19th Oct, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 112

1989 Rolls-Royce Corniche II Convertible
No Reserve

Sold for £92,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: IOM Registered
Chassis No: SCAZD00A4KCH29165
MOT: None

PLEASE NOTE: An MOT has not been arranged pre-sale and therefore the Rolls-Royce is offered without a current MOT certificate.

  • c.11,000 miles from new
  • Current ownership since 1992 with just four former keepers
  • Rare and striking colour combination of Nordic Blue with Parchment hide and a Cream hood
  • Supplied with a large history file including the stamped service book
  • One of only 1,226 Corniche IIs understood to have been produced
  • Coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward
  • Offered at No Reserve from the late Robert Riding’s Estate, the vast majority of which has been left to charity with the RNLI as the predominant beneficiary

In production between 1971 and 1996, the Rolls-Royce Corniche Drophead is the epitome of luxury open-air motoring. Fabled for its extravagantly sumptuous interior and hushed drivetrain, it was powered by a tuned version of Crewe's staple 6750cc V8 engine mated to an automatic transmission. Equipped with firmer springs, thicker anti-roll bars, and revised steering geometry, it proved a more satisfying drive than its humbler saloon car siblings. The presence of olio-pneumatic suspension and a plethora of electric motors ensured that it remained a singularly cosseting experience. The Corniche received its first major revision in 1977 and included new rack-and-pinion steering and alloy-and-rubber bumpers which replaced the earlier chrome bumpers, along with an oil cooler, aluminum radiator, and bi-level air-conditioning system. The Corniche II was officially launched for the American market in 1986 and other markets in 1988. Anti-lock brakes were added for 1988, along with some detail changes to the interior.

One of only 1,226 examples of the Corniche II are understood to have been produced, the car on offer was supplied new through Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers Murray Motor Co. of Edinburgh on the 1st of August 1989. A home-market, right-hand drive example, it was specified from new in the rare and striking colour of Nordic Blue with ‘double thin’ fine lines in Magnolia to complement the Parchment hide specified inside. Surf Blue piping and carpets complete the interior look, along with a Cream Everflex hood. The top roll, steering wheel, and lambswool rugs were all specified in Surf Blue, and the underdash and sun-visors to be trimmed in Parchment hide. Further particulars of the order included white-wall tyres, shaded Sundym windscreen, badge bar, and provision for radio/telephone.

Supplied to the initial owner, who is thought to have never used the Corniche, it was soon re-sold to the second keeper, a business owner in the Hamilton area. In 1990, the Rolls-Royce reached its third and soon after, its fourth keeper, both residing in the Manchester and Cheshire areas, before being purchased and entering into the private collection of Robert Furniss Riding in 1992, as a celebration of official confirmation he was regarded as Isle of Man resident. A hand-written story of the negotiation process of the Corniches purchase is present in the history file – which interestingly took around two and a half weeks! Now offered at No Reserve from the late Robert Riding’s Estate, the vast majority of which has been left to charity with the RNLI as the predominant beneficiary.

Used relatively regularly through the 1990s by Robert, before the turn of the millennium saw the Corniche used much more sparingly. Having now covered c.11,000 miles from new (at the time of consignment), this very low mileage example has a large and interesting history file including correspondence between R. F. Riding and motor traders such as William Loughran Ltd. who had previously supplied the car to the second owner and a representative at Reg Vardy Ltd., discussing when the Rolls-Royce was borrowed for use in a promotional activity at one of their dealerships alongside a Lamborghini Countach ‘Anniversary’ and Ferrari F40.

The large history file further includes the original book pack containing the owner's handbook, radio, warranty, and sales and service books, alongside the original stamped service book, all presented in the Rolls-Royce wallet. The service book documents fourteen entries, almost entirely from Rolls-Royce in Crewe, main agents, and specialists, with the most recent service completed approximately 100 miles ago. Original sales literature, a large quantity of invoices for work completed, the aforementioned letters, period photographs, a car specification sheet, Isle of Man tax discs, and sundry paperwork complete the documentation file.

These beautiful convertibles with Mulliner Park Ward coachwork have a timeless elegance and this delightful example looks superb in the head-turning and rare colour combination of Nordic Blue with Parchment hide and Surf Blue interior features. Anyone who saw one of these with the top down when they were first introduced would have found it difficult to conceive that an amalgam of steel, glass, walnut, and leather could have been formed into something so utterly desirable. An eye-catching example with very low mileage, this is an unmissable opportunity at no reserve to purchase one of the most opulent convertibles of the 1980s.

PLEASE NOTE: The IOM Registration Number shown in the images is being retained by the estate, another IOM Registration Number will be attributed by the time of the sale.

PLEASE NOTE: We have been advised that vehicles registered on, and imported from, the Isle of Man are not subject to Import Duty. Nor is a NOVA application required for their re-registration in the United Kingdom.

About Robert Furniss Riding:

Born in 1940, the only child of only children parents, Bob was educated at Stockport Grammar School then read natural sciences at Christ Church, Oxford. He joined William Deacon’s Bank, and had a stellar ascent through it and its subsequent iterations ending up as Group Treasurer of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He grasped the opportunity of early retirement in 1990 and moved to the Isle of Man where he had been left a house by an aunt. But Bob was far from being inactive, throwing himself into the local community and taking on the turnaround of a local private bank as its Executive Chairman.

Sailing had been a preoccupation during his time in the City, but on coming to the Isle of Man, Bob switched his energies and focus to collecting “quality cars” – principally the products of Cricklewood, Derby and Crewe, but with some maverick exceptions such as Maserati and Caterham. Daimlers and Lanchesters also featured, and he had to move to a large country house to find garaging for the ever-growing collection. His cars were regularly campaigned at rallies for the appropriate marque and were often deserved winners of various trophies. He also got involved in the relevant enthusiast clubs, usually ending up as Chairman – and his list of appointments included the Chairmanship of the Manx Classic Car Club and the Manx Motor Racing Club.

Bob was always a keen supporter of local charities, particularly maritime and those involving young people, and many will have cause to remember with gratitude his generosity and his apparently bottomless well of technical knowledge on “quality cars”, so freely shared. Bob left his Estate predominantly to Charity with the RNLI being the Residuary Beneficiary. Thus, in effect, the entire proceeds of the car collection sale will be received by the RNLI.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 19th Oct, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 18th October 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 19th October 2022 from 9am
Additional viewing for lots 200-254 on Thursday 20th October 2022 from 9am

To take part in the auction please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page

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