1977 Rolls-Royce Corniche ISeries 1A
Year of manufacture1/1977
Mileage24 250 mi / 39 027 km
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Chassis numberDRH 25262
Electric windowsYesClimate controlYes
Exterior brand colourAzzurro La Plata
Interior brand colourVM 3412
Number of doors2
Number of seats5
Performance210 BHP / 213 PS / 157 kW
Simply gorgeous and very unusual too, the Corniche was simply the "top of the pops" in mid seventies, being the most ostentatious drop head available anywhere
Driven by Hollywood moguls, film stars, the very rich and the very famous too they were completely hand made at the London, Mulliner Park Ward factory to special order only and therefore were exceedingly expensive
The delightful version on offer here is from the highly sought after mid series version (often referred to as the 1a) which has most of the series II modifications whilst still retaining the earlier bodywork with chrome bumpers
The most significant of these was the introduction of the bi-level climate control, a brilliant system that stayed in production until 2003, plus a fully redesigned fascia, seats, suspension and a twin exhaust system too
Having spent most of its' life on the sunny island of Jersey and like many of the luxury vehicles registered there, mileage was nominal and in fact still stands now at just 24.250
The original owner (incidentally, the same chap whose 900 mile Camargue we previously sold) purchased the Corniche from St Helier Garage, Official Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers, who had come by the car as an "extra to quota" vehicle
Correspondence validates how lucky the factory considered them to have been, being given this special extra unit to sell at a time when these cars were on back order for a matter of years
The first owner, who incidentally kept her, like the Camargue, until his passing in 2011, bought her as a valentines gift for his wife - nice touch and must have been awarded an abundance of "brownie points"
The underside, engine bay and interior are all remarkable, immaculate and original
Indeed speaking with the second owners, again from the Channel Isles, they bought the Corniche directly from the lady who had been given the car as a Valentines gift, and the service manager from St Helier Garage (retired now) validated all of the above when I called him when we previously owned the car (of course I knew him from my time at Jack Barclay Ltd, so he was clear and candid about the indicated mileage being correct)
The second owners undertook a light restoration upon purchase point with new blue paint (originally Nutmeg), modern stereo (now removed for the original to be re-installed) and only sold it to fund another Bentley project they had on the go
At this point, 2012 and still with only 6500 miles, she came here to the mainland and passed into the hands of her third owner, a French man living here in London who had a large collection of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars (a man with whom we had known well doing many deals together - and then with his son too. They had some very well known fashion shops in Knightsbridge, St Tropez etc)
He obviously loved her original and tight feeling for he used her regularly taking the mileage to 9.500 at which point we purchased her and immediately sold her to the fourth owner who kept her as his family outing car for the next 7 years
He has a huge passion for motorcars with anything you could consider having been in his garage at some point - including some of the most Ferrari's such as 250GT California Spyder and a Ferrari 250GTO, so obviously maintenance has been carried out at all times, and whatever was needed was indeed carried out by our chum Michael Hibberd, including new front brake discs, accumulator spheres, new Avon whitewall tyres as well as the usual routine service items
Almost £60.000 has been lavished upon her in the last couple of years for this is one of the best versions we have ever owned
Most recent works include a new hood in the correct beige Everflex and a repaint in the Colonel Ronnie Hoares' favourite colour of "Azzurro La Plata", used for many of his new Ferrari's for his demonstrators in period (or was it BMC Iris Blue - they look the same) at the behest of his wife, as it is a very pretty colour in the sun light - to be fair she is right.
Almost unrepeatable in this condition, she drive's just like a three year old car coming out of Jack Barclay's showrooms as we can validate, as we used her on the RAC Scottish Tour earlier this year - see last couple of pictures - where she performed faultlessly on the 980 mile round trip over 4 days, top down for the last three days too!!
More recently and in advance of a couple of Continental trip's a complete brake overhaul, new compressor for the A/C, rear ride height valves, completely overhauled carburettors, and of course a full annual service were undertaken for these Continental trip's. (Another £10.000 lavished thank you).
The Continental trip was just what she was designed to so do - a total of nearly 5.000 miles trouble free miles covering Switzerland, the Italian Lakes and Riviera , the South of France (of course - can't drive a Corniche without being on the Corniche), and the North of Spain amongst other destinations (again see the later pictures in the gallery)
Can't tell you how many pictures were taken of her during those two journey's and so many admiring glances and "bon voyage monsieur"
Even the International Editor of Octane magazine (June 2022 - edition 228) choose her for an 11 page piece comparing her with an early 1980's Aston Martin Volante - titled "By Royal Appointment"
His summary concludes that the Corniche is the better car, naturally
A copy of the Magazine comes with the car and makes for entertaining reading and another is included in the lovely history file containing bills, MOT's and some original Rolls-Royce correspondence and documentation
Very rare in period, in fact one of only 48 produced (this is the last but 1 in RHD) as mentioned above, and rarer still today this superb Corniche is a real treat and comes more than highly recommended