Archive for The Spirit of Ecstasy

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB – Bespoke Couture

Posted in Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Rolls-Royce with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2018 by 99MilesPerHour

“Nil Fato Relinquemus…”

A Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB is the closest thing to nirvana one will ever experience in motorcar form. It’s writing its own legacy one magnificent model at a time. For 2018, Rolls-Royce engineers used a clean sheet approach endowing Phantom with extraordinary new levels of comfort and sophistication resulting in the most technologically advanced motorcar in the history of the brand.

Phantom EWB remains true to its eloquent heritage offering deep-seated luxury, spaciousness, and performance of the highest order. It has maintained an enviable reputation of being the finest handcrafted saloon in a very elite market niche. The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB continues the formidable tradition as the pride of the UK…and the envy of the entire world –  

A Rolls-Royce Phantom ferries its passengers along completely oblivious to the world outside the vehicle. Phantom EWB escalates this elite sophistication to a new level of exclusivity… 

The ultimate improved upon…

Phantom’s silhouette has been completely redefined…what didn’t change is the fact it retains the unmistakable hallmarks of the marque with its new poised dignity, sheer opulence, and impeccable handcrafting. The Phantom EWB shares identical coachwork with Phantom SWB. The added length is discretely incorporated into the rear portion of the bodyshell. Elegant forward-opening rear coach doors augment Phantom EWB’s eminence. Modular componentry of “The Architecture of Luxury” is modified refining the SWB into the EWB luxury saloon.

All future Rolls-Royce models will be underpinned with the new all-aluminium spaceframe architecture. New model Research & Development will benefit enhanced functionality from blueprint to production efficiency with greatly reduced timeframes. When the new generation Phantom MK VII was released in 2003, the EWB version didn’t come about until the 2005 model year. The Architecture of Luxury allowed Rolls-Royce engineers to release both Phantom MK VIII SWB and EWB together. Phantom is the perfect synthesis of Rolls-Royce virtues and 21st Century engineering prowess. 

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII special edition “A moment in time”

Advanced technology unobtrusively makes its contribution. The next generation of the Rolls-Royce motorcar is built upon all-new “Electronic Architecture” the largest and most complex electronic platform ever made by the BMW Group. The entire car networks together optimizing the Rolls-Royce experience.

Electronic engine controls coordinate functions under the bonnet while a GPS aided 8-speed electronic ZF gearbox scans digital maps preparing the car for the road ahead. Phantom’s electronic ‘thinking’ suspension levels itself automatically maintaining its poise under all driving conditions. Phantom EWB ‘floats’ on a cushion of air further enhancing the famous “Magic Carpet Ride.” If you’ve ever driven a Rolls-Royce motorcar, you’ll agree…it’s truly a performance of considerable virtuosity –  

Legendary luxury and eloquence…

1959 Rolls-Royce Phantom V with Park Ward coachwork

Historically, Rolls-Royce Phantom models represent limousines of distinction. Each one has been handcrafted into bespoke resplendence. Once upon a time these eminent saloons exited the assembly hall at the famous Crewe facility in the UK. These luxury icons established pride in perfection with a poised dignity which became the hallmark of every Rolls-Royce motorcar.

The world’s leading luxury item is now in theatre in the UK at the high-tech Goodwood facility continuing the formidable Rolls-Royce legacy. Times have changed but one Rolls-Royce mission statement has not: “The quality will remain long after the price has been forgotten…”  

Rolls-Royce Phantom MK VII

Contemporary limousines are designed with shorter, lower exterior dimensions and more sophisticated upscale cabins. These radical new designs have spacious interiors to repose in luxurious comfort. Phantom EWB redefines luxury travel with “The Suite” a highly bespoke approach in personal commissioning.

Long wheelbase saloons by Rolls-Royce typically focus on the rear passenger compartment. Phantom EWB may be equipped as a rolling boardroom for executives that work as they travel. It may also be configured with premium entertainment and communication systems enhancing the car’s interconnectivity with the world-wide web making each journey as rewarding as its destination. 

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII EWB special edition”Whispered Muse”

“The Gallery” expresses the patron’s individuality…

The Phantom EWB is the ultimate flagship saloon. Upon initial contact, one’s sense of touch is delighted by the feel of the hand-polished stainless-steel exterior door handles. This car has an elegance no other motorcar can match. Once inside the car, the assistant or valet steps toward the door…a light touch of the sensor in the door handle quietly whisks the door closed.

All four doors may be effortlessly closed at the touch of a button from the inside the cabin by each occupant. “The Embrace” virtually surrounds passengers in the epitome of luxury. A vast array of handcrafted wood veneers, hand-cut/hand-stitched natural grain leather, and deep pile carpet are made available to the client through comprehensive personal commissioning. Clients may log in via internet portal to observe their car’s stage of build. 

Beneath Phantom EWB’s handcrafted aluminium coachwork is an athletic grand touring limousine. The ceremonious entrance of this new generation Rolls-Royce motorcar includes a freshly minted 6.8 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. This elegant saloon produces an impressive 563 hp packing a prolific punch with 900 Nm of peak torque.

Luxury not only assumes an entirely new identity but a spirited new attitude as well. Both engine and transmission retain their anonymity during Phantom EWB’s effortless motoring virtues. Why waste this exhilarating limousine on a chauffeur? 

Rolls-Royce is synonymous with bespoke…

Every Rolls-Royce motorcar is handcrafted per owner requisites. You will never see two alike. Limited editions, exclusive one-off creations, and a “sky’s the limit” approach to personal commissioning make Rolls-Royce motorcars uniquely distinctive. There’s one thing all Rolls-Royce patrons share collectively, they appreciate the degree of craft that goes into the build of “The Best Car in the World.” The latest edition is another superlative in the elite continuing saga of The Spirit of Ecstasy – 

The result of Rolls-Royce endeavors once again yields a motorcar of absolutes sharing neither engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, nor coach crafting with its predecessors. A new Rolls-Royce motorcar redefines the attributes that have made the marque famous escalating them to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy. The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom continues the eminent heritage. In the making of a Rolls-Royce motorcar, every detail must have its function and the beauty of form must derive from its fitness for purpose.  

Photos/specifications courtesy Rolls-Royce Press Club

The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB is NotoriousLuxury © 2018

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The Crewe Collection: Rolls-Royce Corniche V

Posted in Rolls-Royce, Rolls-Royce Historical, The Crewe Collection: Rolls-Royce with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

Corniche V 1

The Rolls-Royce Corniche “breaks the fourth wall” mesmerizing the audience with an eloquence few luxury cars share…           Greg Morgan, NotoriousLuxury – 

Balmoral UK 1

True…money cannot buy happiness…but it can buy an ultra-luxurious convertible like this to cruise right up and park beside it! The finale to the Rolls-Royce legend at Crewe is epitomized by the magnificent Corniche coachbuilt drophead coupé. No other open grand touring motorcar in the world shares the panache…and all the savoir-faire as the Rolls-Royce Corniche. There is no more impressive manner in which to arrive. It augments the poised dignity which is the hallmark of every Rolls-Royce motorcar.  Its power and prestige are exceeded only by its beauty.

The Corniche is the single most immediately identifiable Rolls-Royce in the history of the brand. It is also the last Rolls-Royce to motor out of the historic Crewe facility in the UK…it’s a true masterpiece from the master craftsmen. The Rolls-Royce Corniche established new standards of refinement…elegance…and sophistication, raising the bar of success to a higher level where few motorcars can compete. As a status symbol, there can be no more impressive introduction to your lifestyle. The Corniche is one of the most successful and longest running production series in Rolls-Royce history.

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1986 Corniche II 5

1986 Corniche II 1

The elite sophistication of the Corniche makes it the most avant-garde series of all Rolls-Royce motorcars. Mulliner Park Ward Silver Shadow fixedhead and drophead two-door coupé models were renamed “Corniche” in 1971. It’s dramatic…it’s distinctive…it’s the definitive luxury coupé built in the European grand touring tradition. The Corniche is luxurious beyond description. This is one of the most significant models in Rolls-Royce history. The company was on the brink of financial disaster. The Corniche came to the rescue.

It was so popular, each subsequent model year had a waiting list. As soon as they were out of theatre the buyer could sell it for far more than they paid for it. Production for the fixedhead coupé ran until 1984 while the drophead coupé continued until 1995. The Corniche drophead coupé was revamped in 2000 as Series V and was the last Rolls-Royce to motor out of Crewe on August 30, 2002 precluding the illustrious heritage of this esteemed motorcar. The last Rolls-Royce Corniche was retained by Crewe for historic purposes. The Rolls-Royce Corniche is still the car of the rich and famous…its glamour never tarnished. It will always retain its exclusivity as the undisputed quintessential status symbol.  

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1986 Corniche II 2

The Corniche is the celebrity among Rolls-Royce motorcars. There is a mystique with a two-door Rolls-Royce because they are completely hand-built at an extremely restricted pace. The expertise of Mulliner Park Ward was exemplified with the Corniche series I-IV. Mulliner Park Ward closed its doors at their Hythe Road location at Willesden, London UK in 1991. Production was relocated in-house to the Crewe facility.  It took anywhere from six to eight months to hand-build these ultra-exclusive motorcars. Mulliner remained at Crewe as the personal commissioning department for the new Bentley brand. They are no longer a bespoke coachbuilder. Mulliner is an exclusive trim level for Bentley motorcars.

