1975 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow – Classified of the Week

3

By Chris Pollitt

The Rolls Royce brand is one that transcends the automotive world. Instead, a Rolls Royce is a byword for wealth, for luxury, for having made it. And of course, it’s quintessentially British, because if there’s one thing we do well, it’s luxury. Modern Rolls Royces are perhaps a bit brash and a bit, dare we say, gaudy. A classic Rolls Royce, however, is more delicate and more considered. As evidenced by this frankly stunning 1975 Silver Shadow. 

Rolls, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Silver Shadow, classic Rolls Royce, Rolls, luxury car, Silver Shadow I, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, car and classic, carandclassic.co.uk

The Silver Shadow was a deeply important car for Rolls Royce. Its offerings prior to this were seen as dated. Rolls Royce needed something new, something that would win the affections of buyers, but most of all, it had to be a car that would revitalise the brand. Rolls Royce was still a brand associated with luxury, but as the years rolled by it also developed an unfortunate association with being old hat and not at all modern. Its cars relied on body-on-frame construction, they embodied styling that had links back to the 1940s and they weren’t particularly rewarding to drive. Something had to be done. 

In 1965 the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow blew the dust off the brand and showed the motoring world that Rolls Royce was king. The car, designed by John Polwhele Blatchley, was smaller than the outgoing Silver Cloud, yet thanks to clever design was bigger inside. This was thanks in part to the use of a unitary monocoque construction. The Silver Shadow had revolutionary suspension, consisting of a hydropneumatic system used under licence from Citroën. The rear suspension was fully independent and it was also self-levelling. Disc brakes were fitted instead of the old drums. 

Rolls, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Silver Shadow, classic Rolls Royce, Rolls, luxury car, Silver Shadow I, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, car and classic, carandclassic.co.uk

Power-wise, the Silver Shadow was initially fitted with a 172hp 6.2L V8, however from 1969 onwards, this was upped to 189hp 6.75L V8. Being a 1975, that bigger engine is what’s fitted to the car here, along with a Turbo Hydramatic 400 four-speed automatic transmission. 

Staying with the Shadow we’ve chosen here, it is, as mentioned, a 1975 model. This makes it the better version to have. By ‘75, the Shadow was a decade old, and as such, Rolls has pretty much perfected it. You get all the design and spec as mentioned above, plus lashings of leather, chrome and deep, rich wood veneer. It truly is pure luxury on wheels. Furthermore, these earlier cars look better. In the late ‘70s, they grew unfortunate, part rubber bumpers which spoiled the look. These early cars with a balanced amount of chrome just look better. 

Rolls, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Silver Shadow, classic Rolls Royce, Rolls, luxury car, Silver Shadow I, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, car and classic, carandclassic.co.uk

This car has been restored, including a full repaint complete with hand-painted detail work such as the fine lines that flank the car, along with fully restored brightwork. Under the skin, the car has had a mechanical overhaul with new gaskets, seals, a full service and much more. The car even sits on a new set of Avon Turbosteel tyres. 

Rolls, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Silver Shadow, classic Rolls Royce, Rolls, luxury car, Silver Shadow I, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, car and classic, carandclassic.co.uk

It comes with a dizzyingly comprehensive history file detailing all works, services and owners and as such is one of the most well-documented Rollers out there. We absolutely adore this slice old old school luxury, and you should too. There are other luxury cars out there, no doubt, but none are quite as impressive as an old Roller. And this has to be one of the best of its kind. And this 1975 Silver Shadow can be yours for a mere £23,950. Bargain.

Enjoyed this article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles, news, classic cars, auctions and events every Thursday - compiled expertly by the Car & Classic team