faultlessly on a glorious run from Bilbao to Alicante in 12 leisurely hours’
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  •   Malcolm McKay reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Classic Road Test: Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit - What’s it really like to live with the most affordable of all the Rolls-Royces?

    SPIRITED LUXURY

    The Silver Spirit was the company’s longest production model and early examples of this gracious gentleman’s carriage are now available for the price of a basic Fiesta. Words: Iain Wakefield Pictures: Chris Frosin.

    If you want a sneaky puzzler to stump the opposition at a classic themed pub quiz, just ask what the first generation of the Silver Spirit has in common with the MkIII Escort and Austin Metro. This crafty poser will hopefully produce much grumbling and head scratching before you can put everyone out of their misery by revealing all three of these very different cars made their public debut at the 1980 Birmingham Motor Show.

    Unveiling a brand new production Rolls-Royce has always been a major event and the launch of the Silver Spirit at the NEC at the start of a decade that would go on to be noted for snazzy red braces and brick-sized mobile phones was certainly no exception. Although the Silver Spirit was based on the outgoing Silver Shadow, the new Rolls had a sharper, squarer body reflecting the automotive styling trends of the time and was immediately recognisable by a pair of very ‘80s-looking rectangular headlights and oblong tail light clusters.

    The Spirit’s hydraulic self-levelling Citroëninspired suspension setup was revised at the rear to improve handling and reduce road noise but otherwise the new model’s underpinnings were very similar to those of the outgoing car. Power came from the same hand-built 6750cc V8 engine as fitted to the second generation Silver Shadow and drove the new model’s rear wheels through a GM400 three-speed auto gearbox. MkI Spirits, like the 1983 example we’re putting through its paces here, are all fitted with twin SU carburettors and are easily identified by having twin exhausts exiting each end under the rear bumper, while later fuel injected models have a single tail pipe.


    Rolls-Royce has always been coy about revealing the power output of its products, always claiming that power ‘is adequate’. However, a bit of digging around revealed the V8 fitted to a #SU-fuelled Spirit produces 198.5bhp at 3800rpm, a rather timid amount of horses by today’s standards considering the size of the engine. However, despite weighing in at 2245kg and having the drag co-efficient of a garden shed, when new the Spirit was able to lift up its skirts and accelerate to 62mph in a cigar chomping 10.2 seconds and power on to an impressive top speed of 119mph.


    Having said that, traffic light sprints and autobahn-style high speed cruising isn’t what driving a Silver Spirit is all about. Owning a car with the famous Spirit of Ecstasy ‘flying lady’ mascot gracing the radiator is more a case of wafting around in complete comfort and even a 32-year old Silver Spirit has the ability to turn heads wherever she goes. The Spirit’s external dimensions are impressive too and anything inside the car that isn’t covered with fine hide or burr walnut wood veneer has been chrome plated; the only exceptions in the cabin being the cheap-looking plastic indicator and gear selector stalks.

    The enormous trademark stainless steel radiator shell gracing the front of this gentleman’s conveyance is about one inch lower and just over two inches wider than one fitted to the Silver Shadow and helps give the Spirit a visually lower stance when viewed from certain angles. The all important rear passenger space in the Spirit benefits from a split rear bench with a huge centre armrest and a first for a Rolls-Royce was the Spirit’s fully retractable spring-loaded flying lady mascot that immediately disappears into the top of the radiator shell on impact.


    The longer wheelbase Silver Spur was launched at the same time as the Silver Spirit and in 1985 a limited run of 25 Silver Spur Celebration models marked the 100th anniversary of the motorcar in the UK as well as the production of the 100,000th Rolls-Royce badged car. Small changes were made to the Spirit’s dashboard layout that year and the car’s brush-style headlamp wipers were replaced with power washers.

    For the 1987 model year, the Silver Spirit gained ABS brakes and fuel injection; a muchneeded modification that boosted power to a more respectable 226bhp at 4300rpm. Other additions included electrically heated front seats complete with power operated pneumatic lumber support. The revamped MkII Silver Spirit appeared in 1990 and the car’s dashboard now featured an extra pair of ‘bulls eye’ air vents complete with organ stops to control the airflow. Spirits now came with alloy wheels as standard and a leather trimmed steering wheel.

