AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Car: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Year: 1972

What makes it special: The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a luxury car produced by British automaker Rolls-Royce in various forms from 1965 to 1980. It was the first by the marque to use unitary body and chassis construction. The Silver Shadow was produced from 1965 to 1976, and the Silver Shadow II from 1977 to 1980. To date, the combined model run has the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce.

What made it famous: The Silver Shadow was designed with several modernizations in response to concerns that the company was falling behind in automotive innovation, most notably its unitary construction. Style-wise, its design was a major departure from its predecessor, the Silver Cloud. The new Shadow was 3 12 inches narrower and 7 inches shorter than the Silver Cloud, but still offered increased passenger and luggage space thanks to more efficient packaging made possible by unitary construction. Other new features included disc brakes replacing drums, and independent rear suspension instead of the outdated live axle design of previous Rolls models. The Shadow featured a 189 hp, 6.75 L V8 from 1970 to 1980. It was mated to a General Motors-sourced Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission. A distinctive feature was a high-pressure hydro-pneumatic suspension system licensed from Citroën, with dual-circuit braking and hydraulic self-levelling suspension. Rolls-Royce achieved a high degree of ride quality with this arrangement.

Why I would want one: For the sheer, immature joy of rolling up to someone at a stop light and asking for Grey Poupon.

Fun fact: The convertible variant was marketed as the Silver Shadow Drophead Coupé.