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1994 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Spur 3

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1994 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Spur 3

Background

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The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur – the Spur is the long-wheelbase version – were first released in 1980. Almost obscenely opulent, they hark back to a period in time when a Rolls-Royce was still engineered properly, rather than assembled from bits taken out of a crate stamped ‘BMW’.

Heavily based on the outgoing Silver Shadow, the long bonnet hides the venerable 6.75-litre V8 engine, whose power output is ‘sufficient’. (There’s nothing so vulgar as a rev counter, either…)

Powerful and quiet, the engine feeds its considerable torque to the rear wheels via the three-speed GM automatic gearbox that the engineers at Rolls-Royce had come to love so much for its indestructibility and seamless gearchanges.

The ride is partly courtesy of Citroen, whose hydropneumatic suspension was used under licence. And the interior; well, the interior features hide taken from cows raised on farms upon which barbed wire was banned. ‘Nuff said?

The MKII cars arrived in 1989 boasting Automatic Ride Control, anti-lock brakes, and fuel injection. A smaller steering wheel and two additional fascia vents updated the interior, but the bulk of the changes were under the skin and were as subtle as they were effective.

The next round of updates came in 1993 with the introduction of the MKIII. These were slightly more powerful thanks to modified intake manifolds and cylinder heads, while the suspension was tweaked a little to default to soft as it aged – and failed. Dual airbags were fitted to the front of the cabin, and individual rear seat adjustment made an appearance in the back. It was, as you’ll have gathered, more evolution than revolution but impeccably done and a worthwhile update.

As were the MKIV cars, which arrived in late 1995. Never officially referred to as the MKIV because ‘IV’ is the symbol for death in some Far Eastern countries, the range gained a turbocharger, new front and rear bumpers, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The long-wheelbase became the de facto length, with an extra-long version being made available as a limousine. As you might have gathered, such extensive – and expensive – changes marked the beginning of the end, and the range officially died in 1997, although a few cars continued to dribble out of the factory until the year 2000.


The Vehicle

We are delighted to be able to offer you what might just be the nicest Rolls-Royce Silver Spur we have ever seen; our boss, no stranger to the marque in his own garage, describes it as being in “phenomenal condition”.

The subject of recent recommissioning, it has one of the fullest and most comprehensive service histories we have ever seen. The Royal Blue coachwork is in a staggeringly good condition too, as is the cream leather interior. And we believe both are completely original…

It also has the sort of history you read about in novels; believed to have been ordered by a Countess originally, it then passed to its last owner in 1998. He kept it in The Cotswolds, entrusting it to his chauffeur to look after while he spent most of his time on the Isle of Man. His man kept it fully fettled so it would be ready to take his master to the Cheltenham Races whenever he felt like popping down. As you do.

Being offered with the cherished number plate 240AAA, this wonderfully preserved Rolls-Royce Silver Spur has a very sensible reserve.

On the Outside

The Royal Blue coachwork is in a stunning condition, and we, and the RR specialist who has done the recent work, are 99% sure it’s the original paint; in the same hands from 1998 to 2019, the previous keeper’s son has confirmed that the car has never been painted or in an accident to the best of his knowledge.

This sort of provenance matters; a car is only original once, and it is probably fair to say that few bodyshops could respray a Silver Spur as well as Rolls-Royce did in the factory.

The Royal Blue paint has a significant metallic flake element to its finish; it’s an unusual twist on a well-established colour and it modernizes the Silver Spur nicely without ever coming close to being vulgar. The panels sparkle in the sun, and their fit and alignment is exquisite. There are none of the usual car-park dinks and damage that lesser cars are forced to endure while mixing with the working classes, either.

Even areas such as the lips of the wheelarches are free of rust, while the aluminium doors, prone to both corrosion and spider-webbing around the handles, are free of the usual vices. It is remarkably original and in remarkably good condition.

The trademark grille, with the Spirit of Ecstasy on top, is as imposing as it is beautiful. With barely a mark on it, it sets the standard for the rest of the chromework - a standard the rest of the brightwork more than lives up to.

The 15-inch wheels might be unfashionably small – sixteens only arrived a year later, remember? – but are beautifully preserved and flawless in their presentation. Fitted with good Avon Turbosteel tyres with tall sidewalls for comfort, they have the most enormous chrome centre caps you’re ever likely to see on a standard production car.

As we will never tyre of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.

In fact, the only problem we can see is a small chip to the paint at the bottom of one door and a small stonechip above the offside headlamp. That that is the extent of the bodywork needed is nothing short of a miracle and a state of perfection that can only be achieved by an obsessive diligence when using, parking and storing a car. It is, as the boss put it; “still as God intended.”

On the Inside

The unmarked cream leather seats show only the very gentlest of patinas to the driver’s seat, while the rear seat looks to have been polished only occasionally by the lightest application of haute couture dresses and Savile Row fabric, leaving it as buttery soft and unblemished as the day it left Crewe.