The Rolls-Royce Corniche is completely bespoke in every aspect reflecting its owner’s requirements. It became an instant collectible the moment it left the assembly hall. No matter what year…either fixedhead or drophead coupé…the exotic Rolls-Royce Corniche will always be the absolute pinnacle of luxury and elegance. The Corniche is the essence of Rolls-Royce. “The quality will remain long after the price has been forgotten” is the famous marketing slogan and is never more apparent than with the formidable Rolls-Royce Corniche – 

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1986 Rolls-Royce Corniche II drophead coupé

1986 Corniche II 8

A two-door saloon or convertible coupé is a very special Rolls-Royce creation. When the brand comes to mind it’s usually as a four-door saloon. The two-door Rolls-Royce is coachbuilt in the classic tradition. It isn’t merely a sedan minus two-doors. The Corniche is designed as a two-door coupé; its architecture is unique and shaped entirely by hand. A two-door Rolls-Royce is the ultimate in exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar. Each Rolls-Royce Corniche is a true masterwork…each is a one-of-a-kind treasure of automotive art.

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1974 Rolls-Royce Corniche fixedhead coupé

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A Corniche is a unique fusion of coachbuilt elegance and an individual hallmark of Rolls-Royce quality with the emphasis on superb distinction. The artisans at Crewe are renowned for extraordinary handcrafting. This is evident in the fit and finish. For example…every body seam is invisible, panels are lined up meticulously…every shut line is as perfect as possible.

No shortcuts are taken – in the production of a Rolls-Royce motorcar, there is no room for compromise. Craftsmanship is the operative word that best sums up the ultimate embellishment of British coachcrafting. This is why every Rolls-Royce is a virtual masterpiece which grows in loveliness and value – 

Corniche IV

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Collage

The Corniche V has a secret…it is the only Rolls-Royce built on a Bentley platform. It was usually the other way around…“Big Ben” was always built on a Rolls-Royce foundation. Corniche Series I-IV are based upon the highly successful Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. The Corniche V inherits its look from the glamorous Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, but shares very little with it mechanically.

The Bentley Azure provides the basic structure. The body design was ideal to accept the extra torque from the turbocharged V8 engine. The Corniche V, as with all open tourers, is built with a lower center of gravity which is very important to a topless automobile. Integral rigidity is paramount for safety. 

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Rolls-Royce Corniche V drophead coupé

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Bentley Azure drophead coupé

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“Big Ben” is also utterly luxurious

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The front engine rear-wheel drive Corniche V delivers spirited performance. This elegant machine is powered by the legendary Rolls-Royce 6.75 litre 16-valve 412 CID turbocharged alloy pushrod V8. The engine is mated to a GM 4-speed automatic transmission with electric gear selection. Its silky-smooth operation has completely imperceptible gear changes. It is equipped with a digital engine management system with electronic port fuel injection. Tap the accelerator pedal to discover, this is more than just a pretty car.

The engine cranks out 325 hp @ 4,000 rpm packing a prolific punch with an astounding 738 Nm of peak torque @ 2,300 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 8 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22 seconds with a top speed in the 133-135 mph range. These figures are exceptional considering how heavy the Corniche V is…after all, it is built for luxury not drag racing. How could you show off your classy Corniche convertible at speeds exceeding 200 mph anyway? I’ll put it this way…it would take a dangerously high dose of Xanax not to enjoy the exhilarating open air performance of the Corniche V. It is the ultimate European open grand tourer.

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Corniche V 2

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The Corniche V is exquisitely handcrafted in the grand Roll Royce tradition. The sumptuously upholstered cabin is the stuff dreams are made of. A Rolls-Royce interior could be compared to a mobile version of a guest suite at the Ritz-Carlton…the Corniche V is no exception. The leather is hand-cut, hand-stitched, and hand-fitted by Connolly Brothers. The Corniche V is one of the last automobiles to benefit the TLC by this eminent leather crafter.  Connolly Brothers were in business from 1878 until the company ceased operations in 2002.

The lounge-style seats are fluted and contoured to cradle the body comfortably. Luxurious handcrafted burr walnut veneers and plush Wilton 100% wool carpets adds an air of exclusivity. Classic luxury touches include organ-stop ventilation controls, chrome plated accents, and analog instrumentation. Everything in the Corniche V is power assisted…all one has to do is steer and operate the pedals.

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The power, fully automatic folding fabric roof stows inward in its own locker to create a trim appearance. The roof in the raised position resembles a hardtop coupé inside. A wool headliner conceals all hardware and insulation. The top opens and closes swiftly at the touch of a button with no intervention required.

The fifth generation Corniche had a hefty base price starting at $359,000 USD. Only 374 were built during its tenure from 2000 until 2002. This luxurious land yacht has a base weight of 6,836 pounds. It has the luxury length of 212.8″, is 80.7″ wide and rides upon a long 120.5″ wheelbase.

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If you have ever driven a Rolls-Royce, or just as a passenger…you immediately notice that this is no ordinary automobile. It’s unlike any motorcar you have ever experienced. The Spirit of Ecstasy out in front of you completes the sensation of soaring…gliding effortlessly. Boulevard travel intrusion is negligible. The Corniche V negotiates the pavement with a uniquely regal authority. The road management system includes a four-wheel independent suspension with adaptive ride control.

The “thinking” suspension automatically calibrates itself intuitively. Its electronic self-leveling system is augmented by electronic stability and damping controls. Four-wheel power assisted anti-lock disc brakes are ventilated for rapid heat dissipation to provide safe, fade-free operation. The dual hydraulic master cylinder is designed for independent front and rear braking systems. Should one system fail, each wheel will still be halted individually. This sophisticated network comes together to refine the exclusive Rolls-Royce magic carpet ride.

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The Rolls-Royce Corniche is the most prized motorcar of the 20th and 21st century. It’s an enviable combination of sporting characteristics, notorious luxury, and extraordinary comfort. It remains in the spotlight as the ultimate grand touring automobile. The Corniche is the celebrity among Rolls-Royce motorcars. It augments the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. The Corniche began its tenure in 1971 as a coachbuilt motorcar by Mulliner Park Ward available as a two-door fixedhead coupé and a two-door drophead coupé. Its evolution spanned five distinctive series.

The Corniche V is the last Rolls-Royce to motor out of the legendary Crewe facility on August 30, 2002. Corniche Series I-IV are based upon the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. The Corniche Series V inherits its look from the Rolls-Royce  Silver Seraph. Corniche Series V is the only Rolls-Royce model built upon a Bentley platform powered by a turbocharged V8 engine. All two-door Rolls-Royce coupé models are handcrafted and built at a highly restricted pace. The elite Corniche models take their place in automotive history as one of the longest and most successful production runs in the history of the brand. The Crewe built Rolls-Royce remains the pride of the UK…and the sheer envy of the entire world –

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Special Thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars: http://www.schmitt.com, Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum: http://www.parkwardmotorsmuseum.com, and Balmoral UK: http://www.balmoraluk.com, These are three of the most eminent caretakers of the brand in the industry. For all of your special interest automobile needs whether it be sales or service, or even restoration, I highly recommend them. Tell ’em Greg sent you!

Park Ward

1959 Silver Cloud II Mulliner Drophead 7

1959 Rolls-Royce HJ Mulliner drophead coupé

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1962 Rolls-Royce HJ Mulliner drophead coupé

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1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead coupé III 1

1963 Rolls-Royce Mulliner Park Ward drophead coupé

1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead coupé III 2

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1985 Rolls-Royce Corniche coachbuilt drophead coupé by MPW

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The pride of the UK…and the envy of the entire world

Corniche V

The Rolls-Royce Corniche is NotoriousLuxury

Signature

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury

The Crewe Collection: The Silver Seraph

Posted in Rolls Royce: The Crewe Collection with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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“Love all, trust a few…do wrong to none”    William Shakespeare –

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The last Rolls Royce models built at the historic Crewe facility in the UK precludes an illustrious heritage in ultra-luxury motoring. It is the finale to the dedication and the labor of love from the artisans who created automotive masterpieces. These men and women did what machines cannot replicate…by the experienced hand and the skillful eye. The talent and expertise they utilized was inherited through generations. This was knowledge that on the job training programs cannot provide. 

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1929 Rolls Royce Phantom I

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The dedicated tinsmiths, cabinet makers, sheet metal workers, seamstresses, and engineers worked in harmony to handcraft motorcars of the highest quality. These artisans would not compromise their craft…nor would they mitigate their talent. The Crewe built Rolls Royce is a legacy to be cherished.

The highly bespoke superlatives created at Crewe will always be remembered for exemplary craftsmanship. The last of the impeccably crafted Rolls Royce models are the Silver Seraph and the Corniche V. Part I of this tribute is dedicated to the Silver Seraph saloon. Part II will follow in a separate tribute as a farewell to the formidable Corniche series.

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The Silver Seraph’s presence is quietly authoritative. It is the contemporary rendition of a time-honored classic. The exclusive world of Rolls Royce became even more so…the Silver Seraph, as with all Rolls Royce motorcars presents an elegant understatement. Nothing is designed to render it redundant. In this harried mass-produced world, designs change so fast, many of the competitor’s offerings are outmoded before they reach the end of the assembly line while in theatre.

A Rolls Royce is a thing of beauty which becomes lovelier and more valuable as it ages…like fine art. The Silver Seraph combines technology, new levels of comfort, and dynamic ability with all that has been tried, tested, and true. It’s an exciting and innovative expression of traditional enduring Rolls Royce principles.

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The elegant Silver Seraph saloon was handcrafted at Crewe from 1998 until 2002 and only 1,570 were built. They are one of the most expensive regular production four-door saloons to motor out of Crewe at a hefty $220,695. It continued the Rolls Royce dynasty with an eminent tradition of excellence. The Silver Seraph redefined Rolls Royce virtues building upon its illustrious heritage evolving into a totally new, completely individualized motorcar of distinction.

