It has been said that the best day of a man’s life is when he purchases his boat. It has also been said that the 2nd best day of a man’s life is when he sells his boat.
That being said…
In 1972 I purchased, sight unseen, from the back pages of ‘Road & Track’ a 1948 Bentley Mk VI. It was what would now be called a ‘Part’s Car’. It was a BLAST!
After many years of telling my wife how much fun that car was, she finally told me to find and buy another. So I went on line and found, at a very reputable dealer, a 1991 Rolls Royce Silver Spur II with 25,000 miles. A 24 year old car that averaged less than 1000 miles a year. So I bought it. It took a couple of weeks to get it shipped, and the truck was so long that the only flat place in my part of the county where it would fit was the local Walmart parking lot. How many people can say they picked up a Rolls Royce at Walmart?
The car was as described. It was missing the trim rings on the front wheels and the A/C needed a recharge, no big deal.
Back in the ‘60s many cars came with trim rings. They mounted directly to the rim. Not on a Rolls. Theirs are attached to spacers that mount between the tire and the rim and hold the ring about 1½ inches above the wheel. So to replace a bad spacer means removing the wheel and breaking the bead so a new spacer can be installed.
I learned the hard way about what can go into the trunk. If a box or something hard even touches the inside of the top, it causes a small plastic piece in the latch to break, and the trunk cannot be opened (from the outside). Rolls Royce is the only car I know of that has a hole in the bottom of the trunk so you can reach in and undo the bracket that holds the trunk closed. The latch itself has about 50 parts. The dealer where I bought the part from (it’s a stock item, go figure), compared the latch mechanism as a Rube Goldberg design.
The ride of this car is very good, although you can hear/feel imperfections in the road. The car is not as quiet as you would expect. You can hear wind noise and the sound of the engine in the background. The seats are very comfortable, the rear seats recline. This is a car you would want to drive/ride in barefoot, as the Sheepskin floor mats are very soft. The seating area and the trunk have Wilton Wool carpeting. EPA mileage rating is 9 MPG City/12 MPG Highway. I got around 10 MPG of Premium.
The strangest thing about this car is the radio. Most cars of this era have radios that blend into the dash. Not Rolls. The radio is in two parts: at the top is a black Alpine AM/FM/cassette, on the bottom is a black Alpine CD unit. Very tacky.
This car needs a cruise control amplifier. This is a modified BMW unit that is available rebuilt for a fraction of new. The transmission is a GM 3-speed. When the Silver Spur III came out in ’93, the transmission was upgraded to a GM 4-speed. The rear suspension is hydraulic self leveling, purchased from Citroen. The brakes are air over hydraulic, using the same mineral oil as the suspension.
The last/latest problem is hard steering. I would leave the house and the steering would be normal, and after driving a few miles the steering would become very difficult. The dealer said the power steering reservoir needed to be cleaned, but there is more to the problem than that. The problem returned after 70 miles.
With the closest service center is over 150 miles, and being unable to fix the hard steering, I’ve decided to sell. The only way to be able to keep a car like this is to live near a service center. While anyone can change the oil, and any GM or transmission shop can work on the transmission, special training is needed to work on the brakes because of the high pressure.