Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

When you think of a luxury car, what do you think of?  Some will say Cadillac, some BMW and others Jaguar, but most commonly, a Rolls Royce comes to mind.  That is why we are going to talk about the Rolls Royce that had the largest production numbers out of all Rolls Royces, the Silver Shadow.

The Silver Shadow was produced from 1965-1980.  Its original name was going to be Silver Mist because of the natural progression after its predecessor, the Silver Cloud; however, when the company found out that, in German, “mist” means manure, rubbish or dirt, they decided to go with Silver Shadow instead.  This luxury vehicle was the first to use the monocoque chassis, which put minds at ease that Rolls Royce was not falling behind in automotive innovations.  It sure wasn’t falling behind in price, though; the first year the Silver Shadow was produced, it came with a luxury price tag of a whopping 6,557 euro!

When the Silver Shadow was first released, it came with some changes from the cars that came before it.  First, there was some concern that because it was slightly smaller than its predecessors, that it would not be as luxurious; this was far from true.  Due to better packaging, the Silver Shadow actually offered more passenger and luggage space.   With the release of this vehicle, we also saw changes in the brakes from drum brakes to disc brakes and individual rear suspension rather than the outdated live axle suspension.  The Silver Shadows most innovative feature was its high-pressure hydraulic system, licensed from Citroen, that offered dual circuit braking and hydraulic self-leveling suspension that helped it achieve a high degree of ride quality.  As for its engine, from 1965-69, the Silver Shadow had a 172hp 6.2L V8 and from 1970-80, a 189hp 6.75L V8 and both used the General Motors Hydramatic 400 transmission.

There were two other popular models that were produced based on the Silver Shadow.  The first was the Silver Shadow II.  This second Silver Shadow model offered the following changes:  rack and pinion steering, modifications to the front suspension to improve handling, more passenger leg room, and an alloy and rubber bumper instead of chrome.  Bentley also produced a Bentley T that was identical to the Silver Shadow except for different badging and a few slight cosmetic changes.

Overall, this now vintage Rolls Royce was the epitome of luxury cars during its day and is still sought after by collectors because of its impressive quality.  If you are looking to purchase one, see the collection for sale at www.fossilcars.com.

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