Recalling its glamorous Grands Routiers of pre-war days such as the Phantom II Continental, Rolls-Royce’s final coachbuilt models – entrusted to the company’s in-house coachbuilder Mulliner, Park Ward – were limited to just two, a two-door coupe or similar convertible, the former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year. The cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding, using only materials of the finest quality products, including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers, which necessitated a 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 percent higher than that of the standard Silver Shadow.
Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the 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 name Corniche had been chosen for the latest coachbuilt models because it symbolised their higher cruising speeds and their ability to cover greater distances with the minimum of fatigue for driver and passengers,” announced Rolls-Royce. The Corniche proved a major success for Rolls-Royce: periodically revised and updated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (convertible) examples being delivered in 1995.
Finished in Garnet over tan, and supplied with a lot of early history, this Corniche was the subject of a restoration in 2006. Both interior and body – including exterior paint – are reported to be in excellent condition. The car is supplied with a UK V5 registration document and with an MoT until March 2016.
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