If you don't love a Silver Shadow, I am afraid to inform you that you have no soul. Well, that's my take on it anyway. Of all the Silver Shadows I've spied recently, two spring to mind. The first is the slightly ratty-looking, two-tone Shadow not far from me. I pass by it quite regularly and its dishevelled look, including whitewalls with no hub caps and black steel wheels, has the appealing whiff of 'antiestablishmentarianism' about it. The second is this one at DD Classics in Richmond, which I spied not a moment ago in our classifieds. What a wonderful contrast to the tousled beauty of my real-life spotted. Can anything wang the splendiferous meter round to the red zone more quickly than this example? I think not.
The Pewter paint married to the dark green leather is unusual, and therefore it appeals to me massively. I am not messing around when I tell you that I sat gawping at its exterior splendour in picture #2 and #5 for a good five minutes. When I finally managed to move myself on, it wasn't long before I got caught up again. This time by picture #23, which offers a window into that lovely interior. I don't know whether Mr Stephen Buckley, of Altrincham, Cheshire, is still with us today, but if he is, I'd like to shake him by the hand.
He's the gentleman who specced the car originally and lucky enough to take delivery of it in May 1980. It must have taken enormous will power to eschew the endless palette of colours and contrasts that Lex Mead, the supplying dealers in Manchester, would've laid before him. Think about it. He could've added a second colour to the coachwork, like my nearby shabby friend has, or an Everflex roof. He didn't, though. Or he could've gone mad inside, making the top roll or the carpets a contrasting colour. Again, he didn't.
In the end he kept it simple with a uniform colour on the outside as well as the inside. That less-is-more approach is, to my mind, the work of a creative genius. I don't think it's possible to class anything sporting the Spirit of Ecstasy atop a Pantheon grille as discrete, but this is, perhaps, as discrete as Rolls-Royces get. The only additions were headlight wash/wipe, Rolls-Royce emblems on the C-pillars, door mirrors, plus in the rear picnic tables, reading lights, vanity mirrors and footrests.
What else do we know about this particular car? Well, it's a Shadow II, which for most people is the model to go for. It replaced the Shadow I in 1977 and came with slightly less elegant rubber bumpers (and the addition the distinctive chin spoiler), but also a steering rack instead of a steering box and modified front suspension. And anyone with any experience of the marque will tell you those mechanical updates alone make the Shadow II more desirable, because they vastly improved the handling. At the same time, the dashboard was the completely reworked and a new split-level climate control system added - it's a better system when it comes to comfort but does add more complexity into the mix.
Hopefully any problems will be few and far between with this car because it looks to have been cared for very well from day one. It's original, has covered just 58,000 miles and every one of those miles is supported by the full history according to the advert. As you may be able to tell, this is one of those cars that I want, badly. Even more so now I've written about it. But it's the photos and the colour scheme that did it for me. Even if you're not in the market for one, I hope, like me, you enjoy admiring it. It's an absolute belter.
Specification | Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II
Engine: 6,750cc, V8, naturally aspirated
Transmission: 3-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): Adequate
Torque (lb ft): Also adequate
CO2: Oh plenty
MPG: If you have to ask...
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Year registered: 1980
Price new: £41,960
Yours for: £39,950
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