The Crewe Collection: Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Limited Editions
“Nil fato relinquemus…”
UK version Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
In all of motordom…there is no more avant-garde manner to arrive than in a Rolls-Royce limited edition motorcar. These superb special creations are built at a highly restricted pace to retain their exclusivity and supremacy, each becomes an instant collectible. Each is highly sought among connoisseurs of fine automobiles.
Rolls-Royce has always had a notorious fashion in which to discharge special edition motorcars that leaves an indelible impression upon the industry. After its auspicious debut, the Silver Spirit redefined the classification for the ultra-luxury saloon segment. Its long wheelbase variant, the Silver Spur introduced contemporary eloquence for today’s changing world…formal enough for chauffeured use for special black-tie affairs.
USA version Rolls-Royce Silver Spur
The versatile beauty of the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur inspired coachbuilders to create automotive masterpieces. The artisans of Crewe partnered with eminent coachbuilders such as Hooper & Company, HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young…even Pininfarina of Italy. Before undertaking such a task, approval from Rolls-Royce was required. The car’s character could not reflect anything other than keeping them as the ultimate in luxurious road-going vehicles.
The modifications had to be not only aesthetically satisfying but tasteful as well… Rolls-Royce has prospered and maintained its pre-eminence in the world of ultra-luxury cars. They build vehicles that are beyond reproach. A challenging task such as the modification of these magnificent motorcars requires craftsmen with skills and the ability to expedite them successfully. This is why Hooper & Company had such a long and rewarding tenure with Rolls-Royce. Hooper & Company was an eminent British coachcrafter established in 1896.
1988 Hooper coachbuilt Silver Spirit two-door saloon
The first time Rolls-Royce buyer is intrigued by it in its production form. After that, the client wants something more elaborate. This is where Hooper & Company provided the personalization. They would modify the vehicle into a work of art. Hooper did a lot of post-build custom work for Rolls-Royce.
As a manufacturer, this type of individual personalization is time-consuming; therefore, Rolls-Royce could not perform many of the detailed tasks involved. Hooper & Company brought a substantially different appearance to standard production vehicles. They satisfied the client’s desire for individuality and personalization of their luxury car.
The coachbuilt Silver Spirit two-door saloon is crafted as one of their superlatives. These are extremely rare and highly collectible. It is built on the standard Silver Spirit platform. Hooper handcrafted the saloon re-working the architecture. Larger front doors are used in addition to the rear quarter panels and re-worked “C” pillars. The rear window is frenched-in making it smaller more on the order of a limousine.
The bumpers are re-designed to give an elegant formal appearance. The rocker panels and lower sills have stainless-steel moldings adding more chrome than the standard Silver Spirit. The cost was a hefty 50% over the original base price. This type of conversion is an intricate engineering effort requiring advanced handcrafting by experienced craftsmen.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur were built in various other limited editions. These custom crafted masterpieces are highly bespoke in every manner epitomizing Rolls-Royce to an even higher level of exclusivity and prestige. One such magnificent creation is the Hooper St. James saloon.
Hooper & Company was acquired by Rolls -oyce in 1970 to be an in-house division for bespoke coachbuilding. The St. James edition is a tribute to Hooper & Company’s establishment located on prestigious St. James Street in London. The 1984 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur saloon is the basis. It’s a one-off creation for Mr. Angelo Markoulis which required almost a year to complete with its build commencing in late 1983.
The elegant and formal Hooper St. James is the ultimate in exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar. It’s truly unique in the world of luxury motoring. Rolls-Royce splendor is exemplified with this lavish creation. The Hooper St. James has an exterior finish in tu-tone Georgian Silver and Ocean Blue.
Signature exterior features includes a closed-in limousine-style rear window treatment, hand painted accent striping, and a sterling silver oversized Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. The body shell has stainless-steel front and rear valances and lower body side rocker moldings. The Hooper St. James has color-keyed front and rear bumpers. “Hooper” and “St. James” nomenclature affixed to the boot lid identifies this as a Rolls-Royce special edition.
Interior opulence is befitting such a prodigious motorcar. Special light blue Luxor leather trimmed with grey Luxor piping makes a bold fashion statement. Mountain Blue carpet edged with grey Luxor leather is a striking visual contrast to the upholstery. Exclusive mirror-matched veneers handcrafted in the Rolls-Royce tradition adds character to this custom motorcar.
