1979 ROLLS ROYCE Silver Shadow II Red LabelView vehicle description
Narrower and shorter than the Silver Cloud it supplanted, the Silver Shadow was the first Rolls-Royce to feature a monocoque bodyshell, disc brakes and independent suspension. But, before the traditionalists close this browser tab to find out where they can watch some VSCC racing this weekend, we should remind you that the Silver Shadow was still largely built by hand, something that isn’t the case now that RR merely assemble cars from crates stamped ‘BMW 7-series’…
Hydropneumatically suspended using Citroen’s genius, the Silver Shadow introduced the world to the idea that luxury should neither be heard nor felt. In this it succeeded, and a properly maintained example still stuns you with its almost complete lack of NVH, even today. A Tesla might have it beaten, but a modern Royce certainly won’t.
You see, the sort of Rolls-Royce that built the company’s reputation wasn’t about offering vulgar finishes, no matter how beautifully they might be applied. It was about creating cars using the finest engineering standards that man could achieve, and then cloaking it in a body that drew admiring glances rather than attention; no-one has ever posted a video of a Silver Shadow wafting through London, which is exactly as it should be.
In the care of a former Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club south west chair for the past 30 years, this wonderfully preserved Silver Shadow II has, in the words of its owner, been “pampered” while in her care.
Supplied by H.A. Fox, it is a ‘Red Label’ 75th Anniversary model, one of only 75 built. Finished in Athenian Blue with a light blue hide interior, it also has an Everflex roof and Rolls-Royce motifs to the rear quarter panels.
Used extensively across Europe and as far as the Middle East on RREC outings and tours, we’re told it has been “always reliable in every way”.
On the Outside
Athenian Blue is a rare and unusual colour but one that suits the Silver Shadow’s stately lines very well. It’s all in great shape too, with the sort of panel alignment and shutlines the firm is famous for.
It’s weathered its 43 years well, retaining ripple-free flanks and an absence of the sort of car-park dinks we’ve become so used to seeing on even the most carefully curated cars. Chalk that down to a fastidious owner who understands the value of looking after her cars properly.
The wheels run straight and true and are finished with opulent chromed hubcaps. They’re shod with matching Avon Turbospeed tyres too, which is exactly as it should be.
We will never get tired of telling you that experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but it does perhaps give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.
The black Everflex roof is in a good condition, and the Rolls-Royce motifs on the rear quarter panels are present and correct.
Brushes rather than rubber blades keep the Lucas headlamps clean, and each cluster is marked with the Rolls-Royce motif; a car like this reveals itself to you gently and life with it becomes a series of small pleasures. These things matter, and we can see why the seller has kept it for three decades.
Problems? None that we can see bar a few swirl marks here and there and some patination to the chrome. Certainly nothing that needs your attention.
On the Inside
The interior is finished in light blue hide with dark blue piping and this use of leather extends to the top fascia roll. There’s little in the way of wear, just a gentle patination that’s entirely in keeping with the car’s age and certainly nothing so vulgar as actual damage.
The carpets are Mountain Blue in colour, with lighter lambs’ wool over-mats to protect them. These too, are in a good condition.
As is the extensive wooden veneer. With no chips, scratched, or cracks that we can see, it’s settled into middle-age more gracefully than any of us here in the office.
Opening the glovebox not only reveals a clean and cavernous interior, but also the plaque confirming that this is one of only 75 Anniversary cars built for customers in the United Kingdom.
The original Blaupunkt radio is in place, as is the speaker balance switch. We also love the outside temperature gauge, which reads, with typical Rolls-Royce thoroughness, down to -25°C and up as far as +50°C; truly a car for all seasons and all markets.
Other joys include illuminated mirrors set in wooden frames on either rear quarter panel, proper chromed controls throughout, a comprehensive tool kit, and more ashtrays than we can count.
The boot is as vast as it is exquisitely presented.
As you can see from the attached invoice, the Silver Shadow had a four-figure repair to the radiator in March of this year: the invoice for this, along with many, many others, can be seen at the end of the listing.
They’re from proper, well-respected independent experts too, like Silver Lady Services, Specialist Cars (South West), and Flying Spares.
Rest assured, this is a very well-maintained example, as you’d expect given its owner.
The car is with its owner in Kingsbridge in Devon. Please contact the seller direct if you’d like to view the car in person.
In addition to all those old invoices and bills, the Silver Shadow also comes with the original advert from H.A. Fox as well as a copy of the showroom brochure.
However, it doesn’t have a current MoT certificate, and while it is exempt by virtue of its age, we would strongly encourage the new owner to have it MoT’d at the earliest opportunity. The cost of an MoT is a small investment when offset against the purchase and upkeep of any classic vehicle, and it gives an independent, third-party assessment of the car’s condition, which not only provides reassurance to the owner (and any subsequent purchasers) but might also be invaluable in the event of a bump when negotiating with the police and any interested insurance companies…
The recent Vehicle History Check doesn’t show anything of any concern.
NB: The personalized numberplate is available by separate negotiation and does not come with the car at the sale price.
What We Think
If you’ve ever wanted to own a Silver Shadow then now is the time to step up to the plate and put your money where your dream is because they don’t come much better than this.
Beautifully presented, it comes to you direct from an enthusiast owner who’s had it for three decades; this is the antithesis of the ‘flip car’ that’s been cheaply tarted up to snare the innocent.
With all this in mind we expect the Silver Shadow to reach between £15,000 and £20,000, at which price point it offers more car per pound note invested than almost anything else you can buy for the same money.
So, if you have ever fancied buying one of the automotive world’s true legends, we have to ask: if not now, then when?
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with the vendor in Kingsbridge, Devon to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
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If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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