Considering that even the cheapest Rolls-Royce costs more than some homes, the British brand’s cars are luxuries few can regularly enjoy. Well, at least when they are new. But on the second-hand market, a Rolls-Royce often ceases to be a rare commodity and becomes another second-hand, albeit high-end, luxury car. So those well-worn wheels may be more affordable than you think. And if you’re interested in style while saving money, the 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II currently listed on Bring a trailer might be a whip worth looking into.
The 1966-1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow brought serious innovation to the luxury brand
|1966-1976 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
1977-1980 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II
|Motors||1966-1969: 6.2-liter V8
1970-1980: 6.75L V8
|Powerful||6.2 liters: 200 hp (estimated)
6.75 litres: 220-240 hp (estimated, world of classics)
Four-speed automatic (1966-1969 UK models only)
|Unloaded weight||4556 pounds|
|0-60mph time||10.9 seconds|
An economical Rolls-Royce sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s all relative. It still costs over $300,000, but the Ghost is truly an entry-level Rolls. And this is by no means the brand’s first “affordable” car. The luxury brand launched this idea decades earlier with the Silver Shadow.
It may not look like it today, but the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a significant departure from earlier models like the Silver Cloud. First, it ditched the coachbuilder-friendly body-on-frame design for a modern monocoque. So it’s roomier, lighter and faster than its predecessors, and handles better too, Hagerty Remarks. This particularly applies to the 1977-1980 Silver Shadow II, which has rack-and-pinion steering and upgraded front suspension.
Speaking of suspension, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow also introduced four-wheel disc brakes and independent suspension to the brand. In an unusual move, however, Rolls-Royce didn’t develop the Shadow’s suspension itself. Instead, he authorized the hydropneumatic configuration made famous by the Citroën SM and DS. Accordingly, the Silver Shadow is also the first Rolls-Royce with self-leveling suspension.
However, Rolls-Royce didn’t overlook luxury touches when developing the Silver Shadow. Along with a flawless ride, these high-luxury cars feature Connolly leather upholstery, walnut wood trim, lambswool carpets, power windows and even power seats. And air conditioning became standard in 1968. No, these classic cars don’t have all the bells and whistles of a modern Rolls-Royce, but they’re still at home in today’s traffic.
You can bid on this 1980 example at Bring a trailer
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By 1980, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow had evolved into its final form. As such, the Silver Shadow II currently listed on Bring a trailer benefits from improvements made by the British automaker over the years.
So, this Silver Shadow II has power seats, power windows, automatic climate control, self-leveling rear suspension and cruise control. As standard, Rolls-Royce fitted the Silver Shadow II with a Blaupunkt radio. This car still has it, but it’s joined by a Bluetooth-enabled Alpine CD stereo. And of course, the brand’s “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament flies high and proud.
With approximately 24,000 miles on the clock, this 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II is in excellent condition. There is little to no corrosion, the chrome trim is undamaged, and the car passed a recent California emissions test. In addition, the seller recently resealed the fuel pressure accumulator and brake pump #1. And the suspension seems to be in solid shape – no leaks here. In addition, the seller has many service records.
A cheap classic Rolls-Royce can be worth it if it’s well maintained
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As of this writing, this 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II is listed at $9,100 with three days remaining in the auction. This is below average for this car in this condition. Usually, a 1980 Silver Shadow II in good to excellent condition is between $13,000 and $20,000, Hagerty reports.
Since this is a classic, inexpensive Rolls-Royce, a pre-purchase inspection is recommended. Plus, despite being Rolls-Royce’s best-selling model, it’s also come back to bite it.
Because it was arguably overproduced, resale prices plummeted and, as with many inexpensive high-end luxury cars, the Silver Shadow fell victim to deferred maintenance, C.W. Explain. It also earned it a reputation for high maintenance costs – well, that and its Citroën-developed hydraulic suspension and brakes, Hagerty Remarks. And because it was Rolls-Royce’s first unibody car, it had some initial flaws that made early models more susceptible to corrosion.
However, if these luxury cars are maintained properly, they are tough machines. This is especially true for Silver Shadow IIs, which have fewer electrical issues and don’t tend to leak oil around the crankshaft. And as previously stated, the seller of this 1980 car has already fixed two common age-related problems, the accumulator sphere and the brake pump. Plus, since Rolls-Royce made a lot of Silver Shadows, parts aren’t hard to find.
In short, this 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II could potentially be a classic luxury car theft.
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