Long Weekend With A Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Not wishing to postpone any longer the opportunity of comparing the current Rolls-Royce motor car with the earlier Silver Clouds, and finding ourselves confronted with tasks which would entail a long weekend of motoring, we borrowed from Rolls-Royce Ltd. one of their Silver Shadow demonstration cars, which had over 30,000 miles to its credit, and set off to enjoy again the unique fascination and mystique of motoring in what the majority of people willingly accept as the World’s best car. It so happened that the journey commenced from Barlby Grove in London, from where, many years ago, another classic car was engineered by Georges Roesch. Soon we were proceeding along the M4 with the Frigidaire refrigerator maintaining a pleasantly cool temperature within the car. Luggage had been stowed in the boot, the lid of which is contrived for easy loading even of cabin-trunks, the comfort of the front seats, electrically-adjustable in eight ways, and upholstered in soft hide, proving acceptable at the commencement of a long journey. The Silver Shadow has been compared unfavourably with the Silver Clouds, in some quarters, as being a less imposing-looking car in which the occupants sit as they do in ordinary common all garden saloons, in full view of the populace, lacking the privacy which the high back-seat squabs and different body lines of the earlier models provided. Let me say at once that, from within, the dignity of Rolls-Royce motoring has been very little diminished in a Silver Shadow, which is actually more spacious in spite of having more compact overall dimensions than the model it replaces. The beautifully-veneered facia with its complete and unobstructive instrumentation, the thin-rimmed steering wheel, the unchanged style and layout of the manual controls, and the sheer quality and dignity of the interior appointments are just as impressive and satisfying as those in any previous Rolls-Royce model. Ahead of one the “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot continues-to ride at the head of a convincingly long bonnet, but this Silver Lady dips and curtseys far less than she once did when the pace of a Silver Cloud had to be checked. Indeed, the level ride of the Silver Shadow is a masterpiece of suspension engineering and, as we were soon to discover, the somewhat stiffened suspension of the latest cars has obviated excessive roll, so that one enjoys both an exceedingly comfortable pitch-free ride and very effective rapid cornering.

The M4 provided a rapid exit from the Metropolis, but the town of Reading represented a fearful bottle-neck, which it must have taken us some twenty minutes to negotiate, on this sunny Friday morning. At the fork where a policeman once controlled traffic from a sort of covered throne there is now a roundabout but this does not help appreciably to speed the flow of traffic. Incidentally, a public house at this junction is called “Jack of Both Sides,” presumably because there are entrances to it from both roads. In contrast to congested Reading, Newbury has an effective ring-road, and soon we were on the Bath Road and making very good progress. The swans were out at Hungerford, close to which an old Austin Seven Opal two-seater was encountered. The old toll-house on this road, we noticed, was up for sale, and the one-time R.A.C. camp near Calne is no more. We were bound for Monmouth, and picking up the M4 again, crossed by the new Severn bridge, for a fee of 2s. 6d., where the Army Apprentices College is to be seen on the right-hand side; 17 miles after leaving the Motorway, we arrived in Monmouth, approximately three hours since leaving London.

While in Monmouth we took the opportunity of photographing the Silver Shadow beneath the statue erected by the townspeople in memory of Charles Smart Rolls, M.A., F.R.C.S., A.M.I.MECH.E., who was killed in a flying accident at Bournemouth in July 1910. We also took the opportunity of visiting the impressive house, the Hendre, where the parents of the Hon. C. S. Rolls, Lord and Lady Llangattock, lived and where Rolls conducted some of his early motoring and ballooning experiments. It was pleasing to find that this impressive old house is in a good state of preservation, having recently ceased to be used as a school. It is still owned by the Rolls family, and Col. Harding-Rolls is himself an enthusiastic owner of a Silver Shadow.

