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 hand built at the time, something that isn’t the case now that RR merely assemble cars from crates stamped ‘BMW 7-series’…
Hydropneumatically suspended using Citroen’s engineering 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 will still stun 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.