1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $19,750.00 (1968 model) (In 1968: average cost of a car, $2,822; average household income, $7,850; average cost of a house, $14,950; gallon of gas, 34 cents)
Number made: 16,717 saloons during Silver Shadow’s 12-year production run
Engine, etc.: V-8, 6.2 liters, 172 hp; 4 speed automatic transmission; dual-circuit braking, hydraulic self-leveling suspension; 4,700 lbs.
In 1965 the Silver Cloud III model went out of production to make way for the Silver Shadow. The Silver Shadow had a more modern appearance than its predecessor.
“The Silver Shadow was no doubt the best Rolls-Royce yet, and though…it had many competitors, it also had perhaps the highest reputation the company ever enjoyed behind it.” (Source below, four pages inside back cover)
It was a little smaller than previous cars but had more room inside, fully independent suspension, and “every gadget known to man”. It looked “to some people like less of a Rolls-Royce” but “if the car was to remain of the moment and not a monument to the past, this had to be accepted.”
The Silver Shadow was responsible for achieving the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce. This most successful model ever produced by Rolls-Royce saw 16,717 units sold during its 12-year run. For such an expensive model, this was quite an achievement.
The Silver Shadow was the first model to use unitary construction rather than a separate frame and was a huge technical leap forward from its predecessors. It had every luxury option possible at the time including gear change, windows, seat adjustment, fuel filler cap, air conditioning and heating all operated electrically. A hydraulic system with pumps operated from the camshaft was a considerable advance, as were power-operated disc brakes and self-leveling independent suspension.
A new version of the Silver Shadow with many modifications was introduced in 1977 and known as the Silver Shadow II.
The Complete Book of Rolls-Royce. Michael Frostick. Libreria dell’Automobile. Grafiche Milam Segrate, Italy. 1980. no paging.
https://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/en-GB/the-spirit-of-ecstasy.html (Story of how hood ornament, “Spirit of Ecstasy”, originated.)