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The Silver Seraph’s clean contemporary architecture remains timeless…yet classic. The aerodynamic construction features an all steel monocoque design with high torsional rigidity. Its all-new design is 65% stiffer than previous models in order to compensate for the increased torque-thrust from the mighty V12 powerplant. The construction incorporates 6,500 spot welds. It has impact-absorbing body sections front and rear. Color keyed front and rear bumpers resist minor impact. It is the second Rolls Royce to incorporate aerodynamics in its design.

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Rolls Royce Silver Spur

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The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur introduced entirely new body lines designed to cleave the air efficiently as no previous model ever had before. The Silver Seraph built upon these principles to become even more aerodynamically efficient. Its sculpted fluidity of form sweeps from nose to tail in one continuous appraisal.

The lower waistrail of the architecture ends at both extremes with just a hint of the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. The contoured front wings are reminiscent of the Silver Shadow. There are no dangerous protuberances anywhere around the bodyshell as introduced by the Silver Spirit. A Rolls Royce motorcar is the result of evolution…not just the whim of a stylist’s pencil –

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Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

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The iconic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III

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Silver Seraph 5B

The elegant Silver Seraph is the first contemporary Rolls Royce to be powered by a V12 engine since the 1939 Rolls Royce Phantom. BMW hand-built the engine making the Silver Seraph a thoroughbred; it’s highly unique among its predecessors. The potent 5.4 litre 24-valve SOHC V12 engine has a crankshaft running in seven main bearings with 12 counterweights to increase operational smoothness.

This light alloy engine delivers 322 hp @ 5,000 rpm with 490 Nm of peak torque @ 3,900 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 6.9 seconds with a top speed in the 140 mph range. The engine is mated to a 5-speed ZF automatic transmission which includes electric gear actuation and adaptive shift management. 

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1915 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

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The Silver Seraph has a sophisticated electronic network masterminded by the Bosch Motronic 5.2.1 engine management system which maintains all functions optimizing overall operational efficiency. The system is equipped with electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control to ensure effortless transfer of power under all driving conditions. Microprocessors constantly monitor data regarding engine, transmission, steering, brakes, and suspension.

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Electronic intelligence enables this highly intuitive saloon to identify different driving styles adapting itself accordingly. For examplen; an accelerometer determines if the vehicle is ascending or descending an incline. It sends data to the transmission to hold a lower gear for acceleration or engine braking as required. Engine torque is decreased at the precise point of gear shifting providing imperceptible progression from one gear to the next.

In-city operation at slower speeds, allow softer earlier upshifts to provide greater fuel economy aiding overall operational refinement. Electronics govern the braking system, steering, automatic stability control, adaptive ride control, and the electronic leveling system. Rolls Royce had finally caught up with the rest of the automotive industry in technology. This made the best car in the world even better…

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The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph is a large front engine rear-wheel drive saloon. It has the luxury length of 212.2” and is 76” wide riding upon a long 122.7” wheelbase. It has a double wishbone independent front and rear suspension. Its computer controlled adaptive hydraulic damping system recalibrates itself within 1/100th of a second. Electronic level control adjusts to compensate for uneven pavement regardless of load to keep the Silver Seraph at optimum ride height maintaining its poise; it even adjusts the headlamps to be perfectly aimed at all times.

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Its excellent ride quality is due in no small part to a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Automatic Stability Control (ASC) reduces engine torque via sensors located at each wheel to keep this luxury saloon on an even keel regardless of road conditions. This system may be disabled by the driver when performance without intervention is desired.

The rear wheels are set-up to brake simultaneously aiding stability when traction becomes an issue. The power boost braking system is equipped with a 4-channel anti-lock feature and hydraulic servo. Its 4-wheel disc brakes are ventilated to dissipate heat rapidly for safe, fade-free operation at all times.

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“A Rolls Royce…is a Rolls Royce.” Luxury is not an afterthought. The Silver Seraph is crafted with a cabin fashioned with the traditional elegance associated with the brand. There’s no bling…no useless bells and whistles…nor anything that would render it redundant in a short time like many so-called luxury cars.

The designer’s mission is to create an ambiance of relaxed control. The Silver Seraph features the formidable Rolls Royce “heads-up” seating. These are the most exclusive seats in the industry. The front seats are placed higher to give an excellent view of the world ahead. The rear seats are also positioned slightly higher than regular luxury cars to provide a greater view.

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The cabin is luxuriously embellished continuing the grand Rolls Royce tradition…the meticulous hand-finishing makes the difference. No other ultra-luxury automobile can match the elegance of a Rolls Royce motorcar.

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The deeply padded and contoured lounge seats are handcrafted using the finest leather available by Connolly Brothers. These elegant lounge seats are scalloped, curved, and fluted with different degrees of resilience. This provides anatomically correct levels of comfort for the shoulders, back, base of spine and thighs.

The front seats have four-way electrically adjustable operation with four memory positions. The electric rake adjustable steering wheel is equipped with an automatic entry/exit feature. All four seats feature dual stage heating and lumbar support. The aroma of the glove-soft leather, the hand-polished veneers, polished metal, and plush carpets gives an air of exclusivity.

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The experienced artisans at Crewe crafted the wood work for the Silver Seraph slowly and patiently, taking days to create. The beautiful unbleached veneers are cut by hand and matched by sight; therefore, the whorls and patterns are unique to each vehicle. The unbleached method enhances the wood’s natural color and grain. Multiple coats of lacquer are applied by hand…air dried, hand-flatted, then polished by hand to an amber glass-like luster. This is the reason why the wood accents in a Rolls Royce gleams with the look of fine home furnishings.

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The Silver Seraph is endowed with myriad amenities for comfort and convenience in the formidable Rolls Royce tradition. Front and rear seats are electrically adjustable. All four doors lock automatically when the engine is running and the transmission is shifted to drive. Headlamps are activated when the windscreen wipers are in the “on” mode. The Rolls Royce navigation system uses global positioning satellites with voice commands and a 6.5″ display screen  located in the top of the instrument panel. It stows away neatly when not in use.

The boot lid has a power feature which includes a button to automatically open it and a special automatic “pull-down” mode to close it. Its cruise control feature is steering wheel mounted for convenience. The six CD auto-changer not only has sound which rivals a concert hall but also includes a remote control for rear seat passengers. The glass is loaded with a ferrous compound to prevent direct sunlight from heating the cabin.

Silver Seraph 30B

The fabulous Silver Seraph is designed to take care of itself. Security is paramount with any Rolls Royce. A programmable alarm system will immobilize the engine management system and the starter motor. The transmission locks automatically when it is shifted to “park” and the key is removed from the ignition.

Perimetric sensors monitors the security of the doors, bonnet, and the boot lid; it also includes a “glass-break” feature. The highly sophisticated security system includes central locking and a “dead-lock” feature. A Rolls Royce is the automobile thief’s worse nightmare…

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With every Rolls Royce…form must derive from its fitness of purpose. Every detail must also have its function. As only fitting for a Rolls Royce motorcar, all systems obey, anticipate, and assist…but never dictate. The electronic intelligence enables the entire car to react as a single entity. Per Crewe: “To cover ground swiftly, but never feel hurried. To be distanced from the outside world…yet not isolated from it. To appreciate the fine details of craftsmanship and design…without being distracted by them. These are the qualities that you are entitled to expect of a Rolls Royce motorcar…”

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Personal commissioning and Rolls Royce are one in the same. This is the reason why no two Rolls Royce motorcars will ever be alike. The highly bespoke nature of the Silver Seraph was extended to a near infinite degree by Park Ward coachbuilders at Rolls Royce. They helped to create a completely individual motorcar for the client.

The basics started with 22 water-based colors and 23 hide colors. The proverbial sky was the limit. Park Ward also offered unique paint and hide colors tailored to personal requirements. Each Silver Seraph motorcar is a very, very special creation…they are the last Rolls Royce saloons to be hand-built at the historic Crewe facility.

Silver Seraph 35

Silver Seraph 34

Silver Seraph 15B

The Silver Seraph is a captivating manifestation of Rolls Royce art. It’s an incomparable blend of exemplary craftsmanship, advanced technology, and elegant refinement. From a long line of distinguished predecessors, the Silver Seraph combined the latest technical thinking with legendary Rolls Royce principles resulting in a strikingly individual motorcar of distinction. The Silver Seraph inherits the traditional painstaking attention to the tiniest details continuing the relentless pursuit for perfection by the dedicated artisans at Crewe.  Its timeless beauty will challenge the years gracefully…as with all Rolls Royce motorcars.

The magnificence of this elite Flagship is augmented by its V12 engine which moves it with aplomb. The Silver Seraph is the last four-door saloon to motor out of Crewe ending an illustrious heritage of the traditional handcrafted Roll Royce motorcar. Only 1,570 were built…170 of which are dubbed “The last of the line” with exclusive red Rolls Royce badging to commemorate this historic end of a legend. The exclusivity and supremacy of the Rolls Royce motorcars built at Crewe can never…ever… be replicated. They take their place in automotive history among famous Rolls Royce superlatives –

Silver Seraph 15

Special thanks go out to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum: http://www.parkwardmotors.com and Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars: http://www.schmitt.com for the use of these beautiful photographs. For all of your classic car needs whether it be sales or service, I highly recommend these two. They are among the finest caretakers in the industry. Tell them Greg Morgan sent you!

