AUTOROTICA: The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow (1965-1980)

The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was produced from 1965 to 1976, and the Silver Shadow II from 1977 to 1980. For me, it is the quintessential Rolls Royce—all about being showy, dastardly expensive, ruthlessly ostentatious and frivolous beyond belief. The cars were no mechanical feat (in fact that have a poor maintenance record) but they definitely turn heads. 

The cars were produced as a sedan, saloon (long wheelbase), coupé and convertible. There are two different versions for the coupé, the Mulliner Park Ward and the very rare James Young version—of which only fifty were built— 35 as Rolls-Royces and 15 Bentleys. The coupés were labeled as “Corniche” starting in 1971 and actually outlived the Shadow brand by some years.

Another coupé variant on the Shadow platform was the Camargue with bodywork designed by the Italian firm Pininfarina, and production running from 1975 to 1986. The Camargue had the distinction of being the most expensive Rolls-Royce, with a base price even higher than the hand-built Phantom VI limousine.

In The Thomas Crown Affair, Steve McQueen was a cool and sophisticated eponymous business tycoon turned bank robber. And, he drove a 1967 Mulliner Park Ward Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. 

You can’t get much cooler than that.

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