1980 Rolls-Royce Corniche I

drophead coupe

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1980
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
    DRL0346
  • Electric windows
    Yes
    Climate control
    Yes
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Interior colour 
    Blue
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    5
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    White
  • Gearbox 
    Automatic
  • Performance 
    164 kW / 224 PS / 220 BHP
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Rolls Royce Corniche i 1980 - 8 cylinder in V, 6750cc, 220 HP

HISTORY:

When the Corniche arrived on the market it was the most expensive production car in the world, but even so it would be a bestseller among luxury models: for the first time in long years, Rolls Royce would make a profit from a car. It had been launched in 1966 as a two-door coupe and cabriolet bodied by Mulliner Park Ward on the Silver Shadow sedan platform, but still without its own name. It was in 1971 when both versions received the Corniche name.

The coupe would only remain four years in the catalogue while the convertible (or drophead coupe, in British taxonomy) was still manufactured in 1995. Its long life span is due, among other reasons, to the fact that it had almost no rivals in the market: the Mercedes SL and the Jaguar XJS were too cheap and less smart for its target customers, while the Ferrari and Aston Martin roadsters were not as passenger-friendly (i.e., comfortable) as the aristocratic Corniche.

Given the conservative tradition of the brand, its conception is truly advanced, with monocoque chassis, disc brakes and independent suspension, high-pressure hydraulic system with self-levelling function that ensures an amazing dynamic smoothness. Under the bonnet there is an V8 engine coupled to a 4-speed automatic gearbox, although for export markets it uses the GM Hydramatic 3-speed. Its 6. 2 litre displacement, later on increased to 6.8 give an estimated output of 220 -230 CV. The manufacturer always refused to publicly reveal the real power figure, dispatching such annoying question with a brief "sufficient".

Throughout almost thirty years the Corniche would follow several updates without changing its appearance or losing its essence. Rolls-Royce used it as a test bench for technical advances anticipating those incorporated later in the Silver Shadow. Thus, it would go from carburetion to injection (first mechanically, then electronically), adopt rack-and-pinion steering, ventilated discs, ABS, airbags, fibreglass bumpers and huge changes in the rear suspension. Despite being the most expensive in the manufacturer´s catalogue (35% more than the Silver Shadow) and its long delivery term (4 years!), it was a real success for Rolls Royce. Preserved in its original condition, our Corniche belongs to the model’s second series, of which 2,006 were built between 1977 and 1986