1973 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Shadow

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1973 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Shadow


Holding the title for the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce model, the Silver Shadow was in production across two generations between 1965 and 1980, with a total of 30,057 cars built.

Whilst sticking to the tried-and-tested Rolls-Royce ethos of providing unparalleled luxury with an impressive level of performance courtesy of the V8 engine - initially 6.2-litres and later updated to 6.75 from 1970 - the Silver Shadow represented the first time RR used a monocoque construction for one of its models, independant rear suspension and disk brakes all round.

Comfort was paramount, and as such a hydro-pneumatic suspension system was employed under license from Citroen, allowing the the suspension to self-level and also drive the braking system at the same time. Initially self-levelling on all four corners, the front system was deemed surplus to requirements in 1969, with subsequent cars featuring self-levelling on the rear only.

The Vehicle

A wonderful ‘high days and holy days’ car, our vendor purchased this Silver Shadow I from the only registered Irish owner, who had custodianship of the car since 2013. Dry stored throughout his tenure, the car was only used sparingly for special occasions on good weather days, and was maintained irrespective of cost with numerous four-figure invoices to speak of.

Lovingly restored at significant cost by the owner prior to the aforementioned Irish gentleman, this Silver Shadow has been not only restored aesthetically in an attractive silver-and-red split-level paint scheme, but also mechanically, boasting numerous upgrades including electronic Lumenition ignition, a renewed air-conditioning compressor and more.

During our vendor’s brief time with the car, new brake discs and pads have been fitted all round, the rubber half-shaft and lower steering column boots replaced, new rocker cover gaskets and a rear ride height control valve have been fitted, and the radiator, header tank and pressure relief system have all been replaced.

On the Outside

The paintwork on this example really does have to be seen to be believed. The level of sparkle in the upper red section, in particular, is absolutely astounding.

There are a few minor chips and marks here-and-there as you’d expect, some of which have been touched in with correctly matching paint. The bodywork is lovely and straight throughout with no obvious dents, dings or impact damage, and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of mistreatment to the bodywork as far as we could tell.

All four wheels are in good shape with excellent chrome ‘beauty dishes’ and matching tyres, whilst the chrome detailing and bumpers are all in good order with only light commensurate wear to the surfaces.

Up front, the trademark grille and ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ hood ornament are in excellent condition, as are the headlights, save for some minor moisture ingress which can be seen detailed in the gallery below.

On the Inside

As with the exterior, the cabin of this luxurious Silver Shadow is in wonderful condition throughout, with the supple leather seats in fantastic condition and showing only the lightest wear. The central armrests are also in excellent order, as are the door cards, rear seats and carpets.

Speaking of carpets, a set of placeholder rubber mats are present with the car, along with the correct deep-pile sheepskin mats for all four seats.

Up above, the headliner is in great shape with no sagging or damage noted, whilst even high-traffic areas such as the inner door sills, column-mounted shifter and steering wheel are in very good condition.

Naturally, for a high-class car such as this, there are plenty of wooden inlays and inserts to speak of, and on the whole this luxurious trim is in great shape, particularly across the dashboard. The doors are also in good order, though look closely and you’ll find plenty of light wear-and-tear, such as scratches and damage to the lacquer.

The vendor notes that the retractable electric aerial is inoperable, as is the dash-mounted timepiece, whilst the original eight-track stereo is in an unknown condition on account of the more modern stereo having been installed between the seats.


Looking underneath the car, it is clear to see that this Silver Shadow has been used and enjoyed extensively throughout its lifetime, with plenty of wear visible to exposed areas such as the suspension components and anti-roll bars, though without a recent UK MOT and due to its age exemption, we’d recommend visiting our HQ for yourself to inspect the car with our own eyes.

What we can report with confidence, however, is that the engine and transmission on this example are in sterling condition. Starting with ease and settling into a silky-smooth idle with no fuss, the 6.75-litre V8 engine is almost imperceptible once running.

Out on the road, the car behaves fantastically and drives as you’d expect a Rolls-Royce of the era to do so, with finger-light steering, wonderful shock absorption and a general air of luxury which encourages you to savour the experience rather than rushing from point-to-point.

In fact, our only complaint that arose from driving the car is that the coolant level sensor appears to be malfunctioning, as it would regularly illuminate then dip off again just as quickly, despite having manually inspected the coolant level to find the tank topped-off.

History Highlights

Included with the car is an impressive history record, comprised of a stamped service book, numerous Rolls-Royce handbooks and manuals, and Irish registration documents.

There are also a plethora of invoices covering work including the aforementioned new air conditioning compressor, work to the braking system, new brake control hoses, interior overhaul in 2002, and work to the cooling system and general service in 2021 at the cost of £1,717 before the car came to our Abingdon HQ.

What We Think

Finished in a frankly gorgeous colour scheme and presented in wonderful condition, this Silver Shadow is a fine example of the first-generation luxurious sedan, which drives fantastically and is a sure-fire head-turner wherever it goes.

How much is it worth? Well, we estimate a final value of £15,000 to £22,000, so if you’re looking for a luxurious alternative to a modern sedan with far more kerb appeal, we’d suggest this is an excellent prospect indeed.

Viewing is always encouraged, within government guidelines of course. The car is located at our THE MARKET HQ near Abingdon; we are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing to make an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

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 never stop encouraging 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 simple 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 and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, 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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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 78000
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Red & Silver
  • Interior: Cream Leather
  • Estimated Price: £15,000 - £22,000

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