Wed, 22nd Jul 2009 13:20

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 23

1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

Estimated at £9,000 - £11,000

Lot details
Registration No: SIA 4488
Chassis No: SCAZ5000IBCH03121
Mot Expiry: Oct 2012

Rolls-Royce's Silver Spirit was launched at the Paris Salon in 1980. Penned by Fritz Feller, it was a welcome replacement for the long-serving Silver Shadow and was the first of a new generation of models that not only formed the basis of the Flying Spur, Silver Dawn, Touring Limousine and Park Ward for Rolls-Royce, but also the Mulsanne and Eight Series cars of its sister company Bentley. The Silver Spirit was not entirely new, however, and employed the floorpan of the outgoing model as well as its proven OHV 6750cc V8 powerplant. The opulent newcomer was lower and longer than the Silver Shadow and, courtesy of its finely-tuned hydraulic self-levelling suspension, was said to provide the best roadholding ever offered by the marque at that time. It was also the first Rolls-Royce to feature a retractable version of the Spirit of Ecstasy - it automatically withdrew into the safety of the radiator shell if dislodged from its standard position. There were a total of four iterations of the Silver Spirit, via which it remained in production until 1998. By that time BMW had obtained an interest in the manufacturer and the Spirit was replaced by the BMW V12-powered Silver Seraph.

'SIA 4488' is an early right-hand drive Series I Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit that left the company's Crewe factory in 1981. It has Blue coachwork and a Blue leather interior and is understood (though not warranted) to have covered just 28,210 miles to date. For some time a member of a thirty-five car private collection, the Rolls comes complete with plenty of supporting history, plus MOT into October 2012, and is regarded by the vendor as having "good" bodywork, paintwork, trim, engine and gearbox. A total of 8,129 Silver Spirit Series Is were produced, the surviving examples of which now represent extraordinary value for money.

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