After conducting some business in Monmouth we turned the Silver Shadow in the direction of the former R.-R. birthplace of Derby. This entailed a long run through the drabness of the industrial Midlands. It is under such conditions that the soothing effect of Silver Shadow motoring is appreciated. It is not an absolutely silent car, faint wind noise and the more pronounced sound of the tyres intruding, while the engine hums to quite an extent when approaching maximum speed in the third gear “hold” position of the automatic transmission. But mechanically this is an exceptionally quiet car and the other noises are noises only in the Rolls-Royce context, and would be far more pronounced in lesser cars. It is, for instance, possible to converse in perfectly normal voices at speeds of 100 m.p.h. and more, and the feeling of opulence, though it may break a commandment, is something which few humans can willingly forgo. The sense of isolation from the cares and troubles of the World without is something which I remarked on when writing of the Silver Cloud III some years ago. I experienced this in full measure in this more complex, highly sophisticated Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Driving such a car at the 70 m.p.h. speed limit on motorways was akin to putting skids under the wheels of a horse-drawn dray, with the exception, of course, that the Silver Shadow is as quiet at 70 as it is when idling through traffic or devouring Continental roads at 110 m.p.h. and more. Driving is simplicity itself. The automatic transmission has a right-hand selector lever which can be set either in normal-drive position, flicked down into “hold”-third, in which case an indicated maximum of 75 m.p.h. is available before a change into top gear, or put it into “hold”-second position for motoring on slippery roads or down steep gradients, etc., when first gear starts are obviated. There is normal kick-down control, but this tends to lag appreciably and for instant acceleration it is better to flick into the third-speed position, the selector having electrical connection with the gearbox, and working impeccably. The gear changes are so smooth, 95% of the time, as to be almost imperceptible. The brakes, discs for the first time on a Rolls-Royce, are very very good indeed. They pull the car up undramatically from high speeds with the lightest imaginable pressure on the pedal. The handbrake is a rather mediocre affair which pulls out from under the facia, using the right hand; it has a very short travel, however, in contrast to that of the Silver Cloud, and a bright and large warning light signifies when it is in use. The power steering is perhaps too low-geared, at 4½ turns, lock-to-lock, but is extremely light, more so than on the Silver Cloud III, but, having little castor return-action, it tends to be over-sensitive. Perhaps this is largely a matter of driver opinion, one experienced Rolls-Royce owner thinking it a great improvement on previous cars; but the writer thought it less effective than the power steering on, for example, a Mercedes-Benz, Citroën, or perhaps the Bristol 410. Under certain circumstances there is just the slightest trace of vibration at the steering wheel rim, and even very faint shake, and over certain surfaces there is slight vibration through the floor of the body-structure. If anything, these sensations are welcome, for they prevent the Rolls-Royce from seeming completely lifeless, and indeed, the suspension has a hardness which is far more acceptable than the flabby, completely-soft springing of most American cars. Indeed, it is almost impossible to define in words the satisfaction derived from this combination of ride, cornering power and shock absorption which personifies Rolls-Royce suspension engineering.

I must confess that on entering the drab town of Derby that evening I was disappointed when, just after a Ford driver had given way to us to enable us to turn round in a busy road, the Silver Shadow’s engine twice stalled. Admittedly it started again instantaneously, but it was embarrassing to find a Rolls-Royce caught out in this manner, and I can only assume that, the steering having been put on full-lock without much throttle being used, the hidden horses could not cope. I had been disappointed, too, to find that the speedometer needle, once so rock-steady on these cars, fluctuated by a matter of about one mile per hour, that the little scratch-proof rubber on the ring of the little ignition key bore the letter “B ” and not the magic linked “Rs,” and, as you will read later, there were a few more small disillusionments. But when all is said and done, these constitute comment on, rather than criticism of, the Silver Shadow. . . . 

There are very, very few cars which perform as effortlessly and willingly as this modern Rolls-Royce, and none which behave in quite the same impeccable, characteristic manner. One covers the miles very rapidly indeed with the very minimum of effort, whether this is applied to steering the car, occasionally changing gear, if it is deemed desirable to do so to obtain maximum acceleration, or applying the brakes. These major services, like the minor controls, work not only with precision but are so light that even a slightly-built driver just recovering from influenza would feel no fatigue at all in putting up high average speeds throughout a long day’s motoring in this latest version of the V8 6¼-litre Rolls-Royce.

After a night spent in Derby, we went the next morning to the Arboretum (which is simply the name to a now rather dreary park, presented to the town by Joseph Strutt in 1840) in order to pay homage at the statue of the late Sir Frederick Henry Royce. The news that morning, splashed in the headlines even of the Daily Mirror, that Rolls-Royce Ltd. had landed an American order for RB211 aeroplane engines worth £1,000,000,000 to Britain, was as pleasing to read as the contemplation of spending a few more days in the company of the Silver Shadow. Incidentally, in Derby we noticed an Austin Seven Swallow saloon parked at the kerbside, and a Y-Model Ford Eight still in use. Soon we were speeding quietly along the M1, on which road we were passed for the only time during this long weekend, that by a Rover 2000 Automatic, which we still think may have been a disguise for an experimental car from the Rover Company. The Silver Shadow had no difficulty in redressing the balance, but top speed, especially in this country, restricted as it is by frustrated and ill-advised politicians, is not the sole purpose of a car. Indeed, there are faster cars than a Silver Shadow, more accelerative cars, cars which can be flung through bends more quickly and there may even be quieter cars. But none has the collective qualities of light controls, mechanical silence, high-speed cruising and impeccable finish and interior decor, coupled with the sort of performance and safety factors which the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow provides. It is indeed a splendid car in which to cover the ground with much enjoyment and a complete lack of anxiety. Although we had deliberately kept the speed down we found ourselves some miles north of Boroughbridge, where we had another appointment, 1¾ hours after leaving Derby. Incidentally it was on the M1 that we encountered another Silver Shadow going south, the only one we had seen in motion since leaving London.

