1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Saloon
A giant technical leap for Rolls-Royce when launched at the 1965 Paris Salon, the Silver Shadow took the Flying Lady into the modern era, with unitary construction for the first time and more compact proportions with restrained, up-to-date styling by John Blatchley's team. In fact, the Silver Shadow saw numerous firsts for the Crewe Company, with fully-independent suspension (with self-levelling front and rear) and four wheel ventilated disc brakes both welcome advances. The only major components carried over from the Silver Cloud III were the excellent all-aluminium 6.2-litre V8 and Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission with fluid flywheel, although the latter was replaced by GM's excellent 400 three-speeder in October 1968. Inside, the Silver Shadow was a clever blend of traditional materials and Old World craftsmanship with modern fittings. No less than eight individual Connolly hides were used to trim the interior of each car and the standard of finish on the upholstery, rich Wilton carpets and burr walnut veneers was impeccable. Another breakthrough for Rolls-Royce was the fact that the Silver Shadow was the first model in 50 years to turn a profit and production was relatively high, with no less than 16,717 built (along with a smaller number of Bentley T-Series variants) before the revised Shadow II was launched in 1977.