These exclusive cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding using only materials of the finest quality including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers, such painstaking attention to detail resulting in a price some 50% higher than that of the standard Silver Shadow. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous four-door model was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name – ‘Corniche’ – in March 1971.
This is a relatively early Corniche which is fitted with twin SU carburettors and the 6.75 litre V8 engine, of which, only about 35 remain on British roads today. Described as being in excellent condition throughout and presented in grey with grey interior and fitted with an Alpine audio and DVD system, this car was first registered in London, on 28 September 1973, to the infamous Roland “Tiny” Rowland, who was at the time Chairman of international conglomerate Lonrho, the car was driven to and from work every day by Tiny himself.
Tiny Rowlands retained ownership until July 1999 when it passed to Sidney Dowse whose escape from Stalag Luft III gained him worldwide fame portrayed in Steve Mcqueen’s ‘The Great Escape’. One of three survivors of the original escape, Dowse went on to escape once again from camp Sonderlager A (Special Camp A) before being recaptured and placed in the death cells back at Sachsenhausen..
In April 1945, after spending several months in solitary confinement he, together with other prominent prisoners, was transferred to Tyrol via concentration camps at Flossenburg and Dachau. He was awarded the Military Cross for his services as a POW.
When the car was acquired by the current owner in January 2006 a programme of renewal and renovation was commenced. The interior was completely renovated by Frank Dale and Stepsons, marque specialists, in London. Video screens were installed in the rear of the car and the operational hand controls are included in the sale.
Rarely can you find a car of this age in better condition. Maintained and enjoyed meticulously throughout its life and steeped in history, this is a stylish yet usable car, an opportunity not to be missed.