Near Redale we came upon a stretch of public road, some 4½ miles from Catterick Camp, which is given over to tank instruction, the width and surface haying obviously been specially prepared and a big turn-round bay provided, while all along both sides are special kerbs which, from the graunching marks they carry, suggest that the tanks are frequently, if not sideways-on, certainly considerably out of control!

On the Saturday evening we came south as far as Doncaster, noting that in this town one of the old A1 road signs remains, although the new A1 road no longer goes through the town. It was here that there was another mild disappointment, when the driver of an ancient Ford Zephyr tapped on the driver’s window while we were stationary at some traffic-lights, to tell us that one of our brake stop-lights was inoperative. This is a thing which can happen to any car and it is only the very high standards set by Rolls-Royce that cause the owner discontent when this commonplace failure occurs on a car of their manufacture. We had not covered a sensational mileage in these first two days, but a good deal of business, as well as driving, had been accomplished and the Silver Shadow had certainly contributed to our lack of fatigue. The eight-way electric adjustment of the two front seats has already been commented upon. This works quietly and not only enables the very best driving position to be achieved, but enables minute changes of seat-position to be made while driving, which is an additional contribution to preventing aching or stiff muscles. The window lifts are also electrically-operated and the glasses rise and fall both quietly and quickly. These are amenities which one expects in a car of this calibre and cost, but it should be emphasised that, from within, the Silver Shadow seems virtually as impressive a car as a Silver Cloud and any diminution of dimensions has certainly not had the effect of conveying a sense of cramp or inferiority to the occupants. The faster this modern Rolls-Royce is driven the more you discover that it can be thrown about with considerable abandon, and it still corners accurately and feels like quite a small car. By making good use of the gear lever and those very powerful brakes average speeds which would he commented upon in many other cars pass unnoticed, and seem like normal unflurried motoring to the more “press-on” owners of Silver Shadows. Yet the car’s whole demeanour is one of dignity and comfort. In these respects the Silver Shadow is as much a logical advance over the Clouds as a new Phantom was an improvement on the Silver Ghost, and the Phantom II, in its turn, was better than the Phantom I.

Saturday night having been spent in Doncaster, on the Sunday the passenger brought me to Essex by a cross-country route through the deserted fenlands of Lincolnshire and down into Cambridgeshire, pause being made at Duxford in the hope of seeing some preparations for the filming of “The Battle of Britain” and, perhaps, photographing the Silver Shadow in the company of other famous Rolls-Royce-engined machines, which would have been appropriate on the 50th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. But all we saw were barred gates and closed hangars.

So it was home through the East End of London, in the unexpected congestion of the sunny last-Sunday in March. Under such frustrating traffic conditions, a Rolls-Royce, as I have said, placates the temper and proves restful whether crawling at a snail’s pace or not moving at all, an attribute I have experienced to a lesser degree in another good car, the Lancia Flavia.

The Monday was occupied in taking the Silver Shadow over a familiar test-route, involving more than 300 miles in an easy day’s motoring. Another Silver Shadow was encountered during this journey. When it was finally returned to Conduit Street the car had done a total of 1,335 miles. Fuel consumption varied from 11.9 m.p.g. to 13.2 m.p.g. with an overall figure of 12.5 m.p.g. of 100-octane petrol. The oil-level button remained well off the minimum mark and three pints of oil, according to a very flexible and vague dip-stick, would have restored the level in the 14½-pint sump. It is hardly necessary to add that the car had given no mechanical trouble. Coming into Brentwood a demented tramp had run to the kerbside to spit on it. But as he meted out the same treatment to a Daimler which happened to be following, this cannot be taken as any reflection on the excellence of the Rolls-Royce. And that concludes the story of a long motoring week-end.

