Typically Rolls-Royce in so far as it represented evolution rather than revolution, the Silver Spirit and its long-wheelbase Silver Spur sibling were based on the preceding Silver Shadow II to which they bore a distinct family resemblance. The Shadow's floor pan was retained and power-train differences were minimal, the newcomers' chief advance over their immediate forebear being the heavily revised and improved type of rear suspension that had first appeared on the company's two-door models. The styling too came in for revision, with a lower waistline, increased glass area and a more-modern angular look; rectangular headlights graced the front of a Rolls-Royce for the first time, and the oft-changed radiator became wider and squatter. Inside, the Crewe firm's exemplary standards of equipment and finish were maintained, the most noticeable change being the adoption of separate rear seats and the reinstatement of folding picnic tables. By now all cars, regardless of final destination, came with a Bosch fuel-injected V8 engine in three-way catalysed 'California' specification capable of meeting all current emissions targets.
Apart from slightly more prominent bumpers and a quartet of rectangular headlights, cars destined for the USA were outwardly indistinguishable from those sold elsewhere. The long-wheelbase Silver Spur turned out to be a major success for Rolls-Royce, and by 1985 accounted for almost the same number of sales as the shorter Silver Spirit despite being around 20% more expensive.
Great Britain celebrated 100 years of motoring in 1985 and to mark the occasion Rolls-Royce produced for sale an exclusive, limited-edition run of 25 Silver Spurs ? the Centenary model ? numbered '14001' to '14025' inclusive. The Centenary model offered here - chassis number '14000' ? is Rolls-Royce's 100,000th car (all the Derby and Crewe-built Bentleys were included in the total!).
Even more lavishly equipped than the already generously endowed standard version, the Centenary cars were eagerly snapped up by collectors worldwide. All that is except this example, which was retained by the factory and, purportedly, used occasionally by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales. It was also loaned for the exclusive use of the former Chairman of the R-REC. The car is now offered for sale by Bentley Motors. Accompanying factory documentation records the colour scheme as Royal Blue with Champagne Nuella hide interior, and lists the following non-standard features:
*Cocktail requisites to centre litter bin comprising two special silver whisky flasks and four nip glasses
*Special box arm to rear centre armrest
*All interior woodwork to be heavily grained burr walnut veneer
*Fascia panel to be cross-banded above line of intermediate roll
*Door capping rails to front and rear compartment and picnic tables to be inlaid with silver
*Rear door trim pads to be veneered replacing standard hide trimmed pads
*Panasonic graphic equaliser
*Tread plates to front door sills to incorporate commemorative plaque
*Commemorative plaque to glove box lid
*5001 presentation case
*Special badge to boot lid
Currently in the process of having a registration number allocated by the DVLA, this beautiful Silver Spur Centenary model offered for sale having been stored at the factory from new. The car has recently been MoT'd and is running condition; nevertheless, we would recommend servicing as appropriate following its period of inactivity.