Wednesday, March 9, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

I don't often see vintage British cars parked on the street, especially not the finest British make of them all, Rolls-Royce. I suppose it makes sense that a hand-built luxury car like this 1967 Silver Shadow would survive four decades. At the same time, I'm a little amused. The Shadow was perhaps Rolls' first "modern" car, and yet it's kind of a parts-bin vehicle. The transmission is from GM, the hydraulic suspension is licensed from Citroen. Still, it was very advanced for its time, and looked current enough that Rolls would build it for fifteen years from 1965-80. The Silver Shadow was the most popular Rolls-Royce model in history, making this a relatively common car by Rolls standards - if you consider a total worldwide production of 30,057 cars over fifteen years "common". And that's including all the long-wheelbase models. When was the last time you saw one in daily-driver condition, street-parked, in as cutthroat and progressive a town as San Francisco? It's big, decadent, has a large, lazy V8 engine and doesn't have to answer to any stinking bureaucrats for pollution standards. I love it.

This one's in very nice condition for its age, too. The paint is in good shape, the vinyl top looks nearly new and the brightwork is free of rust. The biggest flaw I can find on it is the rear valance panel beneath the bumper seems to have gotten bent, and the bottom of the rear quarter panels are starting to rust out. A reputable body shop should be able to have it good as new. Aside from that, she's a beauty, a simply styled, well-engineered, classic Rolls-Royce.


  1. I blogged about a Bentley T (rare badge engineered Shadow) back in October that seems to serve as a daily driver, but I think it's the exception rather than the rule.

    The way these vehicles were built I suspect regular maintenance will see them easily out live an owners existence without recourse to restoration, I imagine the only week point maybe the hydraulic suspension which if RR used the same hydraulic fluid Citroen used is highly corrosive unless changed every 24 months regardless of usage.

  2. This is a lovely spot of an early Silver Shadow, although the Everflex roof isn't original, as it wasn't offered on the standard saloon in 1967 and the beading is incorrect. Although RR used some components licensed from Citröen, the hydraulics are unique and utilised RR363 as the fluid medium.