﹒21,307 miles from new with full dealer service history
﹒Two owners from new
﹒Same recent owner for 20 years.
﹒One of 329 models made
In 2000 the flagship model for Rolls Royce, the Corniche was the most expensive and therefore the most exclusive Rolls Royce available. Over a short production run of two years, 329 of the hand-built convertibles were crafted, with just 38 of those being ordered in RHD. The Corniche became the last ever Rolls Royce to come out of the Crewe factory and represents the brand at a critical point in its history, but its intent was crystal clear.
Built for luxury, the Corniche has an underpinning of sophisticated computer ride control and suspension damping, yet it still presents the driver with the traditional virtues of veneer and old-stool chromed-mushroom vent pull switches.
This example finished in Wildberry with contrasting Tangier interior trim has a recorded mileage of just 21,307. It has seen two owners over its 21-year life, with its last guardian owning the car for around 20 of those years. Immaculately maintained by both Broughtons of Cheltenham and Jack Barclay, the car has also received a recent health check courtesy of vendors Marlow Cars.
Originally registered by HR Owen in London, the car was bought by its second owner, a self-made civil engineer director when the car was a few months old. The documentation suggests it has seen three owners since 2000, but this is a DVLA anomaly as the car was registered under his company name, and following the V5 being mislaid and a procedure to revert to the original registration, the DLVA paperwork has incorrectly stated an additional ownership change. All this drama can be verified by the paperwork, which is all invoiced to the same owner. The car was used regularly in the first 15 years of its life and then placed in storage in 2018. As a result, the car has covered less than 1,000 miles in the last five years.
Now being placed for sale by prestige cars specialists, Marlow Cars, this example is typical of the low mileage well-prepared examples the company specialises in. The car has gone through their vigorous health checks, which has resulted in the reset of the pressures and levels, as well as the replacement of the brake accumulators. A mot was carried out at the beginning of this year and has a ticket to January 2022.
As expected for a car of considerable stature, it has a well-kept folder of its service history records, along with every note of work documented. All of the work has been carried out by Rolls Royce main dealers, and therefore available for review. Among the documentation, some of the items covered include all of the MOT and servicing, attention to repair minor scratches, a replacement rear demister motor, a steering rack recon and new front tyres & battery in 2014. The car also comes with a spec-list of original fittings, as well as all of its handbooks.
The epitome of taste and decadence with chrome gauges, wood trim and elegant-to-the-touch switchgear aids the feeling of complete calmness, setting the tone of why people buy these cars. The ambience is the prelude to the comfortable and hushed driving experience, and it would be impossible for a well-maintained Corniche to ever fall short of Rolls Royce expectations. The quality of the Connolly leather seats partly due to the low recorded mileage of the car, are in very good condition. There is just a hint of light patina on the squab and bench of the driver's seat. The door cards are in very good condition with the distinctive wrap over fully veneered waist rails in superb condition. Once the hood is up, the inner wool-lined top is in excellent condition with no marks or damage.
The dashboard presentation is dominated by the Burr walnut veneer finish, which has aged well, with a few minor imperfections evident on the centre console. The switchgear has very limited wear, the beautiful chrome dials looking like new. The leather body-coloured facia is in good condition with no issues in regards to damage or cracks. The car comes with its thick Wilton wool over mats, all are in excellent condition. The carpet is in good condition, with just a minor suggestion of wear. All of the dashboard controls, dials and switches are said to be operational and in full working order. The steering wheel finished in wild berry, is in good condition, with some evidence of wear observed on the base and thumb grip of the leather steering wheel. The car uses a column change, which is in good condition and in full working order.
The body structure is as to be expected, is in very good order. The shut lines are even throughout out with no suggestions of damaged panels. The car is free from dents with no significant marks observed on the metalwork. Very minor signs of surface corrosion were noted on the insides of the lower rear arches where they meet the sills, with some additional blemishes observed along the near-side lower edge of the sill. There is also a patch that has appeared externally on the same side of the sill at the very bottom of the B-pillar where it meets the chrome trim. These should be considered as light blemishes rather than issues but worth treating at some point. The engine bay is structurally good, although the scuttle plate has minor signs of corrosion coming through. All doors open and close with ease, the hinges are still up to the job although the bonnet struts may need re-gassing as they struggle to hold the weight of the bonnet for any significant length of time.
The Wild Berry coloured cloth hood is in excellent condition, with no issues with tears, rips or damage. The condition of the roof strongly suggests that the car has been kept indoors throughout its life. The hood functions well with no immediate problems. The glass is in good shape, with no damage to the laminate observed. There are no cracks or chips on any of the panes, including the rear plastic drop head glass. The door rubbers and seals are in good condition, with minor signs of age but no evidence of leaks. The wheels are in good condition, with no marks, kerb or significant stone chip damage. Shod with Avon Turbo speed tyres, the front items were replaced in 2014, and all are above legal minimum tread level. The chrome work is in fine fettle, with the most prominent aspect of the car, the grille and Spirit of Ecstasy wearing the years well. The other pieces of detailing, such as chrome strips on the bumpers, hip-line, sills and rear detail are in very good order.
The paint coverage is very good, with a deep lustre evident throughout the body. The paint has been well maintained, with no evidence of swirls or imperfections. You'll be relieved to know but not entirely surprised that there are no signs of overspray or poor touching up. The car has been subject to scratch and scuff treatment during its lifetime, suggesting a duty of care carried out by its owners. The body flank is broken up by a distinctive tangier coloured coded fine line, which is a detail that delights and offers you a suggestion of the interior colour. There is no notable stone chip damage evident on the front of the car, with all door edges also look in remarkably good shape. The bumpers are free from any significant scuffs or evidence of mishaps, there is the slightest sign of age creeping in but certainly, nothing that distracts. The sills were repainted in 2015.
With a full set of Louis Vuitton suitcases and two occupants, the car will tip the scales at 3 tonnes, so it is very clear that these cars are not designed to be driven crudely. The emphasis is on comfort, but the well-proven 325bhp 6.75-litre turbocharged engine with some impressive torque can offer more than a hint of brisk progress if pressed. The engine has been well maintained throughout its life, with evidence of regular main dealer servicing and maintenance. Needless to say, the engine starts up without hesitation, and once the condensation dissipates, the car continues to idle sweetly. The car is said to drive well, with no unwanted creaking from the suspension or issues with the brakes. The electrical system of the car has been maintained, and all is said to be functional.
How many other 20-year-old convertibles still command the respect and dignity of a Rolls Royce? This car has presence, craftsmanship and power - all the values of a Rolls Royce with a dose of extra rarity. The divine interior is perfect for continental cruising, but realistically more than adequate to journey down to the coast or up to the highlands. Either way, arrive in silence, arrive in style and most importantly arrive in a Corniche.
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