The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a luxury saloon car built from 1965 until 1980 and was the first Rolls-Royce to be constructed using a monocoque chassis and, to date, has the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce. The original Shadow was 3½” narrower and shorter than the Silver Cloud which it replaced, but managed to offer increased passenger and luggage space thanks to more efficient packaging made possible by its construction. Aside from a more modern appearance and construction, the Silver Shadow introduced many new features such as disc brakes instead of drum brakes and independent rear suspension rather than the ageing live axle design of previous cars. The superb ride quality achieved in the Shadow was thanks to the innovative high-pressure hydraulic system with dual-circuit braking and hydraulic self-levelling suspension.
The pre-1970 Shadow 1 featured a 172 bhp 6.2 Litre V8 coupled to the same 4-speed automatic gearbox as the Silver Cloud sourced from General Motors. The car’s most innovative feature was a high-pressure hydraulic system licensed from Citroen, with dual-circuit braking and hydraulic self-levelling suspension. At first, both the front and rear of the car were controlled by the levelling system; the front levelling was deleted in 1969 as it had been determined that the rear levelling did almost all the work. Rolls-Royce achieved a high degree of ride quality with this arrangement.
First registered in February 1968, this early Silver Shadow is a real delight. The previous owner invested in the region of £20,000 in maintenance, principally with Royce motors of Betchworth. The majority of this expenditure is supported by a file of invoices, and we note that the Shadow has recently benefitted from a new MoT certificate.
These early chrome-bumpered Silver Shadows are rapidly building a following in the Rolls-Royce community. As such this well maintained example, finished in silver with a red leather interior, and showing only 68,000 miles recorded, is a fantastic prospect and we feel a canny buy for the future.