Park Ward Motors Museum

Here’s a photo tribute to the Crewe-built Rolls Royce

Finale 8

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III, the epitome of elegance

Classic 10

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward drophead coupé

Classic 4

1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI drophead coupé by Pietro Frua 

Classic 14

The opulent Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II saloon

Finale 4

The rare Bentley Mulsanne “L” long wheelbase saloon

Finale 1

The rare 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow long wheelbase saloon

Finale 9

Welcome to Greg’s World…

The End

The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph saloon is NotoriousLuxury

The Crewe Collection: Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit & The Silver Spur

Posted in Rolls-Royce, Rolls-Royce: The Crewe Collection with tags , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

1987 Silver Spur 1

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry…”             William Shakespeare – 

1987 Silver Spur 2

1987 Silver Spirit 1

1987 Silver Spirit 2

Hand crafting and Rolls-Royce are synonymous with the Crewe legend. Artisans did what machines could not replicate…slowly, patiently, by the gifted hand and the talented eye. These dedicated men and women inherited skills that were handed down through the generations. This is the reason why the eloquent Rolls-Royces that motored out of Crewe were the finest handcrafted motorcars in the world. These artisans kept the vision of Sir Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce as impetus to their mission.

The Crewe built Rolls-Royce is a strikingly individual motorcar…modern yet timeless. There is no more avant-garde manner in which to travel in an ultra-luxury motorcar than a Rolls-Royce. Two such masterpieces are the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and its long wheelbase variant Silver Spur. They are the first Rolls-Royce motorcars to bear aerodynamic architecture. From their classic radiator grilles with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot to their sleek body lines designed for the new world…the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur introduced an exciting new genre of luxury motoring.

1981 Silver Spirit 1

The Silver Spirit with USA specification headlamps

1981 Silver Spirit 3

The handcrafted Silver Spirit and Silver Spur were built to the highest standards in the true tradition of excellence as their illustrious predecessors. Sir Frederick Henry Royce stated: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.”

The artisans  at the legendary Crewe facility in the UK lived by this famous credo creating automotive works of art such as the world-famous Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud…the notorious Rolls-Royce Phantom limousines…and of course, the elegant Silver Shadow. The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur built upon the principles set forth by these stunning, luxurious motorcars of esteem. After all, it wasn’t easy to improve upon the best motorcar in the world – 

Silver Cloud III 1

Silver Cloud III 2

Silver Cloud III 3

Silver Wraith II 3

Silver Wraith II 2

Silver Wraith II 1

Phantom 1

Phantom 3

Phantom 2

1

1987 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur saloon

1B

Long…low-slung, and distinguished…the Silver Spirit and the Silver Spur are every inch a Rolls-Royce. They continued the reputation for fine hand crafting and reliability that has become known and accepted world-wide. They are the new breed Rolls-Royce…the Rolls-Royce for today’s world.

It may appear to be all-new but some things never change with a Rolls-Royce built at Crewe. Every square inch of these illustrious new motorcars reflect the dedication and painstaking attention to detail – not to mention the pride each craftsman took in their craft. 

1C

1987 Silver Spirit 2B

1987 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit saloon

1987 Silver Spirit 18

The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur were handcrafted at Crewe from 1981 until 1999. The design, as with all Rolls-Royce motorcars took planning, research and testing. Eight years combined with lessons learned from previous models brought about the all-new model.

Rolls-Royce motorcars are derived from evolution: measures that are tried, tested, and only those with proven results. The four-door five seat saloon is built of integral steel construction with aluminium alloy doors, bonnet, and boot lid. It is fitted with impact absorbing front and rear bumpers capped with polyurethane inserts to resist minor scuffing.

1987 Silver Spirit 15

1987 Silver Spirit 3

1987 Silver Spirit 5

1987 Silver Spirit 4

1987 Silver Spirit 10

1987 Silver Spirit 11

2

1987 Silver Spirit 9

1987 Silver Spirit 15B

The architecture is contemporary yet classic. The larger expanse of glass makes the vehicle appear larger. Its modular lamp clusters for head and tail lamps wrap around giving the car a modern look to challenge the years gracefully. It has a lower waist rail with a lithe athletic design. The sleek aerodynamic architecture battles crosswinds to manage stability more efficiently. The Silver Spirit is the first Rolls-Royce motorcar to have an aerodynamic design.

It’s also the first Rolls-Royce to use a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy mascot; it disappears into the radiator grille when it is tampered with. The Silver Spirit retains the legendary fit and finish continuing the exemplary craftsmanship and attention to detail that made the brand famous. Its fresh new design hints at its heritage; the front wings reflect those of the Silver Cloud, and the long low silhouette is reminiscent of the Silver Shadow. The Spirit of Ecstasy once again adorns an all-new Rolls-Royce creation of excellence. The brand’s relentless pursuit of perfection is evident.

1990 Silver Spirit II 7

1987 Silver Spirit 13A

1987 Silver Spirit 6

1987 Silver Spirit 13C

1987 Silver Spirit 7

1987 Silver Spirit 7B

1987 Silver Spirit 8

The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur has sumptuous leather trim handcrafted by Connolly Brothers in the grand Rolls-Royce tradition. Connolly Brothers is a distinguished British company founded in 1878.They did leather crafting for high-end automobile manufacturers such as Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Ferrari. Connolly Brothers did all leather work for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars built at Crewe.

Only one out of 500 hides were good enough for Rolls-Royce. Eight perfectly matched hides were hand-cut and hand-stitched to absolute perfection. The same high quality leather was used to trim the plush Wilton carpets. With proper care these fine leather upholstered interiors look as good today as they did when they motored out of Crewe. It’s a shame that all good things must come to an end – 2002 was the swan song for Connolly Leather…and the last hand-built Rolls-Royce left the assembly line at Crewe on August 30, 2002.

1987 Silver Spur 3

1987 Silver Spur 11

1987 Silver Spur 4

1987 Silver Spur 5

Note the luxurious expanded veneer trim in the Silver Spur

1987 Silver Spur 15

1987 Silver Spur 14

Beautiful burr walnut veneers were built with the expertise that isn’t learned overnight by apprenticeship programs – but through experience gained from the knowledge handed down by craftsmen who were purveyors of the craft. It takes up to eight slivers of wood patiently crafted to make these exquisite veneer panels.  The artisans create a design for each Silver Spirit and Silver Spur; no two cars will ever share an identical pattern.

1987 Silver Spur 6

Each piece is mirror-matched to reflect the opposite side as in fine European furniture. The veneers are hand-lacquered and hand-polished to an amber luster that shines like glass and is that strong; a careless guest could stub out a cigarette on it without damage. The quality, fit and finish demonstrates the dedication to quality. This is what sets the Crewe built Rolls-Royce apart from other fine luxury motorcars.

That plush Wilton carpet under foot rivals that of fine homes. It too is crafted for excellence. The Wilton is a style of carpet. This fine 100% wool carpet is created on the Brussels Jacquard loom. These exclusive face-to-face looms weave two carpet textures at a time achieving a plush velvet end result. Only the finest virgin wool is selected for this intricate process. This is another design feature that sets Rolls-Royce motorcars in another league…the Crewe built Rolls-Royce is handcrafted like no other.

1987 Silver Spur 12B

1987 Silver Spur 12

1987 Silver Spur 12C

1987 Silver Spur 8

1987 Silver Spur 7

1987 Silver Spur 10

7

1987 Silver Spur 17

The Silver Spur is the formal saloon. It is slightly larger than the Silver Spirit which is 207.8″ long, 74″ wide, and rides upon a long 120.5″ wheelbase. The Silver Spur is 211.8″ long, 74″ wide, and rides upon a longer 124″ wheelbase. The extra 4″ are incorporated into the rear passenger compartment providing more legroom.

It enables communication equipment to be installed to turn the Silver Spur into a rolling boardroom. Being the longer of the two saloons, the Silver Spur may be chauffeur driven for special occasions. It can be your personal limousine. Smooth, silent, and responsive, the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur continued the grand tradition the brand made famous.

1987 Silver Spur 16

3

1991 Silver Spur II 1

1991 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II UK version

1991 Silver Spur II 3

1991 Silver Spur II 2

1991 Silver Spur II 4

1991 Silver Spur II 5

1991 Silver Spur II 6

1991 Silver Spur II 8

1991 Silver Spur II 7

1991 Silver Spur II 9

6.75 litre V8 1

The prodigious power expected of the Spirit of Ecstasy is exemplified with the Silver Spirit and Silver Spur saloons. Under the hood is the potent 6.75 litre 16-valve 412 CID naturally aspirated V8 engine. Its redesigned hardened steel crankshaft runs in five larger main bearings. The engine is constructed with a high silicon content aluminium alloy cylinder block, its aluminium alloy cylinder heads have cast iron wet liners for durability.

New engine mounts provide even quieter operation. It’s equipped with electronic ignition and the US versions have a Bosch K Jetronic continuous fuel injection system with a single Pierburg electric fuel pump. It has a stainless-steel exhaust system and catalytic converter. Fuel injection gives the cars more spirited performance with increased fuel economy. The engine cranks 245 hp @ 4,500 rpm with 540 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm.

6.75 litre V8 2

The engine is mated to the GM THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission with torque converter and an electric gear range selector. Beginning the 1992 model year the GM 4L80E 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive replaced the 3-speed version. Overdrive makes the engine more economical; a clutch which locks out the torque converter allows the engine to run at a lower rpm rate.

Take these ultra-luxurious saloons out on the road. They are remarkably smooth, responsive…and silent. Their four-wheel independent suspension offers a superb ride impervious to road conditions. An ultra-sensitive ride height control is designed to keep the cars at the perfect level regardless of load or road imperfections. Power assisted rotary valve rack and pinion steering is light and positive. This highly sophisticated network is designed to guarantee predictable behavior under all driving conditions and is completely imperceptible to noise and vibration.

6.75 litre V8 4

6.75 litre V8 3

Four-wheel power assisted disc brakes provide safe, fade-free operation. A dual hydraulic master cylinder is designed to operate as two independent front and rear braking systems. Should one system fail each wheel will still be halted individually. All four wheels have large 11″ diameter discs. The front discs are ventilated for rapid heat dissipation.

