Before the introduction of the Silver Shadow in October 1965, Rolls-Royce motor cars had traditionally employed a separate chassis, which allowed a variety of coachwork designs. The brief for the Shadow, however, had demanded a modern design: a lower and more compact successor to the Silver Cloud III, which dictated unitary construction, and a monocoque bodyshell. But while this could conceivably have reduced the individual coachwork styles available from Crewe, this proved to be far from the case. Mechanically, the Shadow was similar to the Cloud III, barring the adoption of independent rear suspension – notably improving road holding and ride comfort, and also allowing greater interior space – while the V8 engine was enlarged from 6,230cc to 6,750cc in July 1970. Eight months later the 125mph Corniche was introduced, the fastest Rolls-Royce yet with 10 percent more power; it also benefited from air conditioning, central locking and rack and pinion steering.
As the chauffeur was becoming an increasingly rare breed during the 1960s and 1970s, the market turned to personal, owner-driver cars, regardless of price – in some ways and for certain markets, the more expensive the better. Consequently the Corniche was ousted as the Rolls-Royce flagship by the arrival in March 1975 of the opulent Camargue. Its mechanical specification was similar, but the coachwork, for the first time on a production Rolls-Royce, bore the unmistakable signature of Sergio Pininfarina. Sporting and angular with sharp lines according to the prevailing idiom, it was wider and lower than the Corniche. The interior was spacious and opulent, with more than a hint of the private jet about the instruments and the elaborate seats, and the huge doors made entry and exit astonishingly easy for a car with just two of them. This most luxurious of Rolls-Royces was intended to be highly distinctive and aimed at the wealthy owner-driver – it scored on both counts, costing no less than £10,000 more than the Corniche when launched, with the air conditioning system alone was said to cost more than a new Mini! When production ceased in 1986, just 530 of these stylish Rolls-Royces had been built during an eleven year run.
This wonderful example in metallic blue with tan hide interior comes with both its original sales brochure and its original service book. The interior is in good condition, still exuding the aroma of new leather as is synonymous with these quality British cars. The car has also recently undergone a respray, and now looks as distinctive as it did when first manufactured. These are rare luxury models of the marque, still providing great touring ability in comfort, and this model specifically is highly sought after these days. This is an opportunity not to be missed.