Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow & Bentley T

The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was launched in 1965, and was a radical departure from its predecessors. For the first time cars did not have a separate chassis but were of monocoque construction, and featured state-of-the-art independent hydraulic suspension and brakes. The 6.25 litre V8 first introduced in the Silver Cloud II was again used in the Shadow, but was enlarged to 6.75 litres in 1970.

The Shadow was lower and smaller than the Cloud, but could seat five adults in superb comfort and fit a significant amount of luggage in its cavernous boot. As with the Cloud, aluminium was used for the doors, bonnet and boot lid to keep weight down. Interior appointments continued with fine burl walnut dashboard and door cappings, Connolly leather hide and Wilton wool carpets. The cars were fitted with power assisted steering, air-conditioning, electric windows, electrically adjustable front seats and central locking.

The Silver Shadow was the marque’s most successful car to date, with some 22 000 vehicles of all variants manufactured. Bentley versions of all types was also on offer, but the popularity of the Bentley name was to endure its lowest point. As with the Silver Cloud range, the Bentley cars differed only from their Rolls-Royce siblings in badges and radiator grill.

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
1965 – 1976
The Silver Shadow enjoyed numerous enhancements and improvements over the life of the model, but there were significant changes in 1970 when the engine was enlarged from 6.25l to 6.75l, along with the switch from a 4-speed to a 3-speed automatic, and the discontinuation of the rear picnic trays. In 1972 the suspension was modified.

Bentley T
1965 – 1976
Identical to the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow except for the radiator grill, badges and bonnet. Later cars even had RR dials, rather than the B motif. There were fewer than 2000 Bentley T1’s made, making this a far rarer car than the Shadow, but this scarcity has not translated into higher prices in the current market.

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II & Silver Wraith II
1977 – 1980
Whilst the Shadow was continually improved and modified each year, in 1977 significant modifications were undertaken, and the car was launched as the Silver Shadow II. The long wheel base cars were now named Silver Wraith II. Main changes were rack and pinion steering, split level climate control. Rubber bumpers, a changed dashboard layout and a vehicle model name badge make these cars visually identifiable.

Bentley T2
1977 – 1980
With the launch of the Shadow II, again a Bentley variant was available, but very few were sold. The model was known as the Bentley T2, and the long wheel base version only known as the T2 long wheel base.

Rolls-Royce Mulliner Park Ward (MPW)
Fixed Head Coupe (FHC) & Drop Head Coupe (DHC)

1966 – 1971
Introduced shortly after the 4-door saloons, first the fixed head coupe and then the drop head coupe by Mulliner Park Ward (MPW) were launched. Initially James Young also offered a 2-door Shadow coupe, but only 15 of these made it into existence.

Bentley Mulliner Park Ward (MPW)
Fixed Head Coupe (FHC) & Drop Head Coupe (DHC)

1967 – 1971
Bentley versions of the FHC and DHC were available, but very few were made.

Rolls-Royce Corniche
Coupe & Convertible

1971 – 1987
The MPW’s were renamed Corniche in 1971, and continued to be made long after the 4-door Shadow was replaced by the Silver Spirit. Cars received continual refinement and upgrading throughout the model’s life, and many changes and innovations were first introduced on the Corniche before being carried over into the saloons.

Bentley Corniche
Coupe & Convertible

1971 – 1984
Bentley versions of the Corniche coupe and convertible were also available.

Rolls-Royce Camargue
1975 – 1986
Styled by Pininfarina and at the time the most expensive Rolls-Royce ever, the Camargue was based on the Silver Shadow platform, and featured a distinctive coupe body style (not to everyone’s liking), interior seating for four adults, and split-level automatic climate control. The Camargue is a Grand Tourer for covering vast distances in great comfort. The high selling price and very limited production run makes these cars a rare sight today.