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I finally bit the bullet - now own a 1993 Rolls Royce Silver Spur II

Discussion in 'British' started by spirot, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Tom Spiro
    So when both of my folks passed away this year I inherited a car that I had no use for. 2014 Lincoln. At first I was going to sell the car and look for a RR. I found a Silver Spur up in Nashville at a used car place... so I kept an eye on it. I wanted a later model Spirit or Spur, and did not want the everflex roof. after I talked to the sales guy... he said he'd take the lincoln on trade... so I thought Hmm may be this can work out.

    so while looking at sales numbers for the Lincoln I decided that the car was worth about $16K ... we negotiated on the potential trade and came in at $15K value. so then drove up to see the RR.

    while the pictures looked great, seeing the car in person - I thought - hmm not bad. it clearly was stored for a while = had a musty smell in the trunk - but interior was flawless and all the wood was perfect. Sales guy says couple of things don't work - central locking, seats are slow to adjust, and the brake light comes on sometimes... so it will need some spheres at some point. also needs tires. they are really old.

    long and short I did the deal, my car +$5K. we drive home in an old Rolls Royce. on the way the car was pretty good, about 10 min into Ga the car started to make a grinding noise... then the check gear box light comes on... " Tha's strange" no perception of any trouble ... car cruised at about 75 MPH no problem. we come to our exit have to come to a stop to let traffic go.. . put my foot on the gas pedal ... no go. quickly shift it to 3rd gear it goes... we thankfully only live about 8 min from the exit so make it home just as its getting dark.

    Hmmm wonder what that is all about. I figure transmission fluid needs changed. WRONG!

    so next morning I get up to go play with my "new car" start it up ... and it sounds a bit squeeky... but evens out. then put it in reverse... no go. no movement. thankfully the drive is on a slight slope, so i could let the car roll backwards - no drive either . put it in 3rd, and pull away. make the first turn and I think - Hmm steering seems really heavy... make the 2nd turn and almost can't turn the car! welcome to RR ownership.

    So that was on October 5. over a month in the shop, we now have a car that has:

    1. new steering rack - and hoses
    2. New Radiator & Gearbox rad ( they are tied to gether )
    3. Rebuilt 4l80e transmission...
    4. all new light bulbs
    5. all new fluids
    and still need to figure out central locking...

    need to do:
    1. new tires
    2. new battery
    3 central locking
    4. start massive waxyol on the bottom of the car...
    5. start replacing hydraulic hoses
    6. re do the fuel pump and hoses - at some point
    7. Keep checking hydraulic system for leaks...

    So my RR ownership has not exactly been smashing ... but I'm anxious to start driving this car more ... its such a complete difference to the Ferrari... its like land sailing. everything is smooth, quiet and slow.


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  3. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Congratulations! Looks lovely. I am sure you will enjoy it, once you have got it sorted. I have a Turbo R which I have owned for the last 18 years and would draw the same distinction between it and my Ferrari as you do: totally different, yet each utterly enjoyable in its own way. Driving the Bentley (or a Rolls) instils a feeling of contentment, making one happy to let mere mortals in lesser vehicles rush on past as one is wafted along in comfort and style! And when push comes to shove, that good old V8 does endow them with a reasonable tun of speed, even if not in the Ferrari league.

    As it happens, I was fortunate enough to borrow a Spur of similar vintage to your own from R-R for an article I wrote for the local glossy, during my brief career as a motoring journalist, some 25 years ago. Written with tongue firmly in cheek, you may find it strikes a chord or two:

    Have you ever imagined what it would be like to own one of the world's best-known status symbols? Have you wondered how other people would react to what is, after all, a fairly clear example of conspicuous consumption?

    When I asked Richard Charlesworth, Rolls-Royce's Press Officer, if I could borrow one of his shiny new motor-cars to find out, he was smarting slightly from just having lost one of the newest and most expensive cars the Company builds - the £215,000 Bentley Azure - which was pinched from under his nose on a publicity trip in Italy (since recovered, I am pleased to say). Despite this, however, he agreed to let me borrow a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur, to emulate Walter Mitty by imagining that owning a car like this is just part of everyday life.

    The first, overpowering, impression is one of opulence. This is not a mere car. This is a drawing-room on wheels. I sink into enormous leather arm-chairs reminiscent of the smoking-room of a gentlemen's club in St. James's, rest my feet on thick sheepskin rugs and am surrounded by acres of cream hide and highly polished walnut, set off by deeply chromed fittings. There is hardly any plastic in sight.

    There may not be quite enough room for a butler (unless there are only two passengers, in which case he can sit in front next to the chauffeur), but this drawing‑room has every labour‑saving device designed to make one unnecessary. The windows, naturally, glide up and down at the touch of a button. The seats adjust in every conceivable direction, again by electrics, remembering exactly how I (and up to three other people) like them. Ditto the mirrors. There is even an ejector seat - or so I thought, until I realised that Flossie (our Norfolk Terrier) had just planted both front paws firmly on the seat-up button. Nor do I need a Punkah‑wallah to preserve my sang‑froid. Positively the most brilliant air-conditioning system ever fitted to a motor-car, keeps my feet warm and my face cool (or vice-versa), no matter what the weather is doing - I just dial in the temperatures (plural) and it does the rest.

