1969 Rolls-Royce MPW Two-Door
Wonderfully rare and elegant coachbuilt Rolls that drives beautifully; last owner 32 years; long MOT
First registered in June 1969, this fine-looking Rolls-Royce Mulliner Park Ward two-door saloon has had just five owners from new, according to the V5C, the fourth of whom owned it from 1988 until earlier this year.
Our vendor acquired the car from a deceased estate, the solicitors handling the sale claiming that the car came with a very large history file which sadly never materialised. It is therefore presented here as something of an enigma with no paperwork whatsoever apart from a V5C which the vendor had to apply for as the original was lost along with all the other documents.
Currently registered as SCX 635G, it seems to have had the number GOW 283 from 1989 until 2020, according to Experian, which may perhaps give a clue as to the identity of the previous long-term owner. Intriguingly it also comes with two pennants, a Union Jack and an RAF flag, which can be flown from the car using the fixings installed on the tops of the front wings.
We are told that the brakes were fully overhauled fairly recently and while there are no invoices to substantiate this, the fluid looks clean and fresh and they certainly pulled the car up sharply as we moved it around for these photos. In fact the car started instantly and ran so quietly that we could barely even hear the engine. It also ironed out the potholes in our yard as if they didn’t exist, feeling nice and taut with no undue squeaks or rattles.
The Regal Red paintwork is in very good shape, as is the exterior brightwork. The cream leather upholstery is also very presentable, as is the cloth headlining and the red lambswool carpets. The woodwork appears all original and undamaged although it has lost its sheen and would doubtless polish up beautifully once refurbished.
An online MOT history check shows that the car has an MOT until 26th June 2021 with just two advisories: ‘horn operation intermittent; oil leak but not excessive’. It also shows that the car has been MOTd fairly regularly over the last 14 years but has covered fewer than 700 miles during that period. The Avon tyres all have plenty of tread left and the MOT history would suggest that they were probably renewed only 500 miles ago.
Our vendor has done around 20 miles in the car and reports that it drives beautifully, the only fault he noted being the fuel gauge which seems unduly pessimistic – he put £65 of petrol in but the gauge showed that the tank was only quarter full.
This is a very attractive and honest-looking car all round and it is possible that an inquisitive new owner may be able to piece together at least some of its history using the services of those helpful chaps at the RREC or the RROC.
PS: Thanks to a contact at the RREC we now know that CRH 6595 was originally supplied by dealers Robert Massey of Market Weighton, York for first owner J L Spooner of Cottingham, Hull and delivered on 17th June 1969. Further information may be available should the new owner wish to contact them.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was introduced in 1965 to much acclaim for its outstanding modern lines and advanced engineering. It continued to use the excellent and incredibly smooth and silent 6,230cc V8 engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission but now featured unitary construction with no chassis as such but with an integrated body and frame. This gave a strong and light structure and enabled the car to provide more internal space than the old ‘perpendicular’ models whilst being much lower, lighter, slimmer and shorter.
A modern improvement was independent suspension all round with an ingenious automatic self-levelling system powered by an engine-driven hydraulic pump with servo-assisted disc brakes as standard. Dignified but understated, the Shadow was an immediate success and sold very well, particularly in the United States.
However, some customers demanded a more bespoke motorcar, so from 1966 Rolls-Royce offered a coachbuilt two-door Coupe which was joined by a Convertible version the following year. With fabulously elegant coachwork designed by Bill Allen, each and every one was handbuilt by Mulliner Park Ward in a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks and resulted in a price some 50% higher than the standard Silver Shadow.
Only the very finest materials were used including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and the best burr walnut veneers, giving these cars a level of quality and glamour that far outstripped the saloon. Demand for these magnificent cars was so great that the waiting list was measured in years, not months, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name, Corniche, in March 1971.
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