The ride was further enhanced beginning the 1990 model year for the Series II saloons. Adaptive damping was introduced. This computer controlled network automatically adjusts the shock absorbers as soft, normal, and firm within 1/100th of a second. The computer monitors speed, throttle position, braking, and acceleration adjusting each shock absorber as necessary.

1996 Silver Dawn 1

Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn

The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur are also available as the Rolls-Royce Flying Spur, Silver Dawn, Silver Spur Park Ward limousine, as well as the Bentley Eight and Bentley Mulsanne. These contemporary classics are modestly priced in today’s market offering attractive opportunities for the Rolls-Royce enthusiast. Remember…a Rolls-Royce never becomes a used car – it becomes a classic.

Take into consideration the appreciation potential. The Silver Cloud II was around $15,000 new in the 1960s…and they are priced in today’s market into five and six figures! And…lest we forget the Silver Clouds fashioned into the fabulous Mulliner Park Ward drophead coupés…and the magnificent Rolls-Royce Phantom V and VI handcrafted limousines by James Young, HJ Mulliner and Park Ward.

1996 Silver Dawn 3

The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn is a special edition of the Silver Spur Series IV. It was built from 1994 until 1998. It was available first in the US markets in 1994, then the UK and the rest of the world. Only 237 Silver Dawns were built making it a potential collector’s piece.

The Silver Dawn is based upon the long wheelbase variant of the Silver Spirit. The Silver Seraph wasn’t selling in North American markets very well. Rolls-Royce built a number of Silver Spur Series IV models especially for this market. This was the final revision for the Silver Spirit/Silver Spur production series with the last Silver Spirit built for the 1997 model year. The long wheelbase platform was retained through 1998.

1996 Silver Dawn 2

1996 Silver Dawn 7

The Silver Dawn has the same rugged stressed-steel monocoque construction with aluminium alloy bonnet, doors, and boot lid as its Silver Spur sister model. It also shares the same underpinnings and running gear. The Silver Dawn rides upon a long 124.5” wheelbase. It is 211.8” in length and 74.3” in width. The Silver Dawn also shared the Silver Spur Series IV body colored integrated front and rear bumpers. It took the eagle-eye to detect the exterior difference between the two models. The only exterior variation was the rear trunk badge.

1996 Silver Dawn 4

1996 Silver Dawn 6

1996 Silver Dawn 8

Electronic Traction Assistance provides stability and optimum traction for the Silver Dawn. Heated rear seats are standard. The Silver Dawn’s cabin uses the same natural grained leather by Connolly Brothers and hand-polished veneers as in all Rolls-Royce saloons. Hand tufted wool carpets with mouton rugs are standard as well for this highly bespoke luxury saloon. All of Silver Spur’s standard equipment is also included on the Silver Dawn.

1996 Silver Dawn 16

The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn is suited for both formal business use with a chauffeur or for the owner/driver who prefers to savor this masterful motorcar for himself. The Silver Dawn combined the latest technology and the luxurious appointments traditionally associated with the brand. Excellence is the norm…integrity is the guiding principle. This supreme achievement in motoring cossets its passengers within an elegance no other motorcar in its league could offer…

1996 Silver Dawn 12

1996 Silver Dawn 10

1996 Silver Dawn 15

The styling of the Silver Dawn is contemporary and aerodynamically efficient. It retains the traditional elegance and poised dignity associated with all Rolls-Royce motorcars. The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was positioned to not only continue the undaunted reputation established by its predecessors but to set even higher standards of motoring excellence to be the epitome of luxury.

Effortless V8 power, imperceptible gear changes, and the patented Rolls-Royce ride are combined with exemplary fit & finish to create the Silver Dawn luxury saloon. With a mere 237 built, its exclusivity will result in positive appreciation in its value during the coming years. The Silver Dawn is every inch a Rolls-Royce.

1996 Silver Dawn 14

1996 Silver Dawn 11

1996 Silver Dawn 13

1996 Silver Dawn 9

A hydraulic self-leveling system keeps the Silver Dawn at optimum ride height regardless of load. Gas springs supplement the rear coil springs and are sensitive to load. It automatically adjusts the suspension to maintain the superb Rolls-Royce ride quality…as with all Rolls-Royce motorcars. Luxury and elegance are never an after thought with the Spirit of Ecstasy regardless of the model. This is what keeps the Rolls-Royce motorcar pre-eminent in the world of ultra luxury automobiles.

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 1

The Silver Spur was also available as the Springfield Edition for the 1996 model year. It was built exclusively for the US markets as a 75th Anniversary tribute to the Springfield, Massachusetts factory when the first Rolls-Royce was hand-built there in 1921; the plant was in operation until 1931.

These exclusive saloons were available in five tu-tone color coordinated combinations. They represent the coachbuilt body styles that were available at the Springfield factory. These reflect the days gone by when a Rolls-Royce motorcar was completely bespoke…the motorized chassis was the only entity delivered to the coachbuilders. A completely customized vehicle reflecting the requisites of its owner was the result. 

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 2

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 23

Only 27 were built making them highly collectible…in fact, only 360 Silver Spur long wheelbase saloons were built for the entire production run in 1996. The Buckingham (black/grey), The Pickwick (black/green), The Canterbury (black/blue), The Mayfair (black/maroon), and the Stratford (cream/white) were the choices for this exclusive 75th Anniversary limited edition.

Signature features apart from the opulent tu-tone exterior finish includes a very special Chesterfield sew-style with hand button tufting for the upholstery, headlining, door armrests and individual leather throw pillows. Heated seats, power adjustable rear seats, and custom handcrafted Madrona wood with cherry cross-banded veneers have patterns unique to each motorcar. 

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 6

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 7

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 9

Elegant button tufting unlike any other model…

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 12

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 10

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 4

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 5

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 11

A 75th Anniversary Madrona wood veneer plaque with inscription is affixed to the front center console. Special Mulliner Park Ward door sill tread plates with “Springfield Edition” alert passengers to the fact this isn’t an “ordinary” Rolls-Royce by all means. The client received an artist’s rendering of the car signed by one of its designers with an inscription which includes the owner’s name, town, city, or state and the car’s delivery date. It came unframed, however; it could have been framed with the same Madrona wood veneer with cherry cross-banding as the interior trim. A Rolls-Royce limited edition makes the special world of Rolls-Royce even more so – 

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 3

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 13

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 15

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 16

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 21

A distinctive closed-in limousine style rear window treatment affords more privacy to rear seat passengers and lends a sophisticated elegance to its refined luxury.

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 14

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 18

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 19

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 20

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 24

1996 Springfield Edition Silver Spur 22

6

1981 Silver Spirit 2

1981 Silver Spirit 4

Rolls-Royce is the only true ultra-luxury super saloon that never went through an existential identity crisis. The Spirit of Ecstasy has always been the quintessential status symbol…the absolute pinnacle of opulence…the best motorcar in the world became a legend it its own time. The Silver Spirit and Silver Spur were the latest chapter in success continuing the eloquent Rolls-Royce tradition. 

The standard saloon is the Silver Spirit, the Silver Spur is the limited edition long wheelbase saloon suitable to be chauffeured for special occasions. They are both powered by the Rolls-Royce 6.75 litre V8 engine giving each the type of spirited performance that isn’t usually associated with luxury saloons in its class. Their precise fit and finish is due in no small part to the painstaking measures of their exemplary handcrafting at the historic Crewe facility in the UK.

1981 Silver Spirit 5

1981 Silver Spirit 6

1981 Silver Spirit 7

The Silver Spirit and the Silver Spur are contemporary classics within realistic limits. Remember the Silver Cloud started out in the $15,000 to $20,000+ neighborhood for their day…and now they command six figures on the auction block. The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur await their turn as coveted classics…don’t miss out on the opportunity to own tomorrow’s classics today.

The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit replaced the highly successful Silver Shadow series. It is designed for the contemporary world in a trim, new style. The Silver Spirit heralds a new era in the history of Rolls-Royce. It’s a modern motorcar with enhanced comfort and convenience and is immediately recognized as a classic design in the Rolls-Royce tradition.

1989 Silver Spirit 1

The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit UK version

1989 Silver Spirit 8

1989 Silver Spirit 2

1989 Silver Spirit 3

The Silver Spirit MK I was built from 1980 to 1989. MK II was built from 1989 until 1993, MK III built from 1994 until 1995, and the MK IV built from 1996 until 1997. The 1997 model year was the finale for the Silver Spirit. The more popular Silver Spur was built until 1999. The clean new look is meant to attract younger buyers. The legend becomes a lifestyle…

1989 Silver Spirit 4

1989 Silver Spirit 7

1989 Silver Spirit 5

Special thanks to Balmoral UK, Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, and Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum, all class acts in the business – cheers from NotoriousLuxury!

1989 Silver Spirit 9

The legendary Crewe facility in the UK handcrafted the finest motorcars in the world…it will live on in the hearts of connoisseurs forever. They built the pride of the UK that became the envy of the entire world…

Park Ward Motors Museum

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 23

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 23B

Finale 1

Silver Cloud II 1

…welcome to Greg’s World

Greg's World 2

Greg's World

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

1997 Silver Spur 1

NotoriousLuxury is Rolls-Royce…

The Crewe Collection: The Silver Shadow

Posted in Rolls Royce: The Crewe Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

1969 Silver Shadow 1

“Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.”       William Shakespeare – 

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 26

The Silver Shadow was launched in the autumn of 1965 beginning an exciting new legend. I remember them well as a young lad. The Silver Shadow is astonishingly beautiful…sophisticated…and every inch a Rolls Royce. This all-new motorcar felicitously synthesized epochal Rolls Royce virtues with contemporary ethics. During the 1960s, automobiles transitioned from over-embellished, chrome-laden land yachts to a sleeker, more restrained and unpretentious look.

