1981 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Still a quality car that causes eyes to turn!

Faults:

The car had been stored / little used for many years, and so all the plumbing in the suspension / brakes etc had to be replaced once I started to drive it regularly. As everyone will say, drive it, don't store it. I do 80 ks each weekly outing.

I have a few niggling electrical gremlins to iron out - but that's a work in progress.

Like all older style engines, keep clean quality oil in it. Change it at least every 6 months.

My "Senior Lady" is now 30+ years old, so I treat her with TLC, but drive her as she was designed for. I make her run up hills, and she'll happily cruise at 120 kph all day.

She's a thirsty gal, but at that speed and with a 6.75 litre heart to pump, no wonder.

General Comments:

The quality has sure lasted long after the original price was paid.

After 30 years, it's still a pleasure to enjoy the quality of the hand crafted interior.

2 old sayings in my RR club - "If you can't afford a new one, you can't afford a 2nd hand one either" and "You don't need deep pockets to buy one, but you need them to keep one".

Easy to drive - but you're well aware of the 2+ tonnes of vehicle you are controlling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2012

1986 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit 6.8 fuel injection from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Last handmade car. Great hobby for enthusiasts

Faults:

General maintenance, including brake pads, hydraulic spheres, spark plugs etc.

Transmission O-ring due to leak (custom made to save costs).

Transmission reconditioned 2 years ago - which in my opinion is premature failure. However age does deteriorate parts.

As an aside, I have had a Volvo 240 with over 300000 kms with the original transmission, and currently a Volvo 850 with 260000 kms with the original tranny - the model is known to have transmission problems. I change all my cars' transmission fluid except my Volkswagen Passat, which has a modern sealed unit; it had to be change by the dealer - make sure you ask for old parts, so they don't rip you off.

The Roller shares a GM tranny, but has an electric column shift - use Dextron 3 fluid for the tranny. Change engine oil every 5000km (do not use magnetic oil; it suits modern engines).

General Comments:

A lovely weekend car. Make sure you buy a car with log books! And that has been maintained as aristocratic car should.

Great mid range power, and very enjoyable to drive.

Aim for fuel injected (UK '87, Aus '86); more reliable, and slight power and economy increase.

Avoid parking in sun, do the basic maintenance yourself - treat it like baby or a hobby, and it will be pleasure to drive; gently of course.

Some parts are expensive, but like all cars, they do share parts from other cars, and the Internet is great way to order.

The car does have its design quirks, as you would expect.

Fuel consumption (premium unleaded), as it's a large car / old design engine, when cruising gently, is reasonable.

My elderly father, a motor mechanic, says the Royce use same fuel consumption as our 2.5 petrol Volkswagen Transporter in heavy traffic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2012

4th Jun 2012, 17:15

I just had to try owning a Rolls, so I bought a 1985 Spirit, which had been well cared for, but hardly used for the last eight years - these cars need regular use to be healthy. I put it in for a major service and thorough check; now everything works reliably, and it cost about £2000, which I don't think is excessive.

I like the old fashioned, hand finished interior, the space, and the muffled V8 sound. Handling is better than expected, so is fuel consumption at 15.5 MPG. Steering is smooth and stable, will accelerate quite well, but wafting along suits its character better. So I like it - but - my old Lexus LS400 beats it on every count except style, so that's going back on the road when the Rolls is sold.

I've had Jags (great design, poor quality), Bristol (overrated), BMWs (too 'hard', more a sports car in a saloon shape) and several others - the Rolls is the second best car I've had, but the 92-94 Lexus is the best.

29th Jun 2013, 16:51

Nice overall review, but to claim that it uses the same amount of fuel as a 2.5L petrol VW Transporter in heavy traffic is just misleading people.

There are good reasons why the Silver Spirit has a 120 litre fuel tank, let's put it that way.

Having also owned a Spirit, I have calculated that it will return around UK 12MPG (23.5 litres/100KM) in urban traffic. Put simply, if VW Transporters use 23.5 litres/100KM in urban traffic, nobody would buy one and VW would be sued for false advertising of fuel economy figures.