Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II Reviews from North America

1977 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II 6.75 V8

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 6.75 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired112000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles
Previous carRolls Royce Silver Cloud II

Summary:

Just a lovely old dowager that every man should flirt with at least once in his life

Faults:

Aside from some servicing, the car has been great!

General Comments:

Sold my '60 Cloud II and decided to upgrade to a Shadow II (always wanted a Shad, but the Cloud came along first and was priced very right).

I got my Shadow from the proverbial little old lady, who owned it for a very long time, and had it serviced by an RR specialist, however the car had sat for a spell since she quit driving, so some remedial recommissioning work was needed when the car came to me.

I replaced all hoses throughout the braking/hydraulic system, rebuilt the rear calipers, cleaned and flushed the fluid reservoirs out, and got the brakes sorted nicely.

Gave the car a major service (oil, transmission, coolant, air filters, plugs, etc..) and have been racking up the miles basically trouble free.

There are some things left that need sorting on the car -- just little fiddly weekend jobs like freeing up seized door lock solenoids and replacing a duff window lift motor, but otherwise the car is fantastic.

I also have a Bentley Turbo R, and although I'd pin that as my favorite all time car from Crewe, it would be a hard decision if I had to choose to keep only one, as the Shadow is much simpler to work on and very DIY-able. And the agreed-upon dictum of drive, drive, drive is very applicable here. My car came to me with 112K miles on it, and runs and drives beautifully.

I did also have to renew some of the front end bushings, and I'm sure a complete rebuild would transform the car, along with some Bilstein shocks in place of the old, wallowy Boge units, but those will have to wait for another season, as the car is performing nicely for now, and is just so relaxing and enjoyable to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2012

1978 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II 6.75 V8

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 6.75 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired83000 kilometres
Most recent distance112500 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz S-Class

Summary:

A driving experience without equal

Faults:

When first purchased, horn was broken. Since purchase, in addition to thorough scheduled and preventative maintenance, the transmission has failed and was rebuilt, as well as several (relatively minor) electrical faults.

General Comments:

The car is fantastic. This era of Rolls-Royce is still an exceptional bargain, given that the quality of construction is unparalleled. Interior trim, for example, still looks brand new after 30 years.

However, be prepared for the servicing costs. The cars are deceptively inexpensive to purchase, but bear in mind that servicing costs correlate to how much the car cost new, not how much it's worth now.

While I love this car, I fear it might be getting on a bit for me, as repairs seem to be becoming more and more frequent. Next up to replace it will be a 1995-1999 Silver Spur.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2008

25th Aug 2009, 02:33

I have a 77 and a 68 Shadow. A newer Spur is nice, but the Shadows are all analogue vs. anything after 1980 have a lot of computer and digital controls. This is the reason the pre 80's are holding a decent value vs. the post 80's dropping. I considered selling my Shadows and getting a Spur, but I think I'll stay where I'm at.

1977 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II 6.75 liter V8

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 6.75 liter V8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired14695 miles
Most recent distance23623 miles
Previous carJaguar XJ8

Summary:

Magnificent

Faults:

The car had hardly been used; various problems relating to this needed to be attended to, along with a couple of other age related defects.

Proper 6-monthly maintenance is a prerequisite, regardless of minimal miles used.

Hydraulics leaked; accumulators and valves rebuilt, and system flushed.

Steering rack boots had rotted and were replaced.

Alternator and regulator were replaced due to defective diodes.

Carburetors were rebuilt.

A/C relay burned out and was replaced.

Electrical link to transmission required cleaning.

Gear selector would not select lowest gear; unit replaced.

Radio and clock needed servicing.

*********

Update 29 March 2009:

This is a follow-up to my previous comments 3 years ago. The car has been a model of complete dependability in this time between 6-month servicing intervals, with some small items needing replacement at these times:

Pressure switch (1)

Solenoid valve rebuild.

New thermostat.

Small radiator hose.

General Comments:

The car is an exquisite, incredibly handsome and superlatively built from the most massive as well as the highest quality materials. (My own particular example is in new condition.)

Now that it is driven regularly, it is completely reliable. These cars drive at their best when in regular service. One should operate all systems from time to time.

It is quiet almost beyond belief; perhaps the most relaxing driving experience imaginable.

Air conditioning system is amazing and powerful, yet never intrusive, despite slightly noisy fans.

*********

Update 29 March 2009:

Car still looks brand new, inside and out. Driving it is a serene experience that I look forward to every day.

Driving these cars a little, and often, is key to in maintaining reliability, and people often blame an older RR for failing to be dependable, and expensive to maintain - as if the magic name means neglect shouldn't be an issue as it would be on any other car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2006

22nd Mar 2006, 07:25

How many previous owners?

Are you sure that mileage is genuine, because it's almost unbelievable?

Did the previous owner/s just use it as an ornament?

Very interesting review.

Mileage works out at approximately 500 miles per year, or 10 miles per week.

If you continue at that rate, your lovely car should last you several hundred years!

22nd Mar 2006, 13:19

Car had one prior owner, and the mileage is certified. It was hardly driven (though essentially maintained) since 1984.

4th Sep 2011, 01:53

I have an opportunity to buy a '79 that has evidently been driven an average of 2,000 miles per year. What would you consider to be a minimum range to consider as "regularly driven," please?

3rd Dec 2012, 19:54

Have just seen your question. A reasonable monthly mileage would be around 200, perhaps to average out at about 2000 annually. This is about enough to keep everything working smoothly and reliably. Hope this helps.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 6 reviews