The Silver Shadow’s trim, elegant, and highly refined design retains styling cues from the notoriously world-famous Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and adds its own unique au courant panache. The Silver Shadow maintains the poised dignity which is the hallmark of every Rolls Royce. This is one of the most successful production runs in the history of the brand. It was built from 1965 until 1980 in various forms. It is so well-loved, its famous design continued with the formidable Corniche series until 1995.

1965 Silver Cloud III 1

1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III

1969 Silver Shadow 3

1969 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Series I

1969 Silver Shadow 4

It’s a supreme achievement in motoring, supremely satisfying to own…and is supremely satisfying to enjoy. It precludes the restless quest for something to replace it. The Silver Shadow was the first all-new Rolls Royce introduced in a decade at the time. Development required 10 years of rigorous testing and research.

Rolls Royce had fallen behind the times with innovation and technology; the Silver Shadow brought the brand up to date fashionably. A car of such prodigious reputation has a tradition to uphold…at Rolls Royce there is no room for compromise. It is in fact the democratized Rolls Royce designed for the owner who prefers to take the wheel. It shuns ostentation with an understated splendor.

1969 Silver Shadow 5

1969 Silver Shadow 6

1969 Silver Shadow 7

Evolving from a heritage of distinguished predecessors, the Silver Shadow showcased the latest technical advancements for the day. It’s the first Rolls Royce to use monocoque construction, fusing the bodyshell and chassis together as a single rigid entity. This type of unitary constructions eliminates squeaks and rattles.

Its extra rigid construction maintains the famous Rolls Royce ride. Since there is no chassis intrusion, there is more efficient use of space in the luggage compartment and more legroom in the cabin. The Silver Shadow is 7″ shorter and 3.5″ narrower than the Silver Cloud, yet it offers increased passenger and boot space.

1969 Silver Shadow 35

Silver Cloud III 2

1969 Silver Shadow 26

The Silver Shadow is a fusion of coachbuilt eloquence…its glamour makes an exquisite first impression. It’s a dramatic departure from the past. The architecture is timeless and contemporary. The svelte lines of its understated elegance made it an immediate success.

The signature radiator grille and the Spirit of Ecstasy adorned an all-new motorcar establishing new standards in refinement and sophistication. It was built from 1965 until 1976 as Silver Shadow Series I, and as the Silver Shadow Series II from 1977 until 1980. This is a significant model for Rolls Royce…it holds the highest production volume of any other model in the history of the brand. The Silver Shadow is still among the most popular collectible automobiles with enthusiasts world-wide.

1969 Silver Shadow 35B

1969 Silver Shadow 27

1969 Silver Shadow 38

Like its predecessor the Silver Cloud, there is no deviation or gaudy, trendy, superficial styling to render it redundant. The Silver Shadow retains its original look with minor cosmetic revisions throughout its production run. For the 1974 model year, the wheelbase was extended, it received wider tires, and flared wheel arches.

The only noticeable exterior variation is the aluminium polyurethane-faced impact absorbing bumpers that replaced the chrome plated originals for models exported to the US in 1973 and 1974 forward for the rest of the markets. Rolls Royce would have never opted for such had it not been for the USA mandated 5 mph energy-absorbing requirement. The rest of the markets received the same look for styling continuity except they didn’t include shock absorbers to yield upon impact. Rolls Royce wanted a unified presence in all markets.

1973 Silver Shadow 1

1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

1973 Silver Shadow 2

1973 Silver Shadow 3

Note the styling continuity from 1965 until 1973

1969 Silver Shadow 32

1969 Silver Shadow 25

1969 Silver Shadow 9

Notorious comfort and convenience is paramount with Rolls Royce. The Silver Shadow features a spacious and highly refined cabin with an ambiance of luxurious understatement. There’s no bling…no fancy frills, no useless bells and whistles – just classic simplicity. The Silver Shadow continues the legendary Rolls Royce eloquence in its own distinguished manner. It follows Rolls Royce tradition with its exclusive heads-up seating for passengers.

1969 Silver Shadow 10

1969 Silver Shadow 11

1969 Silver Shadow 12

The fully reclining front seats are electrically adjustable with dual folding center armrests. The Silver Shadow cradles its passengers with a deep-seated luxury which rivals the comfort of luxurious lounge chairs. An aromatic scent from the hand-stitched leather by Connolly Brothers excites the senses. The warmth of hand-crafted mirror-matched wood veneers, plush Wilton hand-tufted carpet, and lambswool rugs augments the cabin with the look of fine home furnishings…

1969 Silver Shadow 13

1969 Silver Shadow 14

1969 Silver Shadow 16

Note the elegant mirror-matched veneers for the door garnish rails. This pattern is the exclusive Rolls Royce cross-banded design where the artisan uses two patterns creating an unusual one-of-a-kind design which no two Rolls Royce motorcars will share…

1969 Silver Shadow 19

1969 Silver Shadow 18

1969 Silver Shadow 20

1969 Silver Shadow 17

1969 Silver Shadow 24

1969 Silver Shadow 31

1969 Silver Shadow 34

1970 Bentley T

Who would have thought the Bentley badged variants would become even more valuable than their Rolls Royce sister models? The Bentley T Series is a highly sought collectible world-wide. This is a 1970 titled model.

1970 Bentley T 2

The Silver Shadow is available badged as the Bentley T1 built from 1965 until 1976 and the Bentley T2 from 1977 until 1980. The only visual difference from the Silver Shadow is the radiator grille and the bonnet. Bentleys have always been tuned for more spirited performance. Long wheelbase variants were available, however; these are extremely rare. Clients preferred the Silver Shadow over the Bentley for the longer wheelbase model.

The Bentley is also available as a Corniche coachbuilt fixedhead coupé (only 63 were built from 1971 until 1981) and drophead coupé models (from 1971 until 1984). The drophead coupé was renamed Bentley Continental in 1985 and was in production until 1995. A turbocharged version of the Continental drophead coupé was built from 1992 until 1995.

1970 Bentley T 3

1970 Bentley T 4

1970 Bentley T 6

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 1

1969 Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward coachbuilt coupé

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 2

The Silver Shadow became available as a two-door fixedhead coupé for the 1966 model year. There are two coachbuilders who built these exclusive limited production models. Mulliner Park Ward is the primary coachbuilder and there are 50 extremely rare examples built by James Young (35 badged as Rolls Royce and 15 badged as Bentley models). Mulliner Park Ward crafted exquisite hand-built two-door drophead coupé models beginning the 1967 model year.

Both of these coachbuilt models were renamed Corniche in 1971 and were built until 1982 when the fixedhead coupé was discontinued. The drophead coupé was built until production of this world-famous model ceased in 1995. The Rolls Royce Corniche remains pre-eminent in the world of ultra-luxury automobiles. Mulliner Park Ward crafted Rolls Royce two-door coupé models exclusively for the brand making each highly desirable to collectors and enthusiasts world-wide.

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 3

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 4

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 5

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 6

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 11

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 7

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 13

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 10

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 9

1969 MPW Fixedhead coupe 15

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 1

1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow long wheelbase saloon

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 2

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 5

1967 long wheelbase variant 1

Rare 1967 Silver Shadow long wheelbase saloon

1967 long wheelbase variant 2

There are only 10 of these built for the 1967 model year

1967 long wheelbase variant 6

1967 long wheelbase variant 5

1967 long wheelbase variant 3

1967 long wheelbase variant 4

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 4

A long wheelbase variant became available in 1969 for the US and 1970 for the rest of the markets. There are 10 extremely rare long wheelbase versions built in 1967. One was built for HRH Princess Margaret. These 10 are very, very special saloons. The regular production models for 1969 forward have distinctive signature exterior features.

They have a luxurious roof covering in Everflex with a unique closed-in limousine-style rear window treatment which affords added privacy for rear seat passengers. “RR” badges adorn the sail panels identifying them as exclusive Rolls Royce limited edition saloons. The larger rear doors anonymously incorporates the added length. The long wheelbase saloon is identical in every manner to the regular production versions.

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 3

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 3B

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 8

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 6

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 9

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 12

The cabin is also identical to its sister model. Its additional length equates to 4” of extra legroom for rear seat passengers. Upholstery, trim, carpets, and veneers are all exactly as its twin. Rolls Royce never makes a fuss over amenities – chic understatement is the norm. The classic simplicity of the elegant long wheelbase variants is rich and rare.

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 13

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 16

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 17

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 19

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 18

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 20

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 27

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 27B

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 21B

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 28

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 30

6.2 litre V8 3

The 6.2 litre V8 engine

6.2 litre V8 2

Power for the Silver Shadow is derived from two versions of the Rolls Royce V8 engine. The earlier models from 1965-1970 use the 6.2 litre 16-valve 380 CID naturally aspirated V8 engine that produces 188 hp @ 4,500 rpm with 480 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 13.1 seconds with a top speed in the 109 mph range.

6.75 litre V8 4

The 6.75 litre V8 engine

6.75 litre V8 3

The 6.2 litre V8 engine was bored out to  become a 6.75 litre 16-valve 412 CID naturally aspirated V8. It produces 217 hp @ 4,500 rpm with 530 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 9.6 seconds with a top speed in the 115 mph range. This version was used from 1970-1980.

These hp ratings are estimated based upon hp ratings for the Bentley T Series, when Rolls Royce was quizzed regarding horsepower ratings their reply was “adequate.” This was like ancient Chinese secret to them. When such a prodigious automobile is concerned, this type of inquiry is crass. Both versions of this engine have aluminium alloy blocks and cylinder heads. My personal preference is the 6.75 litre V8 engine; it is designed to produce fewer emissions and is more fuel-efficient.