Mirror-matched veneers are a Rolls-Royce signature feature
The rear passenger compartment suite is appointed only as a highly bespoke saloon should. It’s equipped with a Panasonic Video/TV display, a rear center storage unit with integrated VCR controls, a Magnavox VCR, a Harris phone system, an Alpine 7146 AM/FM stereo cassette player with an Alpine 3015 equalizer and an Alphasonik Autosub AS-2001.
Rear seat passengers enjoy a power moonroof. Additional amenities includes an Escort Radar Detector, folding rear tray tables with drawers, and crystal ware with a storage unit. The Hooper St. James is the epitome of luxury and elegance transforming the Silver Spur long wheelbase saloon into a personal limousine.
The rear passenger suite includes all the comfort of home
The Hooper St. James is the pinnacle of exclusivity
The Hooper Corniche coachbuilt fixedhead coupé
Hooper also modified the Rolls-Royce Corniche in 1980. They grafted the nose and tail from the Silver Spirit onto Corniche architecture for a completely unique appearance. It is from the “Hooper Corporate Collection.” This Rolls-Royce coupé conversion was delivered in 1979 as a 1980 model.
It’s an exclusive one-off creation. The work took 18 months clocking thousands of hours of work with many major and minor alterations. The highly bespoke saloon is equipped with a $30,000 stereo system by Howard Becker. The Hooper Corniche is fitted with Bailey Sport suspension components to enhance its overall driving dynamics.
Mulliner Park Ward Corniche coachbuilt fixedhead coupé
Exterior enhancements are bold. Take the front end styling for example, it combines the look of the Silver Spirit and the Corniche. The rear is equally as dramatic. The stainless-steel rocker moldings, “RR” wire wheels, and stainless-steel dual exhaust ports augment the architecture. The total cost of the custom coachwork far exceeded the original cost of the car.
Hooper Corniche cabin
A Rolls-Royce two-door coupé has always been a highly bespoke coachbuilt motorcar. Rolls-Royce makes four-door luxury saloons primarily. The coachbuilder designs and builds the two-door fixedhead and drophead coupé per the client’s requisites which makes them highly collectible among connoisseur’s of fine automobiles word-wide.
1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Emperor State Landaulet
Another ultra-exclusive one-off creation was built for an Australian client at a cost of over $1 Million USD. The 1989 Rolls-Royce Emperor State Landaulette from the “Hooper Corporate Collection” is an impressive sight. Work for this magnificent vehicle began in 1988 and continued until 1991. George Moseley was retained by Hooper & Co for this project. He has also worked with the industry’s finest coachbuilders including HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, and Vanden Plas.
The Emperor State Landaulette is built upon the Sliver Spirit platform. The wheelbase extends the stock Silver Spirit’s 120.5” to 143”. The longer wheelbase ensures a smoother ride. The bodyshell was re-worked with new rear quarter panels, new doors, and new glass. The roof was raised for more headroom and a formal appearance. The roof has a removable targa panel and a collapsible rear hood.
The passenger compartment seats four in the lap of Rolls-Royce luxury. It features a power division for privacy. The upholstery in the passenger compartment is grey velour. The driver’s compartment is upholstered in grey Connolly leather. Red carpet lines both compartments with contrasting grey mouton rugs in the passenger compartment. Book-matched walnut burl veneers grace the dash, door garnish rails and trim, even the cocktail cabinet. A separate entertainment system is provided for the passenger compartment.
The bespoke modern coachwork is painted Anvil Black with Regency Red lower body sides. The collapsible rear hood is made of mohair. The roof is covered in matching Everflex. Its elegant architecture cleverly disguises its massive dimensions. This Hooper masterpiece is a collector’s dream…
1986 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur factory limousine
Stately and dignified in all their majesty, Rolls-Royce limousines are luxury in the grand Rolls-Royce manner. As a true superlative in the ultra-luxury automobile class, these handcrafted limousines were always built at a highly restricted pace to retain their exclusivity. These are the most revered saloons in all of motordom. No other formal limousine garners more admiration and respect than a Rolls-Royce…
A Rolls-Royce factory limousine is the quintessential Flagship. The Rolls-Royce Silver Spur is transformed into the ultimate in chauffeur-driven limousines. Mulliner Park Ward handcrafted these automotive masterworks. They are some of the last handcrafted limousines of this type. The Silver Spur Long Wheelbase platform was the perfect base for limousines of distinction.
