The timeless styling of the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow makes it difficult to believe that this, the Crewe company’s first unitary-construction car, was launched as long ago as 1965.
Six decades of body-on-frame construction was abandoned in favor of unit construction, a clear acknowledgement that the golden age of coachbuilding was truly dead. Intended to succeed the dated Silver Cloud, the new car was revolutionary. Some 10 years of development work had gone into perfecting the new model. The Silver Shadow and its nearly identical twin, the Bentley T-Series, were launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 1965. The 6,230cc V-8 engine was similar to that which had powered the Silver Cloud II and III, however the heads were redesigned from the Cloud's to place the spark plugs above the exhaust manifolds, where they were easier to service. The factory did not disclose something so vulgar as the engine's output, but it was estimated at somewhere around 200 horsepower. The pushrod V8 , rumored to be a license built American design but actually developed in-house, is still in production today – in modified form – in the Bentley Mulsanne, making it the longest production run of any engine still in use. The engine is robust and without major weaknesses; it's not uncommon for one to cover 500,000 kilometers before needing a rebuild
The new car was a sensation. Everyone who was anyone had to have one--heads of state, movie stars, captains of industry, rock stars. Despite the increased production levels, demand could not be met, it was possible to buy a new Shadow and immediately resell it at a handsome profit to someone who lacked the patience for the two-year waiting list.
In its 15-year production history, the car remained outwardly similar and always distinguishable a Silver Shadow, but several important modifications were made under the skin. All models used General Motors-sourced automatic gearboxes, first the GM four speed Hydra-Matic, and from 1968 the three-speed GM 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic, which had been fitted to export models from day one. In 1970 the engine was enlarged to 6,745 cc by increasing the stroke.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow represented a great change in the way Rolls-Royce approached car production, and reflected a gradual change in the type of people who bought them and left its mark on over 30 years of Rolls-Royce and Bentley history. Its replacement, the Spirit, has yet to capture the hearts of classic car enthusiasts in the same way.
Our Silver Shadow in Nostalgia’s showroom was first registered in 1976 and was owned by the same family for around 20 years in Leesburg, Florida. The founder of Nostalgia Classic Cars Mr. Mazin Al Khatib bought the car for himself and shipped it to Dubai. It has been serviced and restored by the team in Nostalgia’s Restoration Workshop and it has 1,174 miles on the clock.