6.2 litre V8 1

6.75 litre V8 1

The engines are mated to GM 400 Series Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed and 4-speed automatic transmissions. The export versions to the US features the GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. Earlier versions from 1965 – 1967 have the GM 4-speed automatic transmission which is not as smooth as the 3-speed versions; and is more expensive to repair.

The 4-speed cannot be easily swapped out for the 3-speed…I should mention, it is not an easy bolt-on process so kids do not try this at home. Make sure to check out the earlier versions carefully. Transmission fluid should be changed every 12,000 miles with a new filter. Check the lines for leaks and corrosion.

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 31

The Silver Shadow is endowed with a sophisticated high-pressure hydraulic system. A dual master cylinder provides fully independent operation of front and rear braking systems. There is an easy way I found out to detect pressure problems with this hydraulic braking network. Turn on the engine and allow the vehicle to reach operating temperature and all warning lights are off. Then turn off the engine leaving the key in the ignition in the “on” position. Then pump the brakes with your foot. If you get to 35-40 pumps the two hydraulic warning lights should glow.

Should these lights begin to glow before reaching the 35-40 pumps chances are there are existing low accumulator pressure issues. AND…if the two brake warning lamps do not light up at all…someone has disconnected them to hide brake issues. This hydraulic network is obscenely expensive to repair or restore. Then check the master cylinder for leaks, check the fluid level in the two little windows on the reservoir. If there are pressure issues and or leaks, take it to a reputable mechanic. You want to purchase a car that has been regularly driven and its maintenance schedule followed to the letter.

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 32

This high-pressure hydraulic system not only maintains the braking system but the self-leveling system as well. The Silver Shadow has an automatic ride height control designed to maintain optimum poise regardless of road conditions or load. Both front and rear suspensions were equipped from 1965 until 1969. Chassis # 7404 forward is set up for the rear suspension only since it does most of the work anyway.

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 33

This sophisticated hydraulic system is complicated. It’s divided into three systems: the pressure generating circuit, the braking circuit, and the ride height system. The pressure generating circuit consists of three elements: fluid reservoir, hydraulic pump, and accumulator assembly. The hydraulic pump is the most important part of the system. The accumulator regulates and restores pressure to the system as a whole.

The fluid reservoir needs to be flushed every two years. There are two types of fluid used: chassis # 1001-49,999 uses Castrol-Girling RR363 brake fluid; and chassis # 50,000 onward uses Castrol-Girling mineral oil fluid. The two types are NOT interchangeable; should contamination happen this MUST be undertaken by a professional to resolve and believe me…this is HORRIDLY expensive!

Fluid levels may drop over time but this should not happen if the maintenance schedule was followed. EVERY low-fluid situation should be investigated: brake lines, height control valves, and the fluid level window seals on the reservoir itself.

SS 6

Silver Cloud III

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 1

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 17

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 3

The Silver Shadow II is highly refined success. Rolls Royce motorcars are under constant evolution in their relentless quest for perfection. The Silver Shadow II, Silver Wraith II, and the Bentley T2 were in their final revision ending a long and distinguished tenure. Through evolution came refinement with all Rolls Royce motorcars. Nothing emerged from a blinding flash of inspiration.

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 4

The engine was increased in displacement from 6.2 litres to 6.75 litres and a central locking system were introduced in 1970. The suspension was modified in 1972. A foot pedal operated parking brake and ventilated front disc brakes were added in 1973. Electronic ignition was introduced in 1975 and the limited edition Rolls Royce Camargue emerged built upon the Silver Shadow platform.

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 5

Power assisted rack and pinion steering was added in 1977. By the time the Silver Shadow became Series II in 1977; it had received over 2,000 refinements differentiating it from the original Silver Shadow introduced in 1965. If you are in the market for a Silver Shadow II, Silver Wraith II, or the rare Bentley T2 saloons, the 1977 through 1980 models are the ideal candidates for your search. They are everything Rolls Royce inspired the series to be. The Bentley T2 and the Silver Wraith II are the prizes from this genre…happy hunting!

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 6

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 8

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 7

There was very little change with the Silver Shadow II

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 9

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 10

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 11

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 12

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 14

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 13

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 15

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 16

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 18

1977-1980 Silver Shadow II 19

1980 Silver Wraith II 1

1977-1980 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II LWB saloon

1980 Silver Wraith II 11

The luxurious Silver Wraith II is the Silver Shadow long wheelbase saloon in its most eminent form. They qualify as personal limousines. The Silver Wraith II was built from 1977 until 1980. These elegant saloons were also available as extended wheelbase ‘double-cuts’ or stretch limousines.

The Silver Wraith II has exclusive signature features that sets it apart from the Silver Shadow II. It has an elegant roof treatment covered in Everflex with a distinctive limousine-style closed in rear window. “RR” badges are affixed to the rear sail panels. Unique stainless-steel wheel discs adds the finishing touch of elegance…

1980 Silver Wraith II 10

The “Silver Wraith II” badge on the boot lid identifies this as a Rolls Royce limited edition motorcar. Its 4″ longer wheelbase affords rear seat passengers more leg room. Carpeted rear seat footrests are trimmed with the same Wilton carpet. Less than 2,200 Silver Wraith II models were built making them attractive to the collector. These opulent saloons remain the epitome of luxury and elegance on the grand Rolls Royce scale.

Silver Wraith II

1980 Silver Wraith II 9

1980 Silver Wraith II 2

1980 Silver Wraith II 3

1980 Silver Wraith II 4

1980 Silver Wraith II 5

1980 Silver Wraith II 6

The Silver Wraith II as with all Rolls Royce long wheelbase saloons is the formal model appropriate for chauffeur driven occasions…but then, why waste this exhilarating machine on a chauffeur?

1980 Silver Wraith II 8

1980 Silver Wraith II 7

1978 Bentley T2 1

The 1977-1980 Bentley T2 saloon

1978 Bentley T2 2

The famous radiator shell and Flying “B”

1978 Bentley T2 3

The cabin is identical to its Rolls Royce sister model

1978 Bentley T2 4

1978 Bentley T2 7

1978 Bentley T2 6

1978 Bentley T2 5

Special thanks to Rodd Sala and Park Ward Motors Museum, the finest caretaker of the marque in the Midwest. Go see Rodd for all of your Rolls Royce needs whether it be servicing, veneer restoration, a full restoration, or if you are in the market to purchase, tell him Greg sent you!

1965 MPW 8

It’s a shame we will never see another Mulliner Park Ward coachbuilt Rolls Royce, nor the dedication artisans at the historic Crewe facility in the UK put into the illustrious Rolls Royce motorcars they hand-crafted…

1965 MPW 7

This is a 1965 aluminium bodied coachbuilt coupé by Mulliner Park Ward. It is one of the last of the breed…

1965 MPW 2

1965 MPW 3

1965 MPW 4

1965 MPW 5

1965 MPW 6

1965 MPW 1

1969 Silver Shadow 2

1969 Silver Shadow 33

1969 Silver Shadow 28

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 23B

1972 Silver Shadow LWB Saloon 23

RR SC III

SS 3

SS 1

SS 5

RR

Park Ward Motors Museum

SS 4

SS 2

The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow is a legend in its own time. It brought the brand up to date retaining the distinguished demeanor which is the hallmark of the brand. This is one of the most popular models having the highest production volume of any Rolls Royce motorcar in the history of the brand.

It’s the first Rolls Royce motorcar to incorporate monocoque construction in its design. From 1965 until 1980, the Silver Shadow epitomized Rolls Royce luxury and elegance. They are among the finest automobiles hand-crafted at the historic Crewe facility. The Silver Shadow is the pride of the UK…and the envy of the entire world – 

The End

The Crewe built Rolls Royce IS NotoriousLuxury…

The Showdown: Rolls Royce Phantom vs Bentley Mulsanne

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Notorious, Rolls Royce with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour

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The Showdown: Rolls Royce Phantom vs the Bentley Mulsanne

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…….Good….better….best….never let it rest, til the good’s better and better’s best! This is a showdown between the Big Boys. The indomitable icons of the formidable ultra-luxury land yacht class…….superlatives of superlatives….how dare I? I love them both. These began their existence as two separate cars, and then were merged when Rolls Royce purchased Bentley. So the Bentley brand was always the ‘super-charged’ Rolls Royce for the owner/driver that wanted to maintain a lower profile without the sacrifice of luxury or performance.

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Then there came that bitter battle between BMW and The VW Group…..a mud-slinging, back biting brawl in the street it was! The hilarious part was that they both had equal rights to each others trademarks but lacked the authority to use the brand name, for instance, Bentley had rights to “The Spirit of Ecstasy” but lacked the authority to use the name therefore they could not use it. Rolls Royce had rights to the Bentley “Flying-B” etc but could not use the name…..to solve the fight, after a reasonable hour or two in the “time-out room”, BMW purchased all rights to the Rolls Royce brand and The Volkswagen Group purchased all rights to the Bentley brand…….oops, VW had to rely on BMW for engines for a while!

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…..the beat goes on….so BMW gives VW a certain amount of time to engineer their version of the car’s engine with just a year’s notice to withdraw their supply……which gave birth to VW’s formidable W12! It is like the Hatfield’s & the McCoy’s with luxury dream cars! So now, after growing up with Rolls Royce & Bentley as stablemates…….now, they are fierce competitors, so who is King of the Hill?

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I thought I would put them side by side and let YOU be the judge. I have to remain neutral because I love them both dearly and it cut to the quick to see them separated. But it is a new Century with a new view of the world-class luxury car segment. With all that said, here is the story of the magnificently designed and engineered Rolls Royce Phantom

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and the ultra-elegant equally as magnificent Bentley Mulsanne together as competitors. Here is the First strike against Bentley…..I had to use the standard wheelbase version of the Rolls Royce Phantom for this comparison, it is taking Mulliner way too long to come out with an EWB version of their Mulsanne. Naughty!

