1979 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II – Sold?

by | Oct 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

November 29, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Long recognized as the best automobile in the world, by the 1960s Rolls Royce was starting to receive criticism its still-hand-crafted, body-on-frame, motor cars were falling behind the times.  In response, Rolls Royce launched the unibody Silver Shadow for 1965.  Produced through 1976 as the Silver Shadow and then 1977 to 1980 as the Silver Shadow II, the combined fifteen-year model run has the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce. What appears to be a finely maintained example originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Auburn, New Hampshire by the second owner of the past 29 years.

Currently offered at $28,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Roller priced between this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $16,900 and its #1 “Concours” appraisal of $33,300.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $26,300 and its #1 “Concours appraisal of $41,400.

Launched in 1965, the John Polwhele Blatchley designed Silver Shadow was a major departure from the Silver Cloud it replaced.  More than 50% of Silver Clouds had been sold in its home market where, by the standards of much of Europe and most of North America, roads were narrow and crowded.  The new Shadow was nearly four inches narrower and seven inches shorter than the Silver Cloud, but nevertheless managed to offer increased passenger and luggage space thanks to more efficient packaging made possible by unitary construction.

Other new features included four-wheel disc brakes and an independent rear suspension instead of the outdated live axle design of previous Rolls models.  The standard-wheelbase Silver Shadow measured 203.5 inches and weighed 4,700 pounds.  Shadows featured a 172 horsepower 6.2 L V8 from 1965 to 1969, and a 189 horsepower 6.75 L V8 from 1970 to 1980. Both powerplants were coupled to a General Motors-sourced Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic gearbox, except on pre-1970 right-hand-drive models, which used the same 4-speed automatic gearbox as the Silver Cloud (also sourced from General Motors, the Hydramatic).

A distinctive feature was a high-pressure hydropneumatic suspension system licensed from Citroën, with dual-circuit braking and hydraulic self-leveling suspension. At first, both the front and rear of the car were controlled by the leveling system; the front leveling was deleted in 1969 as it had been determined that the rear leveling did almost all the work.  Rolls-Royce achieved a high degree of ride quality with this arrangement.

In 1977, Rolls Royce renamed the car the Silver Shadow II in recognition of several major changes, most notably rack and pinion steering; modifications to the front suspension improved handling markedly.  Externally, the bumpers were changed from chrome to alloy and rubber starting with the late 1976 Silver Shadows. These new energy-absorbing bumpers had been used in the United States since 1974, as a response to tightening safety standards there. Nonetheless, the bumpers on cars sold outside of North America were still solidly mounted and protruded some two inches less.  Also now made standard across the board was the deletion of the small grilles mounted beneath the headlamps. Outside of North America, where tall curbs and the like demanded more ground clearance, a front skirt was also fitted to the Silver Shadow II and its sister cars.

The British YouTube Channel Classics World provides this modern interpretation of what it’s like to own a ’79 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow:

Long-term ownership combined with well documented and highly maintained history is the key to a successful purchase of vintage Rolls Royce. Those factors are in play with this vintage 1979 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II presenting this elegant Roll-Royce 6.75- liter V-8 purchased 1992 with 123,300 now having 134,289 owning 29 years second owner. Color Old English White with blue interior. Car shows just as nice as the day purchased very high gloss shiny paint with zero chips, dings, and or scratches. All chrome and trim are in show-quality condition, Michelin whitewall radials drive and handles as a quality Rolls-Royce Should. The car just had an oil change and is ready for any true Rolls Royce enthusiast’s dream car.  The car is listed for a family friend and can be seen by appointment only.

Show or go: what would you do with this Roller?  Comment below and let us know!

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