1988 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible
Chassis no. SCAZD02A8JCX23572
6,750cc Aluminum Silicon Alloy V8
Bosch fuel injection
240bhp at 4,000rpm
3-speed automatic transmission
4-wheel independent coil spring suspension
4-wheel disc brakes
*Low mileage car, just over 18,200 miles covered
*Original U.S. delivery example
*Comfortable long distance touring car for four passengers
The Rolls-Royce Corniche
Recalling its glamorous Grands Routiers of pre-war days such as the Phantom II Continental, Rolls-Royce's final coachbuilt models - entrusted to the company's in-house coachbuilder Mulliner, Park Ward - 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. The 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, a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible. This painstaking attention to detail resulted in a price some 50% higher than the standard Silver Shadow's. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous Silver Shadows were strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name - 'Corniche' - in March 1971.
The well tried aluminum V8 engine was adopted, displacing 6,750cc, driving through a Turbo Hydramatic 400 three speed automatic gearbox sourced from General Motors. For the Corniche model power output was enhanced by about 10%, providing greater torque and giving the car a top speed on the order of 120mph. The independent coil spring suspension provided the smoothest of rides, complemented by a hydraulic self-leveling system to the rear. Perceived early shortcomings in the braking department were eliminated in 1972 with the introduction of ventilated disc brakes. Minor enhancements for the Corniche II of 1977 included alloy and rubber bumpers, an aluminum radiator, the addition of an oil cooler and, for the North American market, a driver's airbag.
'The name Corniche has been chosen for the latest coachbuilt models because it symbolizes their higher cruising speeds and their ability to cover greater distances with the minimum of fatigue for driver and passengers,' announced Rolls-Royce.
The Corniche proved a major success for Rolls-Royce; periodically revised and updated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (Convertible) examples being delivered in 1995.
The Motorcar Offered
This is an exceptional example of the renowned grand touring Rolls-Royce Corniche. Delivered new in the U.S. in 1988, the car has had few owners and careful use, resulting in a recorded mileage today of a little over 18,000 miles from new. Its timeless two tone paint scheme subtly accents the flowing lines of these elegant convertibles.
It is reported that it was maintained for most of its life by esteemed agents Bentley Motors of Long Island and has for some years resided in a collection of historic collector automobiles.
Complete with service books, lambswool rugs, jack, and tools, the car can best be described as immaculate or, more appropriately for this auction, well-preserved.