    The main change to the new model was the introduction of adaptive damping where the shock absorbers were controlled by a computer and could be automatically changed between soft and hard in a 100th of a second. In 1992 the Silver Spirit gained a four-speed auto ‘box and two years later a MkIII version was launched. The addition of electronic fuel injection – the system was mechanically controlled on earlier cars – and a revised inlet manifold resulted in power increasing to 240bhp and in 1994 a turbocharged version of the long wheelbase Silver Spur was introduced. The Silver Spirit gained plastic wrap round bumpers for the 1996 model year and the name was deleted the following year with the introduction of the long wheelbase Silver Dawn.

    ON THE ROAD

    The Silver Spirit featured in this road test was a 1983 model and has been owned by Derbybased classic car enthusiast Adrian Williams for the last eight years. During the time Adrian has owned this Spirit, he’s had repair panels professionally stitched into the rear wheelarches and most of the car resprayed. Although a LPG conversion kit was fitted to the Spirit’s engine by a previous owner, Adrian doesn’t tend to drive his car on gas too often as he reckons the engine runs a lot smoother while burning top quality unleaded, even though it gets through a gallon of the stuff every 16-18 miles.

    It’s quite a hike to slowly walk around this car but a closer inspection of its mid-blue metallic paintwork doesn’t throw up any nasty surprises. The condition of this Spirit’s bodywork appears to be in very good condition for its age, but it’s when you open the heavy driver’s door that the fully majesty of this mainly hand-built car really makes itself felt.

    First thing you notice is the huge amount of leather used to upholster the cabin. This expensive material is not only covering every square inch of the huge seats; it appears the hides from a reasonable sized herd have also been used to cover everything inside this car from the multi-sectioned headlining and side rails to all four door cards, centre console and the front passenger’s knee pads. The dark blue sheepskins on the floor almost swallow up your feet as you settle into the armchair sized driver’s seat and a gentle tug on a chrome plated handle shuts the driver’s door with a satisfying heavily muffled clunk. Gripping the pencil thin rim of the steering wheel and scanning the blackfaced dials nestling in the Spirit’s symmetrically veneered burr walnut dashboard was a reminder that this car hails from a very different age. A final glance around the luxurious hand trimmed cabin before turning the key and firing up the Spirit’s mighty V8 was another moment to savour this fine car’s well cared for opulence.

    The only indication this Spirit’s engine had fired up successfully was seeing the needle on the rev counter hovering around the 850rpm mark. The silence in the cabin with the engine idling was eerie until the throttle was stabbed and then all eight cylinders let out a symphonic burble to let you know they meant business rather than just sounding nice. Easing the gear selector on the steering column from ‘P’ to ‘D’ produced the slightest of tremors, indicating the rear wheels were now connected to the powertrain and introducing a little bit of throttle resulted in the Spirit graciously moving away from the kerbside.

    This Spirit has only done 69,000 miles and drove impeccably – with no rattles or thuds when going over potholes – and despite its bulk, the car was easy to thread through city centre traffic. Progress in the Spirit was virtually silent – the only sound coming into the cabin other than the hum from the air conditioning was the occasional rhythmic thud from the massive tyres as they padded over cat’s eyes. However, driving a car like this Spirit isn’t for shy and retiring types as nearly everyone we passed glanced our way to see who was inside. On our way to photograph the Spirit, we drove past a golf club and several cap-clad heads bobbed up from the first tee to witness our stately progress – not bad, as it takes a lot to distract a group of golfers contemplating their next shot!

    What really impressed while out and about in this Spirit was how the dense commuter traffic seemed to open up before us; it was almost like the Rolls was fitted with emergency services’ blues and twos. With 6.75-litres under the Spirit’s billiard table-sized bonnet, a flick of the throttle while cruising down the A38 at 50mph shot the car up to the legal limit at almost starship speed. It was only when woken from its slumbers in situations like this that the sound of the V8 made itself heard. High speed cornering in the Spirit when exiting islands resulted in a lot of body roll, only to be expected really as this car is more a boulevard cruiser than a high performance saloon – that job’s reserved for the Spirit's Bentley Mulsanne-badged variants.

    Adrian has currently got his Silver Spirit up for sale and anyone stumping the £7995 he's asking for this fine example of Crewe engineering is getting a heck of a lot of car for the money. When new, the cost to put this Spirit on the road would have been the equivalent today of around £100k – so if you fancy living the champagne lifestyle at a supermarket Chardonnay price, give Adrian a ring on 07510 843761 to find out more about what his car has got to offer.