    Although I have the long-wheelbase (the extra five inches cost £3,000 each) Silver Spur model, designed especially for the owner who travels in the back (both rear seats are electrically adjustable and walnut-veneered picnic tables are set into the front seat-backs. There are even dinky little vanity mirrors, with walnut surrounds, set into the rear pillars and individual reading lights), I eschew the luxury of a chauffeur in favour of finding out what the car is like to drive. I soon discover that he, too, is redundant. One of the smoothest automatic gearboxes it has ever been my pleasure to use, takes care of the task of gear-changing for me. Cruise-control eases the strain on my right foot, which is further reduced by immensely powerful brakes, with ABS. The power steering is finger-light, but very precise. Driving this car requires no more effort than it takes to think about it.

    I am a welcome visitor at every fuel station - at around 15 miles to the gallon, this car is definitely not politically correct (although she does use unleaded fuel) and the twenty-four gallon tank costs well over £50 to fill.

    Although this automotive leviathan weighs in at around two and a half tons, almost seven litres of V8 engine under the bonnet (which is surmounted, of course, by the famous Silver Lady, who, for safety reasons, instantly disappears into the recesses of the traditional palladian-style radiator shell, should she be struck - who could possibly do such an ungentlemanly act?), means that there is power in abundance to propel me and my guests along at speeds which would impress most hot-hatchback owners. The rate of travel, however, is never obvious. I just waft along in near silence, with the occasional muted whoosh as I floor the accelerator and scatter a few more peasants into the hedgerows. Never have I felt more like Mr.Toad in my life!

    Back to reality for an instant, I need some groceries. Were I a real Rolls-Royce owner, I should probably head straight to Fortnum's for foie gras and champagne. In my case, however, the supermarket beckons - how will the "Roller" (an epithet which the Company hates) go down in Tesco's car park?

    Unlike Fortnum's, Tesco in Swindon has no uniformed doorman, so I cannot toss him the keys, with a "park it for me, would you, my good man", or whatever Rolls-Royce owners usually say. I try this on a passing sales assistant, struggling with a column of trolleys, but evidently he is a good socialist - even if his language is blue. Parking it outside the front door is greeted with "You can't leave it there, Guv'nor. You'll have to go in the car park like the rest" and a self-satisfied smile. So much for the myth.

    Standing a few places behind two elderly ladies in the check-out queue, I overhear their conversation. "Did you see that beautiful Rolls-Royce in the car-park, Gladys? Now that's what I call a proper motor-car", said one, the wonderful rolling Rs betraying her origins. "Too true, dear, but I bet he's married", replies her friend, wistfully.

    On returning with the bags of assorted goodies, there is a gaggle of shoppers collected around the car. "I'm glad I don't have his fuel bill", I hear one man say. "Yes, but he probably has a bank balance to match", replies another. I do not disillusion them. I wander up as nonchalantly as possible, wearing my best bloated plutocrat expression, trying to pretend that the tins of beans I have bought in fact contain potted lobster. "Some motor, chief. I bet she cost you a few bob", says one admirer. I mutter "about a hundred and twenty, actually, give or take a grand or two" and climb aboard (you don't get down into a Rolls, like you do into most cars). "They don't make cars like that any more", says another observer, which seems quite natural - yet obviously absurd, given the car's current registration.

    For my next port of call, I decide on somewhere more in keeping with the Rolls' image - somewhere where she might feel at home, even if I don't. I feel indescribably smug as I sweep majestically up the drive at Lord Bath's stately pad in rural Wiltshire, Longleat. Ignoring the exhortations to turn off to the car park, I continue round to the front of the house itself, where I leave the car beside a sign which bears the legend "no parking". Getting under the skin of the part now, I march confidently towards the door. An emerging guide says "Good morning, sir", as I approach. "Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on her for you". My faith is restored - the peasants are not revolting, after all.

    Later on, at The Wheatsheaf in Lower Woodford, where the car-park is full to overflowing with lunch‑time trade, I ask an adjacent householder, busy trimming her hedge, if I might trespass slightly on her driveway. "Oh, no, certainly not", comes the reply. "Put it in front of the house, where the neighbours might see it".

    After lunch, I am heading north on the A 361 between Devizes and Avebury at a leisurely 55 m.p.h., enjoying a post-prandial Havana. I notice a red Escort in my mirror, headlamps and right-hand indicator flashing, apparently bent on inspecting the inside of my exhaust pipes. Time to put the proletariat in its place, I think. I bury the accelerator in the Wilton, the autobox shifts seamlessly down a cog, the bonnet lifts ever so slightly and two and a half tons of animated drawing-room rocket forward in a surge of power, rapidly diminishing my pursuer to a speck in the rear-view mirror. A few miles later, my adrenalin level having subsided to normal and, with it, the speed of the Rolls, the demented Escort flashes past, horn blowing and the front passenger mouthing obscenities. I smile contentedly and raise two fingers from the steering-wheel in a gesture more familiar to Harvey Smith than Winston Churchill.

