Typically Rolls-Royce in so far as it represented evolution rather than revolution, the Silver Spirit and its long-wheelbase Silver Spur sibling were based on the preceding Silver Shadow II to which they bore a distinct family resemblance. The Shadow's floorpan was retained and power-train differences were minimal, the newcomers' chief advance over their immediate forebear being the heavily revised and improved type of rear suspension that had first appeared on the company's two-door models. The styling too came in for revision, with a lower waistline, increased glass area and a more-modern angular look; rectangular headlights graced the front of a Rolls-Royce for the first time, and the oft-changed radiator became wider and squatter. Inside, the Crewe firm's exemplary standards of equipment and finish were maintained, the most noticeable change being the adoption of separate rear seats and the reinstatement of folding picnic tables. By now all cars, regardless of final destination, came with a Bosch fuel-injected V8 engine in three-way catalysed 'California' specification capable of meeting all current emissions targets. The long-wheelbase Silver Spur turned out to be a major success for Rolls-Royce, and by 1985 accounted for almost the same number of sales as the shorter Silver Spirit despite being some 20% more expensive.
Just 6,238 Silver Spurs were made between 1980 and 1989 along with a handful of bespoke factory limousines were hand-built in this period, catering for the chauffeur driven market. According to one source, a single car was built with a 14" wheelbase extension, 16 with 36" extension and a further 84 with the 42" extension. The limousine was priced at $185,000 at the time of its introduction in 1985, an increase of more than 50% over the cost of a standard Silver Spur.
This 1986 factory Silver Spur Limousine has a very interesting history, having been purchased new by Gertrude "Trudy" Carter from the Rolls-Royce dealership in Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Carter was no ordinary lady. Born into a poor family in rural Texas she began her career as a bookkeeper and quickly rose through corporate ranks to the accounting/royalties department of a large firm, where she met and subsequently married wealthy oil man and attorney Harry Lee Carter. Following her husband's death, Mrs. Carter operated as an independent wildcatter, even drilling six wells on her childhood property. Famous for her negotiating skills, Trudy Carter made a cash offer for the Spur Limousine at the dealership and wrote a check for $183,850.00 to drive the car home from the lot that very day. Mrs. Carter subsequently gifted the Rolls-Royce to her daughter Deanna Smith of Salem, Oregon in 1997 – herself a woman of substance, being the first and only female director the Oregon Republican Party and wife of five-time Congressman Denny Smith. Used as a tool to raise money for charity functions, the Silver Spur also ferried the Smiths to various social functions.
This car had remained in the same family from new and at the time of cataloguing was showing just under 41,000 miles. The well-appointed rear compartment comes with a TV, sound system and refrigerated compartment. Finished in Navy Blue with cream leather upholstery, the Silver Spur Limousine presents in excellent condition throughout and comes with a history file that includes a copy of the original check, some service records, and additionally the cars original books and tools.
Available to purchase today, this now three-owner car has covered just over 47,000 miles and is the perfect accessory to any enthusiast’s collection. Whether you’d like to drive, be driven in or perhaps use such a car for corporate/rental purposes, this wonderful example is ready for its new owner.
For all enquiries please call 01233 646328 or leave an enquiry with us by clicking the green button below.
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Buckingham palace on wheels. So comfy and so much room in the back. Don't even think about trying to drive it quickly! Read the full summaryView members blog entries about this car
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