Rolls Royce is the pride of the UK and the envy of the world. The Silver Spirit is a contemporary Rolls Royce. It introduced aerodynamic efficiency to the brand. The Silver Spirit and its long wheelbase variant the Silver Spur are two of the most exciting and significant four-door saloons from Rolls Royce. They combine traditional Rolls Royce qualities long associated with the brand and a modern aerodynamically efficient silhouette. The Series IV Silver Spirit and Silver Spur saloons were the final refinements for the models.
It is the job of the designer to ensure that the unique features which give the Rolls Royce its identity are recreated in a subtle manner in each new model. The classic silhouette of the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur is a collage of Rolls Royce DNA. Their architecture was the first to feature the retractable Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. It is spring-loaded and retracts into the radiator grille if tampered with. The sweeping uncluttered bodywork is understated yet every inch a Rolls Royce. Exterior refinements for the Series IV models include integrated body colored impact absorbing front and rear bumpers and new 16” wheels.
One of the most challenging issues to face the designer is the ever-present compromise between form and function. Every detail of a Rolls Royce from its cabin to exterior features must do two things: it must perform its job in a manner as perfect as possible and it must be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur are strikingly individual motorcars, modern yet timeless. The designers of each generation of the Rolls Royce motorcar have succeeded in creating styling continuity. Each subsequent model reflects its legendary Rolls Royce heritage.
A Rolls Royce maintains a poised dignity by avoiding trendy fashionable embellishments and garish trim. However much the past has been honored, the latest engineering advancement in the relentless search for perfection is not forgotten. It is the important details such as rejecting features that would create ‘drag’ at high speeds that make a significant difference. The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur were designed with the aid of computers and tested in wind tunnels to improve their aerodynamic efficiency. This guarantees significant advances in overall directional stability with greater abilities to battle crosswinds as well as noise.
Each new Rolls Royce motorcar is the superlative successor to the previous model. Styling is more than giving shape to an automobile. Function, efficiency, serviceability, and longevity are far more important to the designer than passing trends. A Rolls Royce is a blending of traditional materials and advanced engineering. Rolls Royce adheres to its distinguished and undaunted reputation for fine workmanship and NOTORIOUS reliability.
The goal of Rolls Royce engineers is to provide quality, refinement and comfort in a luxurious motorcar second to none. They want you to step into a Rolls Royce and into a world of virtual silence and unsurpassed comfort. Although advanced engineering is built into the car it is never introduced simply for its own sake…for the construction of the best car in the world; there is no room for compromise…”Nil fato relinquemus.”
Silver Spur IV
Main styling characteristics identify the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur as a Rolls Royce. The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy on the classic radiator grille and the car’s “nose-up” attitude. Their curvaceous body panels hint at previous Rolls Royce architecture.
Balmoral is the pride of the UK
The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur with their classic bodyshell immediately set new standards in refinement, elegance, and sophistication. The passenger compartment is a steel shell protected both front and rear by impact-absorbing sections designed to accordion at a controlled rate upon impact.
The doors with their vault-like construction are braced against a side impact, in a 30 mph collision they will not jam-shut nor burst open. The bumpers do not deform easily and resist minor impact. In the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur form follows function…
Silver Spirit IV
They aren’t badged with “IV” numerals out of respect for far Eastern countries where this is the symbol of death. The new Silver Spirit was built from 1996 until 1997 and the Silver Spur was built from 1996 until 2000. Only 145 new Silver Spirits were built and 802 new Silver Spurs respectively. A special version of the Silver Spur called the Silver Dawn was introduced for the U.S. market first then released in other markets. The Silver Dawn was built from 1995 until 1998. All models from 1997 on were built on the long wheelbase platform.
Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars
Silver Spirit IV
It is the rear compartment of the Silver Spur that is unusually spacious. The installation of multi-media and communication equipment was available to conduct business while traveling. The large window area enhances the impression of space and light. The rear passenger compartment is over four inches longer than that of the Silver Spirit.
The Silver Spur with its extended wheelbase was available with power glass division. It can be operated by both driver and rear compartment passengers. The rear compartment has its own independent air conditioning system providing heated and cooled air. The audio system can be operated via remote control from the rear compartment.
