1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Drophead Coupé by Mulliner Park Ward

Highlights


・Owned within two families for most of its life
・Older refurbishment wit re-trimmed interior
・Electric roof in full working order with bespoke tonneau
・MOT and tax exempt


THE BACKGROUND


If you wanted the accoutrements and luxury of a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow but preferred to do the driving yourself, then the Corniche was your answer.

Introduced in 1966, it was a two-door version of the luxurious Silver Shadow saloon, coachbuilt on Rolls-Royce's behalf by Mulliner Park Ward in London.

There were two versions of the Corniche available. A two-door coupe, along with a striking and this: the elegant convertible version, which suited the Silver Shadow’s handsome lines.

Power came from Rolls-Royce’s venerable 6.75-litre engine, married to a three-speed General Motors Torqueflite transmission with a steering column selector.

In its day, this was one of the most expensive cars that money could buy. But then that's hardly surprising, as each one was hand-built to order.

The car we have here is a Series I Corniche, which is largely regarded as the most desirable as the later Series II cars have thicker rubber bumpers and lack the earlier model’s simple design elegance. It is one of the very earliest known survivors, dating from 1968, and is an older renovation completed in the early 2000s. 

THE HISTORY


This car was sold new through Mead of Maidenhead and was delivered to its first owner, a Percy Myers, Esq., at Portland Place, London W.1, in mid-1968. It was originally finished in Ming Blue with blue leather upholstery and was supplied with a Radiomobile 980 radio, Dunlop tyres, Sundym glass, refrigeration, a hood bag, side repeater lamps, rectangular wing mirrors and safety belts as optional extras. 

To have used a Portland Place address, Percy Myers must have been an important figure, and he made sure people knew it by purchasing the private registration PM 15.

When not in London, the Rolls-Royce lived with the Myers family at their home in Bray, Berkshire, and in the 1990s it made several visits to Mead of Burnham for routine maintenance and upkeep. 

Upon the original owner’s death (after 31 years of ownership), the car passed to his wife and then his nephew, but he only drove it for a short while before parking it in a barn on his farm in Denham, where it remained until 2005.

The next power renovated the car to his own tastes, changing the colour to an eye-catching red and reupholstering the interior in black leather with red piping. It was also re-registered on an age-related number plate.

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THE PAPERWORK


The Silver Shadow comes with a far few papers showing its previous maintenance and history, including multiple invoices issued by Mead of Burnham in the 1990s (a Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer), the last MoT certificate from 2018, and a letter from the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club detailing some of the car’s history and supplying a copy of the original build sheet.

Some original factory literature is also to be sold with the car, including The Handbook of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow/Bentley T Series 2-Door Saloon, a manual for the torque converter transmission in right-hand drive cars and the Lubrication and Maintenance chart.

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THE EXTERIOR 


The bold red paint means this isn’t a car for shrinking violets, but it wears the bright colour scheme well. 

The paint is in good condition overall, but there are defects in the finish, a chip on the bonnet and a handful of minor blemishes. The chrome is all excellent, while that imposing radiator grille and the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot are superb. It has old Avon Turbospeed tyres, though they have good tread. 

The original Ming Blue paint is visible in a few patches inside the door frame, which is perhaps not a bad thing if you would be interested in returning the car to its original specification, as it should make it easier to find the correct paint.

Underneath, it appears solid but there is some surface rust in places and the sills look to require more immediate attention; so remedial work would be a good idea.

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THE INTERIOR 


The interior was reupholstered in 2005 and is in largely good condition, with only minor signs of wear. 

The carpets are in good order and the rear seats appear to have seen little use. The walnut dash is in very good condition and retains its attractive shine, but the wooden capping strips which run along the top of the doors have not fared so well and are cracked and worn. 

The hood is wonderful and retracts fully in just a few seconds at the press of a switch, and is wonderfully engineered. But then, this was a very expensive car. The roof is in fine order (over £12,000 was spent refurbishing it!) and comes with a tailored tonneau. 

Unfortunately, the inner headlining is showing its age in a few places and one of the electric windows cannot quite be opened fully. The car may also benefit from new rubber seals between the door and the windscreen frame, while the central locking is currently inoperative.

The original seatbelts and radio have been removed at some stage for more modern replacements, with inertia reel belts.

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THE MECHANICS 


The Rolls-Royce starts well and holds good oil pressure. It emits a fair amount of smoke on start up, but once this clears it doesn’t appear to burn any oil and runs well. 

It’s also a little jerky going into gear when cold, though once warmed up this eases completely. 

The power steering is astonishing – you can twirl the wheel with your finger. That makes it great around town or as a boulevard cruiser, but not quite so assured on the open road. 

The odometer reads just under 26,000 miles, but this was replaced when the car was refurbished as the original had stopped. The original speedometer is included with the car and shows a total of 38,574 miles covered prior to that, taking the total mileage to just under 65,000.

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THE APPEAL


This is one of the last Rolls-Royce models to be built by an external coachbuilder and has a sense of occasion unlike any other car on the road. It’s grand and imposing, built with craft and care.

It’s not a perfect example, but those in the absolute best condition command astonishing money these days. This one is a very smart car with no immediately visible horrors. An older refurbishment that presents well and is extremely usable, as well as having an interesting, documented past.


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1968
  • Make Rolls Royce
  • Model Silver Shadow
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 25,926 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
61 bids
  • Fa•••• £38,250 28/11/21
  • Wi•••• £38,000 28/11/21
  • Fa•••• £37,750 28/11/21
  • Wi•••• £37,500 28/11/21
  • Fa•••• £37,250 28/11/21
  • Wi•••• £37,000 28/11/21
  • Fa•••• £36,750 28/11/21
  • Wi•••• £36,500 28/11/21
  • Fa•••• £36,250 28/11/21
  • Wi•••• £36,000 28/11/21

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