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Bayerische Motoren Werk AG gave the Rolls Royce new grace and dignity while retaining the formidable reputation as the most desired luxury saloon in the world………giving the legend a ferocious V12 engine, the car is known as the automobile that “does everything better.” From the “Spirit of Ecstasy” adorning the classic Parthenon inspired grille to the seemingly endless rake of aluminium architecture, this is every inch a Rolls Royce.

But then,The VW Group retained the eminent Mulliner Custom Coach Builder as an in-house department, which escalated the bespoke nature of the Bentley Mulsanne to a truly enigmatic experience with each car produced as a one of a kind masterpiece. Not as easy as you thought huh? Which one is better? I shall continue……

To quote each Manufacturer:

“We are Bentley Motors – the definitive British luxury car company, dedicated to developing and crafting the world’s most desirable high performance cars.”

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“Creating a grand new Bentley is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We have a heritage and a style that is unique. As a designer, I look for those classic shapes, those British proportions, with no hard lines…that sense of graceful elegance you’d expect in a hand crafted car from Crewe. But make no mistake; this will be a supremely potent driver’s car with modern technology hidden under the skin. Power with refinement….Then again, a pure Bentley is a fusion of extremes.”

……..Ashley Wickham, Project Leader at Bentley Crewe

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“From launch in 2003, the Rolls-Royce Phantom established itself as the benchmark in automotive luxury, a reputation it has held ever since,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “These cars are timeless in their appeal, but technology moves rapidly and we cannot afford to stand still.

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The Phantom is a family of models that feature significant improvements in design, drive-train and technology. As a consequence of these changes, we will continue to present with pride the best motor cars in the world, which re-confirm Rolls-Royce’s position at the very pinnacle of the ultra-luxury goods marketplace.”

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Each automobile is a refined work of contemporary rolling art. Quality with design all the way thru production, and meticulous craftsmanship in its exemplary form is exhibited with both Phantom and Mulsanne. Each has its own unique existence of the ultra-exclusive market segment niche it helped to create.

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No two Rolls Royces are ever alike. This is a truly bespoke vehicle that reflects the owner’s good taste with the numerous configurations available.  Either a four seat or a five seat interior can be requested along with an electric division for privacy.

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New driver assisted technologies are introduced with a modern user interface and a redesigned multi media controller. A new satellite navigation system was fully updated with 3D maps, landscape topography, guided tours with enhanced points of interest, as well as composite route planning. Information, maps and video content are displayed on 8” control center monitor with programmable book marks for key functions for the driver.

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Rolls Royce was the first to include full LED headlamps as standard on a production car. They deliver a whiter light augmenting safety while preventing driver tiredness. Their unique Curve light functionality uses electronically controlled reflectors to focus headlamp beams in the direction of travel providing greater illumination of the road ahead when cornering. Adaptive headlamps change the cone of light projected onto the road in response to driving speed.

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The Bentley Mulsanne saloon is a contemporary work of art. It’s steel and aluminium monocoque structure has energy absorbing front and rear crumple zones which accordion at a controlled rate upon impact. This beautiful aerodynamic envelope’s bonnet, boot, doors, and front wings are made by the ‘Superform Process’ where a sheet of aluminium is heated, then forced into or onto a single surface tool that creates complex three dimension shapes out of a single sheet, thus, eliminating the need for body seams and welds.

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Even the rear window, was designed into the body work through Bentley’s process of ‘hand brazing’ that produces perfect joins around the curves.

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The power for Bentley comes from redesigning the notoriously reliable 6.75 litre V8 engine. It is twin turbocharged and crafted from light weight alloys with an upgrade in technology. Cam phasing and variable displacement expedites the advanced technology. The engine’s intake valves are electronically adjusted to improve breathing, while closing four of the eight cylinders at cruising speeds. Bentley is the first of the ultra-luxury brands to use variable displacement. These features combined with its wind cheating design greatly improve fuel economy.

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The power for Rolls Royce comes from a direct injection 6.75 litre alloy V12 engine producing 453 bhp @ 5,350 rpm with 531 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm peak torque. It is mated to a new eight-speed ZF transmission that changes gears almost silently and imperceptibly.

HOWEVER, the Bentley Mulsanne is the more spirited of the two and is the preferred driving enthusiast’s Grand Tourer. The Mulsanne’s 6.75 litre V8 delivers 505 bhp @ 4,200 rpm with 752 lb-ft @1,750 rpm peak torque……but then, the Bentley has always been the “performer” of the two hasn’t it? Therefore, we can’t really hold that against the Phantom, because it is more stately and dignified; I can’t imagine trying to show off my Rolls Royce Phantom at 220 mph.

The Phantom is the more “prim & proper” of the two. The Mulsanne is your “rudely elegant” more robust performer, like a bull wearing a velvet jumpsuit. So again we are “stymied!” Which one? OK I will continue……

Each offers personalization……each offer a unique bespoke experience……

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Through Bentley personal commissioning, there are an extraordinary number of possible choices of design, color, leather texture/grain, and wood veneers for the interior. The Mulliner Driving specification escalates the Mulsanne to an even more exclusive level of elegance, comfort, and convenience.

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Being completely bespoke, there are limitless exterior paint choices in a range of Solid, Satin, and Pearlescent finishes, you create your own personal masterpiece. Actually, the colors are infinite they span beyond the boundaries, color customization is a specialty. One could take a favorite tie or purse to the designer to match, then, it appears on your vehicle just the way YOU want.

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It takes nearly three weeks to paint the Mulsanne depending upon your specifications. With a Satin finish, it is applied at the end of the process, the metallics use a layer of unique ‘Mica” and an aluminium mix, and of course, the solids have no metallic components. The Pearlescent colors balance solid and pearlescent layers of paint and is also extremely difficult to control but it gives an unparalleled depth to color and dazzle.

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And back to that special Mulliner magic….one can build a special version of the Mulsanne with everything personalized right down to the ride control. The prodigious design studio of H.J. Mulliner has been a reputable coachcrafter adding their special touch to both Rolls Royce and Bentley successfully for many decades. Owning a Mulliner Masterpiece is the equivalence of owning the Mona Lisa…..a magnificent work of art in both cases.

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Rolls Royce has an equally impressive bespoke program that allows the client to create a car that is completely personal to them. An interesting and popular option is the ‘Starlight’ headliner which incorporates thousands of fibre optic lights woven into the headlining to simulate a star-filled night sky. When Rolls Royce says “bespoke” they mean it in every sense, this is what goes into the personalization of a Phantom; 450 individual leather pieces laser-cut and hand sewn, 112,533 stitches for the Phantom upholstery embroidered detail, 11 individual varieties of wood veneer hand applied in over 20,000 wood veneer combinations with 58 layers to every Phantom wood part, 44,000 exterior paint colors using 100 pounds of paint during the process, and 60 pairs of hands taking over 400 hours to construct each Rolls Royce Phantom.

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This is just one of many available luxury editions in the Rolls Royce bespoke collections, so personalization is as infinitely imaginative as its owner.

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So we are still not sure….right? Let’s look at the styling

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The Rolls Royce Phantom with its long bonnet and short deck represent classic contemporary simplicity. The Spirit of Ecstasy a top the hand crafted radiator shell alerts the world to its presence. Its classy self-closing rear coach doors have umbrellas conveniently stowed away in each.

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The car’s striking front end mixes past, present, and future Rolls Royce styling cues. The high waist line of the car makes it appear even larger and longer, it is designed to sweep end to end with no interruption to its classic lines, with simplicity, it is understated luxury at its finest. A Rolls Royce never had to scream its arrival. Not only is the Phantom the signature model it is the very essence of the marque.

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The Bentley Mulsanne is a sleek network of sweeping lines that seem to ‘never begin and never end’; making the eye travel all the way around the car tracing its attractive aluminium body design.

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The Mulsanne features bold front end styling dominated by the traditional Bentley matrix grille and prominent round projector headlamps with chrome surrounds embossed with the Bentley name.

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The car’s seamless, elegantly formed lines are tasteful and understated elegantly. The classic sporting proportions with the long bonnet, short front overhang, and long rear overhang portray a sense of drama with dynamic movement…….the car looks like it is in motion even when it is not. Its silhouette is augmented by muscular haunches and sharp sculpted lines that flow gracefully from the front wings all the way back to the contemporary ellipse style tail lamps.

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Still no winners yet, they both are gorgeous!

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Bentley Mulsanne media equipped

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There are numerous configurations to the infotainment and media apps in both saloons. They both can be equipped as rolling board rooms with hard drives mounted in the trunk. Hi res monitors are installed into the rear of the front seat head restraints for the rear occupants. An impressive array of electronic choices such as power folding veneer tables with Bluetooth wireless keyboards, and iPad systems that control everything from the rear seat……your favorite music, telephone system, DVD players, electrically adjustable rear seats, even temperature control. When bespoke….sky is the limit.

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Rolls Royce Phantom media equipped

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Now, after reading about both of these supreme achievements in motoring, which one is the winner? They are unique, ultra-luxurious, automotive masterpieces. There is no winner and there is no loser in this rare arena. They are both considered highly respectable and are immediately identified in any gathering of fine automobiles, and they both excel beyond the competitors. Keep up the exemplary work Rolls Royce and Bentley……the world loves you!

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If you enjoyed this post…stay tuned for Part II of “The Showdown.” The next will be a more critical review. It will also showcase their upgraded technology since the date of this post. If you would like to send an email to me I may be reached at: 99milesperhour@gmail.com. Let me hear from you, which Rolls Royce models would you like to see contrasted? The Continental GT vs the Wraith so far is gaining momentum…what do you think? There is also a new RR site I am preparing for release soon. Thanks for looking, hope to hear from you!