    Ambling along narrow country lanes in a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit is fine until a similar-sized car approches from the opposite direction.

    “Traffic light sprints and autobahn-style top speed isn’t what driving a Silver Spirit is all about”
    This Silver Spirit's 6.75-litre V8 is fed by a pair of SU carburetters. Fuel injection was fitted from 1987 and boosted bhp accordingly.

    The tank for this Spirit's LPG tank is located in the spare wheel tray. Only problem is that the spare now has to go into the car's finely carpeted boot.

    If you fancy luxury motoring on a budget, this Spirit's dark blue piped hide seats and fluffy sheepskin footwell rugs create a touch of automotive ambience that's hard to beat. The digital clock sitting in the middle of the polished burr walnut veneered dashboard was cutting-edge technology back in the '80s.

    “A first for a #Rolls-Royce was the Spirit’s fully retractable spring-loaded flying lady mascot”

    SPECIFICATIONS #1983 #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Spirit
    ENGINE: 6750cc V8
    POWER: 198.5bhp at 3800rpm
    TOP SPEED: 119mph
    0-60mph: 10.2 sec
    GEARBOX: 3-spd auto
    LENGTH: 527cm
    WIDTH: 189cm
    WEIGHT: 2350kg
    ECONOMY: 16-18mpg
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  •   Malcolm McKay reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Iain Wakefield updated the cover photo for Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
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  • votren911 updated the picture of the group Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Club
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  •   Paul Capper reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II £19,995. In 36 years you’d expect most cars to cover more than 46,000 miles - so this is special. Richard Gunn.

    It’s always reassuring when a marque specialist selling a car has known it for some time, and in the case of this Silver Shadow II, London-based Hanwells has been familiar with it for ten years. The Crewe-cut leviathan boasts an extensive paperwork file, despite its minimal mileage. The last service was 1000 miles ago.

    Low mileage plus conscientious care have certainly paid dividends. You have to look long and hard to find any real flaws with the exterior, such as minor tarnishing to the front and rear bumper tops and a slightly perished seal at the top of the rear window. The plastic bumpers themselves have some light scuffs on their rear quarters, but the fronts have escaped any grazing. Imperfections on the body are confined to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it patch of missing paint on the border between the two colours on the nearside front wing.

    The quartet of whitewall tyres aren’t of uniform make, with Avon Turbospeeds at the front and Mastercraft and Cooper rears. Still, they’re all in very good order, as are the wheeltrims.

    Under the bonnet, attention has been paid to detailing, and the only cosmetic flaw is rust around the edges of the brake fluid reservoir top, no doubt due to past spillages.

    Open the doors and you’re treated to pure, indulgent Rolls-Royce luxury, with acres of wood and nicely seasoned leather.
    As with the rest of the car, effort has obviously been expended to keep it looking fresh and clean, and the cream leather (with contrasting black piping) and carpets are free of grime. However, the driver’s side carpet is getting threadbare around the plastic mat. There’s some lifting of the wood veneer around the auxiliary gauge apertures and rectangular warning panel, but that’s it.
    Everything electrical functions as it should (aside from the slightly sporadic seatbelt warning light), including the clock - usually one of the first items to stop working on Shadows. A period radio and Blaupunkt cassette player look at home in the centre console. A working immobiliser is fitted, but there are the remains of a previous security device, in the form of a small numerical keypad, dangling from the driver’s side of the windscreen top.

    Nothing is amiss with the driving experience; it’s the expected and usual wafty and cossetting silky ride, where the driver provides the very minimum of effort. The genteel nature is disturbed only by the sharp brakes and kickdown, prompting the otherwise imperceptible automatic gearchanges to poke the lazy V8 into some very un-Shadow-like behaviour.
    Cheaper Silver Shadows are available, but you can spend a small fortune putting little niggles right. Given this car’s lack of real issues, we believe it represents decent value.

    CHOOSE YOUR ROLLS

    ► The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow supersedes the Silver Cloud in 1965, with the badge- engineered Bentley christened the T-series.

    The Cloud’s 6230cc V8 is carried over, but the monocoque construction and square-rigged lines are radical advances for traditional customers.

    ► Two-door saloons are introduced during 1966, built by James Young and Mulliner Park Ward. The latter also builds a convertible the following year.

