Rolls-Royce’s final coach-built models were entrusted to the company’s in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner Park Ward. These two-door cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding, using only materials of the finest quality, including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hides and Burr Walnut veneers, a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible. This painstaking attention to detail resulted in a price some 50% higher than the standard Silver Shadows. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous Silver Shadow was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name – ‘Corniche’ – in March 1971.
The well tried aluminium V8 engine was adopted, displacing 6,750cc, driving through a Turbo Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic gearbox. For the Corniche variant, power output was enhanced by about 10%, providing greater torque and giving the car a top speed in the order of 118mph with sports car-beating acceleration to match. The independent coil spring suspension provided the smoothest of rides, complemented by a hydraulic self-levelling system in the rear.
This beautiful example was first delivered to the late Sir Bruce Forsyth in July 1971 and was owned by him for seven years. Having been with the current vendor for over a decade, this desirable convertible looks wonderful with the Ming Blue coachwork and sumptuous blue interior. Described to be in good condition throughout, this excellent open top tourer benefits from an extensive history file and has been very well maintained in its current ownership. Despite not being required, there is the reassurance of a fresh MOT with the car and UK V5C registration.