Some Aspects of the Silver Shadow

Those who have not yet driven one of these cars may be interested in some details about it. The light-alloy 90 deg. vee-eight 104 x 91.4 mm. (6,230 c.c.) push-rod o.h.v. power unit introduced for the Silver Cloud II in 1959 is used, but with improved combustion chambers and porting and the sparking plugs rendered more accessible by locating them above the exhaust manifolding. Hydraulic pumps for the power brakes and suspension height-control of the Silver Shadow are driven by additional lobes on the camshaft. This engine gives, as Rolls-Royce would say, sufficient power. Sufficient, that is, for a maximum speed of over 115 m.p.h. and a s.s. ¼-mile acceleration time of 17.5 seconds. It also provides the kind of torque which gives extremely effective pick-up for silently and very quickly overtaking slower vehicles. It is inaudible when idling, after the initial clatter of the hydraulic tappets has died down from a cold start. It pours out suave power and the starter, actuated by the Yale ignition-key, brings it to life so quietly that on lesser cars a nearly “flat” battery would be suspected. The 28-pint coolant system is inhibited and treated with Rolls-Royce anti-freeze and the cylinder banks exhaust through a stainless-steel exhaust system with triple silencers.

Transmission on r.h.d. cars is by a 4-speed fully-automatic gearbox with fluid flywheel but l.h.d. export Silver Shadows have a 3-speed transmission with torque-converter which gives a maximum in middle-speed of some 85 m.p.h. This 4-speed transmission functions very smoothly, but there is still a noticeable jerk when second speed engages hurriedly to cope with abnormal road conditions. The ratios are 3.82, 2.63, 1.45 and 1.0 to 1, with an axle ratio in the hypoid-bevel final drive of 3.08 to 1. There is normal engine braking when in third and top gears but no sprag or hill-hold. When the R-position is in use with the ignition off a parking lock is engaged. A tiny lever fits into a floor socket for emergency gear selection.

The Silver Shadow, which has been in production for 21 years, represents an epoch, as the first Rolls-Royce to have unitary construction, all-independent suspension, and disc brakes. A steel body with aluminium doors, bonnet and boot-lid is mounted on two sub-frames which are supported on Delaney Gallay “Vibra-shock” stainless-steelmesh resilient supports, movement of the back sub-frame being damped by a small double-acting hydraulic shock-absorber. The suspension has automatic height control by rams operating at hydraulic pressures of 1,150 to 2,509 lb./sq. in. This gives notably pitch-free travel and has eliminated the nose-dip under braking and most of the nose-up surge under fierce acceleration of the Silver Cloud cars, although there is still a jerk as it settles as it comes to rest. A double-wishbone layout with coil springs and anti-roll bar is used in front and the new is by trailing arms, angled to give slight negative tyre camber during fast cornering, in conjunction with coil springs and telescopic dampers. The drive shafts have Detroit inboard and Hooke outboard universal joints. There is an occasional metallic sound from the o/s back of the car, apparently characteristic of this model, and hump-bridges to some extent harshen the ride, but emphasise the very good damping of the suspension.

This suspension system endows the Rolls-Royce with an excellent ride and enables it to be cornered rapidly without excessive or untidy roll. Through fast bends the car is beautifully balanced and only on the tighter turns does eventual oversteer develop, quickly stilled by the finger-light Saginaw power steering. This steering is ultra-light, so that a Silver Shadow can be controlled, and parked, with finger-and-thumb; it is just that much too insensitive about the straight-ahead position for entirely accurate placing of the car. This is, perhaps, the penalty paid for the ultra-light parking action, and is emphasised because there is very little castor return. That a good deal of road noise intrudes and that there is some roll on corners is a reminder that even Rolls-Royce have to compromise to some extent when it comes to making a 2½-ton motor car stay on the road at speeds close to two-miles-a-minute, ride level, and yet go round corners like a good sporting car. The test car was shod with Firestone de luxe 8.45-15 low-profile tubeless cross-ply tyres, which emitted mild squeal on the faster corners. After some experience the Silver Shadow could be cornered very quickly with much satisfaction to the driver. Since its introduction stiffer damping has been introduced.