Folding carpeted rear seat footrests fold out-of-the-way and are located just below the division. Options were available to make this highly bespoke saloon as individual as its owner’s requirements. The downside to the glass division is the fact that it takes up all of the extra room the extended wheelbase provides. This is the main reason that this option is extremely rare. The division is better suited in the Park Ward Limousines where there is more rear compartment legroom.
This division is from the Silver Shadow LWB saloon
The fuel injected 6.75 litre V8 produces an impressive amount of power when required. It will move with ease through London’s west end or put it through its paces on a nice leafy run on the interstate. A Rolls Royce moves with tremendous verve and élan. It is equally at home in the Hamptons or St. Tropez…a Rolls Royce is at home anywhere in the world.
To provide the performance expected of a Rolls Royce, the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur are powered by the spirited 6.75 litre 412 CID 16-valve V8 engine. Its block is constructed of high silicon content aluminium. The cylinder heads are also made from aluminium with cast iron wet liners. Its hardened steel crankshaft runs in five main bearings. The engine has an electronic ignition.
For the 1996 model year a new Zytec engine management system replaced the old Bosch system. This measure improved horsepower, reduced petrol consumption, and further refined and optimized the silent motorcar to new standards of excellence. For the 1997 model year a Garrett turbocharger was introduced and used on all models. The Rolls Royce 6.75 litre V8 has been refined through evolution.
…Big Ben is on the prowl
Performance for Rolls Royce motorcars has been referred to as “adequate” when quizzed regarding it. I am using Bentley engine and performance specifications. The 1996 Bentley Brooklands uses the same 6.75 litre 16-valve V8 that is naturally aspirated with fuel injection. It produces 241 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 500 Nm of peak torque @2,000 rpm. Performance is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 32.4 seconds with a top speed of 122 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 17.7 seconds.
The 1996 Bentley Brooklands “R” is also uses a fuel injected and naturally aspirated 6.75 litre V8 that produces 300 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 600 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Its performance is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.2 seconds with a top speed of 134 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.5 seconds.
All versions of the 6.75 litre V8 for 1996-1997 are mated to the GM 4L80-E 4-speed automatic transmission for both Bentley and Rolls Royce motorcars. I used the Bentley performance specifications to demonstrate this engine’s ability to move with aplomb.
The Bentley is as luxurious as the Rolls Royce
The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur rode on a four-wheel independent suspension with automatic ride height control. The front suspension uses lower wishbones with compliant controlled upper levers, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar and anti-dive geometry. The rear suspension is set-up for automatic ride height control. It uses semi-trailing arms, suspension struts, gas springs, anti-roll bar, and anti-squat geometry. The hydraulic system uses mineral oil as the fluid medium.
The Mulliner Flying Spur is a high-performance turbocharged version of the Silver Spur.They were built between 1994 and 1995. Silver Spur Touring Limousines and limited edition Park Ward Limousines were also built based on the Silver Spur platform.
Note the meticulous Mulliner detail
Note the rich custom veneers
Mulliner Specifications are the epitome of opulence
1997 Park Ward Limousine
A Rolls Royce Silver Spirit is constructed of 80,000 pieces. Each part aside from the nuts and bolts is identified by a number…after the magic has been worked up to thirteen weeks later, all the pieces have come together to make the best car in the world. The Silver Spirit and its long wheelbase variant the Silver Spur when introduced in 1980 were the next generation of the Rolls Royce motorcar. Aerodynamics play a major role in their refinement. They are designed to appear longer, lower, and wider.
The refinement evolved over four series of Silver Spirit and Silver Spur models. The Silver Spirit ended production in 1997. The Silver Spur lived on until the Silver Seraph replaced it in 1998. The Silver dawn, Mulliner Flying Spur, Silver Spur Limousine, and The Park Ward were models built from the Silver Spur platform. The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur are the pride of the UK…and the envy of the world. A Rolls Royce precludes the restless quest for something finer to replace it with…
Good taste never goes out of style… the Silver Wraith II
Hello to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum…
Pride of the UK…and the envy of the entire world…