Guide Price: £32,000 - £40,000
﹒Recently imported from California.
﹒Full recommissioned, serviced and new MOT.
﹒History file, including factory build records and original invoice.
﹒Road ready for open-air summer driving.
As a coupe and drophead version of the Silver Shadow, the Corniche name ran between 1971 and 1996, previously named at launch in 1966 as the 'Park Ward two-door'. The new generation two-door was a dramatic departure for Rolls-Royce from their traditional platforms, which brought them instant success. Any Corniche convertible is an exclusive machine with fewer than 5,400 being sold between 1971 and the Rolls-Royce version finishing in 1995.
Synonymous with Monaco and the French Riviera, the Corniche took its name from the French meaning for coastal road. Like a fine wine, the Corniche has quietly bided its time to mature into a highly desirable asset, with body and taste truly appreciated by those in the know. Hardly surprising to still find them whisking their owners to a chateau on the continent.
This particular drophead example has recently come out of a collection in the US and been imported from the dry state of California. Upon arrival into the UK, it has undergone a full recommissioning, MOT and V5 registration, ready for summertime top-down driving.
The current owner, an RREC member, acquired this Corniche II in late 2019, from a stored collection in California. Upon arrival into the UK, the car has been subject to a full recommissioning, which has included a full service. The service covered draining and refreshing the engine oil, replacing the filters, spark plugs, flushing the coolant system and fitting new hoses and thermostat etc.
The braking system was also given a good overhaul, including replacement of brake callipers, where required, pads, and the brake pumps either replaced or overhauled. The Citroen designed suspension system also gained all new spheres. Other notable new parts fitted during the recommission were the washer bottle, viscous fan coupling, new battery and correcting the function of the heater controls.
It will come as no surprise that, after all this effort, the motor car was presented with an MOT in August 2020 (With no advisories!). Unfortunately, it was never destined to arrive at its ultimate destination, in the South of France, because Covid got in the way and the friend due to receive the car fell ill.
The paperwork accompanying the car naturally covers the most recent recommissioning work, including parts invoices from Flying Spares, the MOT and the UK V5, ensuring the car can be insured and driven on UK roads.
In addition, the history file includes 62 pages of the original factory build records, the original invoice from 1983, showing a sale price of £67,000 and an original Corniche sales brochure. Finally, the documentation includes the owner’s manual and a continuation service booklet.
The charm of this elegant model is immediately evident when stepping inside this second-generation Corniche. The seats are trimmed with luxurious chocolate leather upholstery piped in cream, all of which is believed to be completely original.
Having covered 146,000 miles, the interior shows some signs of wear commensurate with the mileage but wears its aged leather extremely well. The padded leather door cards are also in good shape, along with the leather steering wheel and dashboard. The carpets are all complete and retain the air of luxury.
The woodwork throughout the interior adds class, and all presents in excellent condition. The internal brightwork of the handles, switch surrounds etc, is again in great condition.
In-car entertainment is provided by a Sony head unit, with a boot mounted CD changer. All electrics and controls appear original and are stated as working as they should. On the day of the photoshoot, the rear passenger side window was inoperable, but the owner has stated this will be rectified and fully functional, ahead of the sale of the vehicle.
The prominent shape and bodywork of this Corniche is all in great condition, finished in a graceful cream with a matching cream power roof, which is in excellent condition, fully operational and has an accompanying tailored cover, matching the colour of the seats beautifully. You can see a video of this roof in action by clicking here.
The standout presence of this two-door convertible is a real crowd pleaser, evident during the photoshoot, drawing in admiring and enquiring onlookers.
Upon very close inspection, there are a very few areas of light corrosion on the bodywork and with the underside showing some signs of surface corrosion, to be expected given the car’s age and mileage. However, on balance the exterior is generally very smart, set off by the brightwork of the Rolls Royce badged chromed wheels. All tyres appear to be in good shape with plenty of remaining tread.
The front end, including the bonnet, headlight surrounds, bumper and trims have very few minor stone chips, and certainly far less than expected for a car of its age. The exterior brightwork is in very good condition, with a good shine and only minimal age-related pitting as expected. Door shuts, sills, wings, inner wings and valances all appear in good solid condition.
Overall, this Corniche looks to be in good mechanical shape throughout, starting every time, sounding great on the move and coming to a stop with ease. The 6.75-litre alloy-block V8 engine sounds great, with a no suspect sights or sounds. The engine bay represents very well and appears to have been subject to regular servicing, with the most recent being an extensive recommission.
Everything seems to work as intended, in terms of electrics, controls and functions and no suspect noises where noted when either idling, on the move or shutting off the engine.
The attraction of this elegant summer cruiser is the evident splendour and its timeless presence on the road. The design and build quality still hold their own today and would proudly serve any owner on a cruise to the South of France or Mediterranean destination.
Whether you’re looking to add to your collection, scratching a Rolls Royce itch or looking for a timeless drophead summer cruiser, a Rolls Royce Corniche will take classic car ownership to a whole new level. This particular example certainly won’t disappoint and is ready for open top, open road summer driving.
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