These formal saloons are built in the grand tradition of coach building. Being the longest of the Rolls-Royce saloons, they offer an exceptionally spacious passenger compartment. These are highly bespoke saloons with no two ever alike which is a Rolls-Royce hallmark. Each reflects the personal requirements of the client while retaining the craftsmanship and quality expected of a Rolls-Royce motorcar. From the hand-sculpted radiator grille to the mirror-matched walnut veneers, a Rolls-Royce leaves no room for compromise –
The luxurious Rolls-Royce factory limousines precludes the finest handcrafted motorcars of this type to motor out of the legendary Crewe facility in the UK. These highly bespoke limousines could be configured as a sophisticated rolling boardroom for the executive who must work while traveling. They could also be configured as an elite entertainment suite with all amenities tailored specifically to the client’s requisites.
1997 Rolls-Royce Park Ward limousine
The Park Ward limousine is a limited edition saloon based upon the Silver Spur. It is extended 24” with an additional 2” added to the roof height. The Park Ward replaced the Silver Spur Touring limousine. These are extremely rare and will reflect this in its value during years to come. The original MSRP was in the neighborhood of $346,000.
The opulent Park Ward limousine was handcrafted from 1996 until 1999. Only a limited number were built. Robert Jankel designed this magnificent motorcar and Mulliner Park Ward crafted it in the formidable Rolls-Royce tradition. The Park Ward limousine was re-named as the Silver Spur Park Ward limousine during the middle of its production run.
The Park Ward limousine features its 24″ stretch at the “B” pillars. This is one of only 6 or 7 factory built models designed for the USA market. The Park Ward limousine was also built as a touring limousine lengthened at the “C” pillar with a fixed opera window. This design is reminiscent of the old Phantom V and Phantom VI limousines. With the highly bespoke nature of these custom saloons, actual production numbers and specifications vary.
Bentley Mulsanne “L” extended wheelbase saloon
“Big Ben” even had its own version Of the Silver Spirit. The Mulsanne “L” is built on the long wheelbase platform. These highly bespoke saloons are extremely rare. The only visual difference between the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce is the radiator grille shell and the bonnet. All of the Rolls-Royce opulence is there. The Bentley is for the owner/driver who preferred to maintain a lower profile.
The Bentley Mulsanne “L” is one of the rarest of all Rolls-Royce motorcars; only two were built between 1984 and 1988 making them highly collectible. All Bentleys built from 1931 until 2004 are merely badge-engineered Rolls-Royce variants. The Mulsanne “L” is powered by the 6.75 litre naturally aspirated aluminium alloy V8 engine as its sister model. And…who would ever have dreamed a Bentley would become more valuable than a Rolls-Royce!
The epochal Spirit of Ecstasy was escalated to new heights of luxury and distinction with the Silver Spirit. From elegant two-door coupés…to opulent four-door saloons…to decadently opulent limousines; the Silver Spirit inspired coachbuilders to create automotive masterpieces.
Rolls-Royce models handcrafted at the legendary Crewe facility are the pride of the UK…and the envy of the entire world – these eminent motorcars epitomize a special segment of automotive history that shall never be replicated in today’s harried…mass-produced world.
The silver Spirit is the dawning of the contemporary Rolls-Royce. The long, low, sleek…and aerodynamic architecture is unlike any of its predecessors. The long wheelbase variant is the Silver Spur saloon; it became the basis for many coachbuilt versions. The Silver Spirit was a completely new body style for the brand which created an all-new image. Rolls-Royce offered the best of two worlds at the time: impeccable handcrafting by the dedicated artisans at Crewe, and limited edition signature models built at a highly restricted pace. Custom coachcrafting and Crewe are synonymous as superlative endeavors in the world of fine automobiles.
Cheers to the hardest working caretaker in the special world of Rolls-Royce, Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum. Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars and Balmoral UK, two of the most prestigious automobile dealers in the business. Keep the “Spirit” alive!
The Rolls Royce Silver Spirit is NotoriousLuxury
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