Perhaps it was the couple of glasses of red wine and a great lunch. I don’t make a habit of visiting London so when I do it’s always a bit of a shock to the system. My wife and I stumbled out of Rules restaurant on our way to the theatre (I know, this sounds just the sort of story a Jensen owner tells), and I saw a sight for tired eyes. Parked discreetly on a genteel residential side street off The Strand was a fantastic late 1970s Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. It was gleeming black with a tan interior and something about that scene, with the chalky white London terraces as a backdrop, that made it look utterly fantastic. For the first time I stopped and admired the Silver Shadow shape and realised what a great piece of design it is.
The owner had retro-fitted Series 1 chrome bumpers, whch really finished the car off. And the black paint – I haven’t seen a Silver Shadow in this colour before – worked wonders on the lines. I’m so used to seeing white Shadows ready for wedding duties that to see a really good example in a great setting put them back on the pedestal where they belong. Rolls Royce Silver Shadows – unlike their Bentley T1 and Bentley T2 cousins – seem to have fallen a long way in terms of desirability and value, despite the attentions of Kate Moss and Noel Gallagher. I love the design. There is something about a great 60s and 70s saloon car – I love my Jaguar XJ6 for the same reasons – that just works. If anyone’s got a black Silver Shadow or T1 for sale, let me know!