1974 Rolls-Royce Corniche Coupé Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd Registration no. ADA 962M Chassis no. 16713
Rolls-Royce's adoption of unitary construction for its new Silver Shadow and T-Series Bentley necessitated the reorganisation of in-house coachbuilder H J Mulliner, Park Ward to enable it to produce new designs on the Shadow floor pan. Recalling the firm's glamorous Grands Routiers of pre-war days such as the Phantom II Continental, these final coachbuilt models were limited to just two, a two-door coupé or similar convertible, the former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year. Some of the frontal panels were shared with the standard four-door saloon but otherwise the new bodyshells were unique, featuring a distinctive dipping upper wing line with parallel crease, and revised, more rounded posterior. Construction involved shuttling the bodyshells between the Crewe factory and MPW's Willesden plant, a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the coupé and slightly longer for the more complex convertible.
These exclusive cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding using only materials of the finest quality including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers, such painstaking attention to detail resulting in a price some 50% higher than that of the standard Silver Shadow. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous four-door model was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name - 'Corniche' - in March 1971.
In Corniche form Rolls-Royce's well-tried 6.7-litre V8 produced around 10% more power than standard and proved capable of propelling the car to a top speed in excess of 120mph with sports car-beating acceleration to match. The model proved a major success for Rolls-Royce; periodically revised and up-dated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (convertible) examples being delivered in 1995.
This example has covered some 75,000 miles and comes with considerable service history including a bill dated 2006 for an engine rebuild costing £15,000 and others relating to regular servicing since. Invoices on file accumulated over the last ten years total in excess of £50,000 and the car also comes with factory build sheet and numerous expired MoTs. Finished in black with a particularly nice matching hide interior, this well maintained Corniche coupé is offered with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5.