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1978 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II


• Unique psychedelic wrapped Shadow
• Thousands spent on mechanicals
• Superb business opportunity
• Includes promotional website
• Serious crowd puller!
• New MOT


The Silver Shadow was one of the most important vehicles ever produced by Rolls-Royce. The epitome of luxury at the time of its release in 1965, the Silver Shadow was in production for 15 years until 1980. Celebrity owners of the Silver Shadow included Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mohammed Ali, Dean Martin, and Johnny Cash amongst others. The car is recognised for bringing Rolls-Royce into the modern era, debuting unitary construction, disc brakes and independent rear suspension.  

In February 1977, the Silver Shadow II was introduced. The most notable mechanical improvements were to the rack and pinion steering and modifications to the front suspension which improved handling markedly.


First registered in April 1978 little is known about the Shadow’s early life. Looking at the MoT trail the earliest recorded is from 2006 when it had covered 73,496 miles.  Acquired by the seller in 2019 it is thought to have spent the past few years in a garage, and at time of purchase the odometer read 74,817.  He has added a further 574 miles during his ownership, although that would have been a larger figure had Covid not interfered with his plans.

Inspired by custom paint jobs of the 1960’s, particularly John Lennon’s Phantom,  he set out to create a unique sixties look with references to rock music, film, drug culture, CND and the peace movement- ( all without infringing any copyrights obviously!).

The Shadow was destined to be a promotional vehicle, available for tv & film work, weddings, proms and parties etc..  He contacted talented local commercial graphics company -Chilli Graphics of Firle, Sussex, and they took his ideas and really went to town!  A quick look at the pictures will give you an idea of the stunning detail they managed to incorporate into the design; the more you look the more you see!  He then registered a website to market the Shadow – and the first couple of bookings appeared…   quickly followed by lockdown.  How’s that for unlucky timing? 

Now life is slowly returning to normal the seller has embarked on a new project, and he hasn’t got the time to deal with bookings etc.  Rather than let it gather dust he decided to sell the Shadow together with the website as a going concern.  With plenty of interest, and lots of possibilities, this is a pretty unique opportunity to acquire a business that has the potential to be quite an earner!

The Paperwork

Upon purchase it was soon apparent that the Shadow needed a bit more than a polish to get it running reliably.  

Throughout 2020 the Shadow made repeated visits to West Hoathly Garage, Rolls Royce and Bentley Specialists who carried out extensive work with bills on file totalling just under £11,000. Areas that received attention were the braking system, the carburettors, cooling system and suspension as well as numerous other small items that needed either rebuilding or replacing.

Upon inspection the Shadow was a solid example and it was important that it would be reliable in its new role, so no expense was spared.  The current MoT runs until December 2022.  

The Interior

Inside the Shadow is pretty much as it left the factory with a few exceptions.  Firstly when the seller first got the car it was still fitted with an 8 track player –groovy but not very useful these days!  

Rather than go for a standard radio he decided to hand the car over to Huets in-car entertainment specialists, who tastefully installed a Pioneer SatNav/DAB/Bluetooth system with speakers and aerial at a cost of £2,200. 

It works well and blends in with the interior nicely.  A previous owner had added fitted Rolls Royce sheepskin seat covers that fit well but might not be to all tastes.  That said they do fit with the sixties theme, and are supremely comfortable. It is likely that the original leather seats are still in good condition underneath but we did not remove the covers to check.

The seller also had bespoke red branded floor mats made featuring the web address.  He actually ended up with six as the embroiderers had trouble spelling “psychedelic” on a couple!

The dash is clean and tidy with smart burr walnut in good condition. The roof lining is clean, and there is little that requires addressing throughout the interior. We noticed the passenger side vanity mirror is discoloured with age. The seller tells us that the central locking can be a bit “hit and miss”; it works most of the time.

The Exterior

If you are a shy, retiring type then stop reading now, this car is not for you!  Originally blue from the factory the Shadow was repainted in 2011 in a slightly different blue -  code 20N Breeze Blue according to a tag under the bonnet.  There are still places on the Shadow where you can see this; in the door shuts, under the bonnet and in the boot, as well as on the wheel trims.  The black vinyl roof was left alone during the wrapping as it was a period feature and was in excellent condition.

The lights and lenses all appear to be fine apart some misting of the glass on the outer headlight lenses.  The grille is in immaculate complete with the silver lady mascot, and a badge bar sporting a selection of badges of the period.  The rear bumper has minor spots of pitting and corrosion starting to show through the chrome.

It’s the wrap that grabs your attention and it is all intact and unmarked.  There is a small area on the lip of the passenger side front wheel arch that looks like it may have been rubbed, but generally the wrap is in excellent condition with no tears or holes.  

With such funky graphics it’s hard to know what's going on under the wrap, but having a quick fingertip feel in the usual places did not reveal any lumps or blistering under the vinyl.

The wheels all have the correct colour coded hubcaps and are in okay condition, but are showing some corrosion in places.  The tyres are matching Avonspeeds that have plenty of life left.

The Mechanics

Under the bonnet the engine bay is showing its age here and there with evidence of surface corrosion, but generally it’s just age related. The Shadow started first turn of the key and there were no squeaks, clunks or rattles when we were manoeuvring it for the photos.  

As mentioned the seller has spent a great deal to get it running and driving properly.  A new battery was recently purchased and fitted, and there is also a bespoke fitted car cover that will be included in the sale.

The Appeal

At first glance it is obvious this Shadow is not going to appeal to the traditional Rolls Royce owner.  They wouldn’t want to arrive at the Rotary Club or the Masons Hall in this!

But this is so much more than a Rolls Royce for sale; it is a ready-made business opportunity complete with website that just needs a little publicity to make it fly.  

We can’t think of an event where arriving in this Shadow would not turn heads, from movie premieres to Glastonbury.  If you want everyone to know you’ve arrived then arrive in the Psychedelic Roller!

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1978
  • Make Rolls Royce
  • Model Silver Shadow II
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 75,005 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
9 bids from 8 bidders
  • phil-gr•••• £13,250 22/01/22
  • matel £13,000 22/01/22
  • Boyce £12,000 22/01/22
  • graham1•••• £11,000 21/01/22
  • unic.fa•••• £10,000 18/01/22
  • Boyce £9,500 17/01/22
  • rs3.aff•••• £9,000 16/01/22
  • I Campb•••• £8,500 16/01/22
  • dennist•••• £5,000 16/01/22

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