The braking system is very special, with three separate systems in addition to the handbrake, and these power-hydraulically applied, from two spherical accumulators containing nitrogen at 1,000 lb./sq. in. and pressurised to 2.500 lb/sq. in. by the engine-driven hydraulic pumps. The 11 in. Girling discs are edged with stainless steel wire and give a total braking surface of 513 sq. in. The result is impeccable braking, the Silver Shadow pulling up from the highest speeds under mere feathering of the foot on the pedal, which is, however, rather too close to the slender treadle accelerator. Moreover, this kind of braking is accomplished with no noise, no fade, and no time-lag and is delightfully progressive. is accomplished with no noise, no fade, and no time-lag and is delightfully progressive. It is superior even to the fine mechanical-servo system used by R.-R. from Silver Ghost days.

Coming to the appointments of a Silver Shadow, these are in the true Rolls-Royce tradition and very reminiscent of those found in Silver Clouds and earlier models. The facia is of polished-veneer, and the dials have black faces with white figures. There is a deep illuminated cubby-hole on the left, with quietly-shutting, magnetically-closed lid, having a Yale lock. Surprisingly, the polished-wood screen rail had a nasty uneven join at the top o/s and it is secured by Phillips screws. In the centre of the facia is that traditional circular R.-R./Bentley switch-panel, containing generator and oil-pressure warning lamps. It is no longer possible to lock the lights-switch, to prevent tampering, but the switch still pulls out, to light up the panel from a tiny lamp under the facia sill.

Rolls-Royce now fit a Kienzle clock. The big 130 m.p.h. speedometer is supplemented by smaller dials for FUEL (E, ½, F, with a minimum oil-level marking in red, to which the pointer records if a small button is pressed), COOLANT (Hot-Cold), OIL (Low-High) and AMPS (60, 0, 60+). The instrumentation is by Smiths, except for a Lucas ammeter. Four different-colour grouped warning lamps, controlled by a button, light up for BRAKES (fluid-level low or pad worn), FUEL (normally indicates when only about 3 gallons remain in the 24-gallon tank, but comes on whatever the level, if the button is pressed, as a check that the light is working properly), and COOLANT (low level). A larger warning lamp acts as a reminder that the handbrake is on and indicates that a stop-light has failed, although this latter “fail-safe” had failed on the test car. These days only the speedometer carries the R.-R. insignia.

Other facia services are a parking-lights control, cigar lighter, the two heater/refrigerator controls, together with the big swivelling inlets for refrigerated air with their own cut-off buttons and volume control from a slide on the facia lower edge, 2-speed wipers-cum-washers button, 2-setting panel lighting, two discreet concealed ash-trays, a big air outlet; and exceedingly neat sunken finger-switches for the roof lamps and rear-window de-misting. A Smiths Radiomobile radio is standard, mounted centrally just below facia level, with a switch for extending or retracting the very tall aerial and a knob for front/rear speaker selection. When retracted the aerial is tamper-proof, without the need for a little key to lock it, as on lesser breeds of automobile.

There is a remarkable combination of heat/cool-air settings, which alter to the accompaniment of the slight whine of electric servos opening and shutting hidden doors, especially in refrigerated cars, and screen de-misting is prompt and 100% efficient. Scuttle foot level air venting is also provided, controlled by little plated knobs on the scuttle walls. The wipers-park compactly to the left offer a final sweep. The eight-way, up/down, forward/back, tilt, electric seat adjustment aforementioned now works quietly and not only enables the most effective driving position to be selected but, because minute changes of position can be effected so simply while the car is in motion, cramp and stiffness can be eased. In addition, reclining squabs are provided. Normal electric window-lift buttons are fitted; all the minor controls and buttons are plated. Upholstery is in selected English hide; the floor is Wilton carpeted, the pile fluffing, like that of a good but newly installed domestic quality carpet, on the test car.

The boot is spacious, easy to load because of the unrestricted opening when the lid is up, and it is carpeted (and illuminated), and contains a full tool-kit, and an electric charging-socket. Pressure in the tyre on the spare wheel stowed under the boot floor can be checked through a small access door. For additional safety in night motoring red lamps are fitted to the armrests of the rear doors, and above the windscreen there is a hazard-warning with tell-tale in case it should be inadvertently operated during the day time. The doors have Yale locks but these are operated by using the ignition-key upside down, there being no separate key, which is desirable when letting hotel staff garage the car. The lock in the boot-lid moves with the button but the others are properly mounted. Sill interior-locks enable the car to be locked from outside without using the key in conjunction with the outside buttons. No air-extraction is provided for the body, and this must therefore be slow, especially as the sealing is such that the doors will not shut easily unless a window is opened; even so, they shut noisily. The two-clicks precision action of coachbuilt doors is sadly missed, especially on a Rolls-Royce. VW achieve this, however, so why not Pressed Steel? This was emphasised when the button of the driver’s door stuck in, and the driver couldn’t gain entry!