    This is by no means the fastest car on the road - though quite fast enough for me - and there are other claimants to the title "best", whatever that means. There is, however, none which does so with the same, very British, sense of style and bespoke, hand-built quality. What the Rolls undeniably does better than any other car I have ever driven, let alone owned, is to lift the spirit and impart an overwhelming sense of well-being. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most SPLENDID car in the world.


     
  4. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Spirot I'm very happy for you!

    Now you look... rich! :)

    I've not owned one but driven several. One thing about an RR is that they do attract attention even more than F cars. Good luck with it!
     
  5. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Great article. Thanks for sharing. I've only been able to drive the car about 300 miles so far - its spend most of the time I've owned it in the shop so far... i see that Neglect is the worst on these cars... Mine has 45K miles on it, and the interior look like it ... its literally brand new. I really wanted a Silver Shadow Coupe or Croniche coupe.. but they are super rare - and average ones are $50K... and as I'm sure you know you can pour more and more $$$ into them and they will still take more. I'm just going to "play" with it for now do a bit of rolling restoration ( I hope )...
     
  6. Face76

    Face76 F1 Veteran
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    Great story. I am sure your car will provide many more stories and enjoyment.
     
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  8. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    May we have some photos of the interior, please?
     
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  9. pearsonhaus

    pearsonhaus Formula 3

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    Well written and I most certainly enjoyed the ride. Bravo!
     
  10. pearsonhaus

    pearsonhaus Formula 3

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    Congrats Spirot! Enjoy!!
     
  11. Flash G

    Flash G Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #9 Flash G, Nov 19, 2020 at 5:55 AM
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020 at 6:05 AM
    Congratulations. And welcome to the club.

    I did a write-up about when I bought my Corniche (my impression, repairs, other thoughts) and posted it in this section a while back. I'll see if I can find it.

    They really are like no other cars in the world... once you sort out the kinks... which can cost $xx,xxx.

    Now... make sure to post up some more pics. Especially the interior.


    EDIT: Found my write-up: https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/posts/146178760/
     
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  13. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Good write up. I've owned the car a month but only had it back from the shop for the past 3 days. Driving it is truly an experience, I agree on your comment a bout being stout and delicate at the same time. doors close like vaults, windows fly up and down at alarming speed, yet, brakes are so delicate, woodwork is delicate and it seems delicate inside with the steering wheel, switches etc. I'll post some pics shortly.

    my list of issues to resolve:
    central locking - I fear this is going to be $$$ job... as the car only locks with the key...

    rear suspension I think it needs a bleed on the mineral oil... and or worst case new shock some knocking going on...
    seats - they work a bit here and there.. .I think the motors need a good clean and lube
    the huge job is replacing hoses ... that is a going to have to do.. hydraulic lines etc... $$$$$$$

    finally - radio... no blue tooth... I'm not sure what I want to do on this... the period radio is terrible - still has tape deck, and the buttons are tiny..... 6 disc changer in the trunk... I'm not a fan of disrupting the woodwork etc.... as its so nice.

    I need a wheel trim piece as well... that's on order.

    so far I've spent about $7500 on recommissioning... now just want to get to know it a bit more... and do things I can do... it will get a super clean and undercoat coming up...
     
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  14. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Tom, you might like to consider one of these: https://www.blaupunkt.com/en/nc/products/car-multimedia/car-radio/products/single/19059/

    It is a dead ringer for the unit fitted (from new) in my '90 Turbo R, so should just slot in place of the existing, and will give me all mod cons while looking period correct. There is a write-up somewhere in the 456/550/575 section, which is where I got the idea - I have ordered one from Father Christmas.
     
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  15. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    hmm... great idea... thanks.
     
  16. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    https://www.amazon.com/Receiver-Bluetooth-Cassette-Adapter-Player/dp/B083BX9FPT/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&hvadid=77928021419108&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=bluetooth+cassette+adapter&qid=1605818319&sr=8-5&tag=mh0b-20
     
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  17. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Sorry, no idea. I just knew they existed, and it seems like a quick stop-gap while the OP figures out a full replacement
     
  18. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    OK, thanks. For what it costs, it is certainly worth a try. I shall get one for use in my 550, where I have the original unit and intend to keep it. If it works, I'll get another for use in the original unit in my Bentley that will be recycled into my wife's campervan.
     
  19. SAFE4NOW

    SAFE4NOW F1 Rookie
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  20. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    SAFE4NOW likes this.
  21. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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  22. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    I have the sheep skins - they are pristine so that is why I don’t have them on the car


    Sent from my iPad using FerrariChat
     
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  23. LVP488

    LVP488 F1 Rookie

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    I may need one of those - someday... :)
     
  24. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    bien sure! vous habite ou en France?
     

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