The rear seats have a pair of walnut picnic tables too, a delightfully OTT touch that brings a smile to our faces every time we’ve deployed them. As does the rear mobile telephone, twin vanity mirrors in the back of the front set headrests, and the adjustable rear seats; clearly, the Countess expected to spend a lot of time back here and equipped it accordingly.  

The rest of the leather - and there is a lot of it – is similarly good and in need of nothing. The same can be said of the headlining, door cards, and deep-pile lambs’ Royal Blue wool carpets and overmats. All are fabulous and every bit as fabulous you’d expect of a firm that was still making the very best cars in the world at the time this one left the factory.

The dashboard is as understated and discreet as only the very best manufacturers can manage; there might not be much there but what there is is beautifully made and fitted with an unrivalled attention to detail.

Take the interior wood, for example. It is as well preserved as it is exquisitely matched and shows none of the peeling lacquer, curling veneer, or general wear ’n’ tear you would expect to see in a car that is over a quarter-of-a-century old.

But it’s the chromed controls that go to the very heart of this car. At a time when almost everyone now uses painted plastic, these are the real McCoy; metal at their core, with a thick chromium plating to protect them they’ve got a heft and a depth to their shine that is impossible to fake. They are gorgeous.

Modern - well, fairly modern - touches abound, like the second Motorola mobile phone, which is fitted in the centre armrest. And the modern, high-power, top-of-the-range Alpine headunit that offers a radio/cassette in the dashboard and a CD multichanger and Alpine amplifier in the boot.

The boot is also home to the spare wheel, the two OE toolkits, a fire extinguisher and the car’s battery. There’s a battery cut-off switch in there too, fitted by the factory in the sure and certain knowledge that many owners would be using their cars only occasionally. Oh, and there’s the original bottle of LHM fluid tucked away in there too, just in case.

Problems are limited; aside from some very light scuffing on the interior handle of the driver’s door and slight delamination to the base of the rear window, the only work for the new owner is to replace the two front seat solenoids. This is a common problem, and the owner has been quoted £200 a side to have this done.

Underneath

A lot of work was carried out in 2012 by R.R. & B. Garages Limited, an independent Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists. The final invoice came to just over £9,000 but this sum included a huge amount of work including repairs to its air-conditioning system, brakes and suspension, plus a few other miscellaneous jobs. Please see the attached invoices for the full details.

The owner then spent almost £3,000 in November 2013 on refurbishing the rear brakes, including having the rear brake calipers reconditioned.

R.R. & B. Garages Limited carried out further work to the car in September 2019. This included regassing the rear suspension spheres, fitting a new rear subframe and damper, popping on a couple of ball joints, and a few more little jobs.

This invoice totted up to £2,825, which is a hefty sum but one that was eclipsed by the one for £5,857 from the same year that resulted from having to replace the car’s front brake calipers, discs and pads, fitting new rear brake pipes and replacement flexible brake hoses at each corner, and replacing the accumulator valve bodies and spheres.

More work was undertaken by R.R. & B. in October 2019. This included fettling the headlamps, aligning the wheels, strengthening the four jacking points, sorting out a recalcitrant parking brake, and giving the car an MOT and a full service. This bill came to £1,672.

As you’d expect given the degree to which it has been pampered, it drives beautifully and is every bit as stately and magnificent as you’d hope. As you can see from the video, it starts on the button, ticks over with only the most muted of engine noises, yet has a lively note to the exhaust under acceleration.

History Highlights

The Silver Spur’s MOT certificate expires in October 2020. The online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever and confirms the car’s low mileage.

The car also comes with a number of expired MOT certificates, its original Rolls-Royce service history book with 15 stamps in it, all three keys, plus a sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years.

Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained in recent years to the very highest standard.

NB. We know that you will be limiting your social exposure over the coming days and weeks, so please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on. Or, even better, contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call, where you can direct us in real-time.

What We Think

The cliché that a Rolls-Royce can be yours for the price of a new Ford Fiesta is true, but rarely advisable; they’re just too damn complicated to be maintained on a budget – when things go wrong, they go wrong quickly, which is why you see so many being sold so cheaply…

But, if you buy the right car that bargain basement Fiesta suddenly looks a whole lot less appealing – and there is no better owner to see on the log book than a member of the nobility; their house might be crumbling around them and they might be reduced to their last half-dozen servants but they know how to look after their cars and aren’t afraid to cut corners elsewhere to ensure their Rolls-Royce is maintained as it should be.

And our guide price of between £14,000 and £20,000 is slap bang in the middle of the Fiesta range, and while the Fiesta tops the sales charts for a very good reason, at the end of the day it is still a cheap Ford, isn’t it?

This Silver Spur, on the other hand, has immaculate coachwork, a fulsome interior, an unblemished service history and an awful lot of recent expenditure making it a cheap Rolls-Royce you can buy with your head and your heart – and if you’re canny, you could probably get in and back out of it within a couple of years at minimal cost. The very top examples of these are bound to start a slow appreciation in value.

This particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and AnyVan for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Cheltenham
  • Odometer Reading: 54000
  • Chassis Number: SCAZN02C6RCH54641
  • Engine: 6750
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Colour: Royal Blue
  • Interior: Cream

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