There are folding arm-rests for the front seats as well as a central one for the back seat, pockets in the front doors, a stowage-well between the front seats which can accommodate an extra passenger when its base is moved upwards and forwards and arm-rests on the doors, the driver’s adjustable by thumb catch (but it fell off when we tried this). The interior door handles are simple plated pull-up levers, with matching fixed grab-handles set at about 45 deg. behind them—simple, but nothing could be more effective. In the back compartment additional roof or reading lamps, with their own switches, movable foot-rests, two folding tables, inbuilt mirrors, leather roof-grabs, ash-trays, and duplicated lighters and stowage pockets in the backs of the front-seat squabs are strategically placed for maximum convenience.

There is a vanity mirror in the n/s anti-dazzle vizor, the ¼-lights open at the front but are fixed for the back compartment, and although the rear-view mirror is not of anti-dazzle type it swivels easily. The headlining is of washable p.v.c., the rain guttering of the body is well contrived, and small but appreciated refinements include a completely non-dazzle full-beam warning lamp, illumination of the R, N, 4, 3, 2 indicator for the r.h. gear-control stalk lever which can be switched off with the instrument lighting, and turn-indicator warning lamps, also in the speedometer, so unobtrusive I did not at first notice them. A slender l.h. stalk controls the turn indicators, which have side repeaters; they cancelled rather too quickly. Tinted glass is provided on refrigerator-equipped cars likely to be used in hot sunny climates, so that we were able to look into the March sun-light on the first day of the test without eye-strain.

The 17-in. two-spoke steering wheel is discreetly thin-rimmed, with just a plated horn-push in its hub, deletion of the late-early ignition control many decades ago and of the hard/soft suspension settings with the advent of the Silver Shadow’s sophisticated height-control all-independent suspension having tidied up this aspect of the car. When you pull up at a service station to buy some 20 gallons of fuel, the flap over the screw-thread filler is opened electrically as you press a button by the steering column. The spring-loaded bonnet-lid hinges from the front, after a substantial under-facia release has been operated. The V8 engine is largely concealed by the auxiliary services; the engineering is naturally of the highest standard, the fuse-box contains 20 fuses and labelled circuits, and the main hydraulic reservoirs have visual level-glasses. Electricity is normally generated by a 35-amp. Lucas dynamo but with refrigeration a Lucas IIAC 45-amp alternator is used.

Lighting is by a Lucas sealed-beam four-headlamp set, with a tiny R.-R. badge set between each pair of lamps. Whether this implies specially-prepared lamps I do not know but certainly the driving light is good without being glaring and when dipped with the floor button the beams are still effective. A reversing lamp is fitted. When a parking lamp is selected the starter is rendered inoperative to prevent one driving off improperly illuminated.

The Silver Lady graces a dummy radiator of classic shape, as do R.-R. badges, but nowhere does the name Silver Shadow appear on the body. From the back the car’s appearance is less distinguished, but far more modern than that of a Silver Cloud. But the silhouette from the driving seat is as impressive as ever, particularly after dark, although the curving lines of the bonnet made the radiator stand proud to a lesser extent, perhaps, than on any previous Rolls-Royce. Six chassis points require greasing every 12,000 miles.

The foregoing notes are additional to the full description of the Silver Shadow published on its introduction, in Motor Sport for November 1965, and might be read in conjunction with our road-test report on the Silver Cloud III in the issue dated September 1965.

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To conclude, a Rolls-Royce is still widely accepted as a status symbol but I prefer to covet it for the enhanced ego which derives from driving such a fine car. I headed the Silver Cloud III report “Not So Much a Motor Car, More a Way of Life,” the title of a then-current David Frost programme. This remains true of the Silver Shadow. These latest cars from Crewe are still comparatively rare in this country, because the bulk of the limited output is exported. So, if you are contemplating purchasing one and it becomes available, this is an opportunity to be grabbed with open cheque book. Because, although it may not be a car for the wide open spaces, like a Ford GT40 or an A.C. Cobra, or for hurling up and down Alpine passes quite as you would a Lamborghini or a Porsche, or for enjoying excessively winding roads as you do in a Lotus Elan, nor perhaps has it quite the technical rapport of a Jensen FF or N.S.U. Ro80, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow is a great devourer of distances, as well as being an impeccably made and beautifully appointed motor Car. As tested, it costs £7,895 7s. 11d.

W. B.