The Spirit of Excellence
“From its hand sculpted radiator grille to its matched walnut veneers, a Rolls Royce leaves no room for compromise, for it is built to last….built according to the principles set down more than three-quarters of a century ago by Sir Frederick Henry Royce.”
This pristine example of classic Rolls Royce luxury is a very rare saloon. It is the 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Long Wheelbase version with the extremely rare rear window treatment. A Long Wheelbase saloon always had the smaller limousine style rear window treatment with its top covered in Everflex. Only 20 or so were made, because of the rarity the price was considerably more. This costly option was deleted in 1976. The Silver Shadow enjoyed the spotlight as having the largest production volume of any Rolls Royce Model.
The Silver Shadow Long Wheelbase saloon as with all Rolls Royce long Wheelbase saloons are built at a restricted pace. The increase in wheelbase from the standard 119.5” to 123.5” added more legroom for the rear occupants. Carpeted footrests and an Everflex padded roof were highlights to the Long Wheelbase saloons.
Some were fitted with the electric window division which is highly sought after by today’s collectors. The cars fitted with this electric division lost the added four inches. A total of 2,780 1969-1976 Silver Shadow Long Wheelbase saloons were built. Refreshed as the Silver Shadow II in 1977, the Long Wheelbase variant was called the Silver Wraith II and production was limited to 2,135 vehicles made from 1977-1980. The Silver Shadow and Silver Wraith II Long Wheelbase saloons are highly collectible today.
The Silver Shadow was produced in many forms from its inception in 1965 through the 1980 model year. This was the first Rolls Royce to utilize monocoque construction where the body and chassis are fused into a single entity providing a more rigid structure.
The Silver Shadow was a dramatic departure from the Silver Cloud series. The Silver Shadow retains those classic styling cues forming them into contemporary Rolls Royce architecture. Every Rolls Royce is designed to make the former models appear timeless, which adds tremendously to owner loyalty. The Next model never makes the previous model look dated or outmoded. Besides, every Rolls Royce is a masterpiece. I always compare the Rolls Royce to a fine Chateau Lafite Rothschild………it only gets better with age.
The Silver Shadow was originally equipped with a 6.2 litre V8 from 1965-1969. The NOTORIOUS 6.75 litre V8 was used from 1970-1980. Both engines used a General Motors sourced turbo hydramatic 400 series transmission. The Silver Shadow introduced many new features to the Rolls Royce heritage such as disc brakes, and independent four-wheel suspension systems. This was the most advance Rolls Royce in history at the time. The Silver Shadow was Rolls Royce’s most significant model since the Silver Ghost.
Its code name during its inception was “Tibet”. The car was a major leap ahead of its predecessors. All power and every luxury such as power windows, power seats, air conditioning, power fuel filler door, and power antenna were standard. The hydraulic system operated from the camshaft was a major advance powering the brakes and the self-leveling independent suspension.
The high pressure hydraulic system with dual circuit braking and hydraulic leveling were innovative features. First, both front and rear dampers were controlled by the system but the front was discontinued in 1968, the rear assembly did most of the work anyway. This set-up worked better.
The Connolly leather, warm walnut veneers, and Wilton hand-tufted carpets bring a tasteful elegance, a timeless elegance….a highly sought elegance. There’s nothing quite like a Rolls Royce…..except another Rolls Royce. With its exclusivity and hand crafted dedication to building as fine a car as human ingenuity can achieve, a Rolls Royce precludes the restless quest for something better to replace it with. Once you have driven the marque NOTHING else comes close. There’s no more enviable position….than viewing the world from behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce.