1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II

Highlights


  • Dry-stored / dry-driven.
  • Condition belies age and mileage.

The Appeal


In its day, the Silver Shadow II was a revolutionary car for Rolls-Royce. These days, the ‘Royce-of-choice’ for classic car enthusiasts, the Shadow II from 1977 onwards is the one to look out for. 

From that year, it was renamed ‘Silver Shadow II’ in recognition of several major technical upgrades, most notably rack and pinion steering, a total brake system revamp to discs and significant modifications to the suspension, all of which improved handling considerably. The changes made the Silver Shadow II much more of an owner-driver’s car than its predecessor.

This exemplary 1979 example – one of just 8,425 Shadow II’s built – drew appreciative glances as we drove to the photo location and, in the all-too-brief time we spent in and around the car, it was easy to comprehend the passion and desire that continues unabated for these most iconic of British saloons.

By the time the model concluded its production run in 1980, the Silver Shadow had received over 2,000 refinements through its evolution from 1965 and it took at least four months to build ‘the best car in the world’.

Membership to the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club, founded in 1957, is open to everyone with historic, current and future interest in this prestige marque and its members are as knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic as they come.

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The History and Paperwork


  • Matching VIN/engine numbers.
  • Good MoT history and current valid until December 2022.
  • V5 certificate in keeper’s name.

This highly presentable Silver Shadow II rolled off the Crewe production lines in mid-November, 1979 and received its first UK registration a few days later on 1st December. 

The current keeper acquired the car in late 2015 and has offered it for sale due to the imminent arrival of a new and exciting acquisition to what is an evolving – and eclectic – collection of vehicles. 

Accompanying the car will be a file of service and maintenance records that date since the current owner acquired the car along with two original keys. Sadly the previous owner lost the service book.

* Note: The vendor has requested that we draw attention to the mileage discrepancy that occurred between its MoTs of 2013 (34,667 miles) and 2014 (112,125 miles), prior to his ownership in 2015. 

Apparently, the original odometer developed a fault and was replaced by the keeper at that time with a used and working, but higher mileage unit. It is understood that its replacement cost less than the estimated repair at Rolls-Royce.

The vendor believes the genuine mileage to be approximately 40,000 miles, comprising the 5,000 miles driven since its 2013 MoT, plus the mileage reading at that time.

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The Interior


  • Fully original.
  • Elegant leather upholstery.
  • Tidy and unblemished interior.

The original interior is in exceptional condition and belies the car’s 43 years. Presented in Light Blue (VM3244), the leatherwork on both the front and rear furniture has stood the test of time, with only the driver's seat showing some wear. All four door cards are in great condition. 

The full-width Circassian walnut veneered dashboard is in very good condition, as is the centre console and veneered mirror inserts on the C-pillar. The sun visors, headlining, rear foot rests and other soft furnishings present in remarkably good condition. Furthermore, the custodian reports that all the instruments, switchgear and backlights work as originally intended.

However, the veneered door cappings have fallen victim to weathered ageing with the lacquer peeling away in several places across all four doors. These are highlighted in the accompanying image gallery.

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The Exterior 


  • Original Caribbean Blue metallic finish.
  • Brightwork gleams like the day it was fitted.
  • The famous grille and ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ are spotless. 

Handsomely presented in its original Caribbean Blue metallic finish (code 9500683), the excellent condition of the interior continues to the exterior of this iconic British saloon and is indicative of the love and care afforded to it by past keepers through all of its 43 years. There are however a few blemishes on the paintwork in some places. The boot lid has crazed paintwork and would benefit from a respray.

The wheels are in exceptional condition and shod with a good set of Avon Turbosteel 70 tyres. However, there are a few rust bubbles appearing on nearly all of the blue sections of the wheel covers.

At the front, headlight lenses are clear and the indicator/reflector lenses show no hint of fogging often associated with a car of this age. The same may be said for the rear light clusters.

The brightwork around the car is overall in very good condition, with only the front bumper having some pitting and very small rust spots, including one in the valance. A cursory glance down each flank shows no evidence of damage.

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The Mechanics


  • Both original keys.
  • Fully serviced and maintained.
  • A good MoT history, currently to December, 2022.

At the photo location, the Silver Shadow II was frequently repositioned to obtain the best of the challenging light at this time of year. This ‘Royce-of-Choice’ started first and every time and settled into an appreciative, but highly restrained V8 burble.

The automatic transmission connected smoothly – including reverse – with drive engaging with no drama, requiring just a light feathering of the revs to get underway.

The custodian reports the car to be in excellent mechanical condition with steering, brakes, engine, drivetrain and running gear performing as well as their respective British engineers intended.

Like the immediately visible parts of this car, the underside and lower sills present in very good order with a degree of natural oxidation that may reasonably be expected on a car of this age.

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Summary


Rolls-Royce had an established reputation for comfortable and reliable executive saloons well before the Silver Shadow made its first appearance in 1965. The brand's virtues were strengthened by the Shadow’s ingrained quality, ease of use and mechanical durability. After all, a Rolls-Royce never breaks down…it merely fails to proceed.

With an abundance of road gravitas, the Silver Shadow II is one of the easiest to own classics available today. Robust engineering, high quality materials, attention to detail and clinical build quality go a long way to making the Shadow II a good choice for those who like to travel in retro style.

It is hugely important to keep classic cars like this on the road and to encourage the next generation to continue to do so. 

You can’t beat seeing a child waving or smiling at your car, hearing a breathless ‘Wow!’ or ‘Cool!’ and hoping they draw inspiration from the occasion sometime in their future.


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 1979
  • Make Rolls Royce
  • Model Silver Shadow II
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 117,400 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • adrian.•••• £10,750 06/05/22
  • adrian.•••• £10,250 06/05/22
  • duncan-•••• £10,000 06/05/22
  • adrian.•••• £9,750 06/05/22
  • nrs £9,500 06/05/22
  • adrian.•••• £9,250 06/05/22
  • nrs £9,000 06/05/22
  • adrian.•••• £8,750 06/05/22
  • nrs £8,500 06/05/22
  • Vanderg•••• £8,100 06/05/22

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