    ► The GM400 three-speed automatic transmission is standardised in 1968, a year before long-wheelbase models are debuted. Two years after this, the V8’s capacity increases in displacement to 6750cc.

    ► The MPW convertibles receive a few tweaks and are renamed Corniches for 1971. There’s a change to the ‘standard’ saloons in 1974 when wider tyres require flared wheelarches.

    ► Series 2 cars come out during 1977, with plastic-faced bumpers, a front spoiler, new facia and split-level air conditioning. They persist until 1980, although the Corniche and its Bentley Continental sister continue through to 1995.

    SPECIFICATION

    Price £19,995
    Contact Hanwells Bentley & Rolls-Royce, Hanwell, London (hanwells.net, 020 8567 9729)
    Engine 6750cc. V8
    Power [email protected]
    Torque 290lb [email protected]
    Performance
    Top speed: 120mph;
    0-60mph: 10.2sec
    Fuel consumption: 14mpg
    Length: 5372mm
    Width: 1824mm
    INSURANCE £217
    COMPREHENSIVE, 5000 MILES PER YEAR, GARAGED CALL: 01277 206911
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  •   Paul Capper reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR R-R Silver Shadow II / #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Shadow-II / #Rolls-Royce / #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Shadow

    Name John Leighton Age 56
    Occupation Consultant
    First classic This one Dream classic This one, too
    Daily driver Mercedes-Benz E-class convertible
    Best trip Any journey in the R-R except the one to France!

    FOR THE LOVE OF A FLYING LADY

    Little could I have known what lay in store when a friend asked if I’d like to go to the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club meeting at Harewood House in 2014. I was immediately captivated and, inexplicably, was drawn in particular to the Silver Shadows, of which there were quite a few. Then, the penny dropped. In the early 1980s I worked for Heron Motor Group in Newcastle, and at that time the Shadow II was Rolls-Royce’s current model. I decided that my first classic should be one. After all, I reasoned, interest rates are so poor right now, why not have the best car in the world.

    What could possibly go wrong? From my younger days, I knew a technician, Alan Fearon, who had been my contemporary at Heron and who now had a garage locally. I asked whether he would be happy to look after a Shadow for me, and when he reassured me that he could easily take care of a 35 year old (the car, not me) I began searching for the Rolls-Royce of my dreams.

    I found one in Northampton with reasonable service history and good provenance. Spookily, it was identical to a car that had languished for months in the Heron showroom while I was working there, and I soon discovered more coincidences. It had originally been sold by Heron’s Halesowen dealership within a couple of days of my 21st birthday. It was clearly a sign that we were meant to be together. Once I got it home, I arranged with Alan – who was about to become my ‘new best friend’ – to give the car the once-over. After a few days, during which time he replaced the ignition system and some suspension parts, she was ready for the road. Then followed a period of really getting to know her.


    ‘Given the complexity of the Shadow, the first weeks were spent worrying that something might go wrong’

    Given the infamous complexity of the Shadow, the first weeks were spent sitting on the edge of the seat, worrying that something might go wrong. But summer went without a hitch, and soon autumn arrived.

    Alan worked his magic once again, preparing the car for the winter. Jobs included various fluid changes, leaks addressed, new hoses, antifreeze, a carburettor overhaul and handbrake pads. Oh yes, and a good dose of Waxoyl. And so to bed, metaphorically, for the winter, with the occasional run on dry days to keep things moving. In the spring it was time to hit the road again, but not before hitting the workshop for further repairs. This time it was to replace the water pump and overcome the new problem of the brakes binding, as well as replacing the suspension and brake flexi pipes. Surely that was it, I thought – but not before fitting a couple of new Avon Turbosteels.

    I was excited to discover that there was a large classic car rally planned in northern France in May, so decided it would be the ideal opportunity to tackle something a little more ambitious. In preparation, Alan repaired a leaking hydraulic cooler and a window lift. Unfortunately, on the way to the ferry the car ‘failed to proceed’ – the fan having gone through the radiator. Thankfully, Alan was once again at the ready and feeling a bit sorry for me! Fortunately, the rest of the summer was a breeze, with some delightful drives wafting up the Northumberland coast and around the Yorkshire Dales. Let’s hope this year the car will let me pay my debts!

    Clockwise, from above: ‘failing to proceed’; on show at club event; sybaritic cabin; R-R in good company; timeless John Blatchley styling.

    A happy owner poses proudly alongside his 1980 Silver Shadow II.
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