1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Saloon
|Wheels||Steel with hubcaps|
Rolls-Royce’s replacement for the long running Silver Shadow series was finally unveiled in 1980, following a decade of development at Crewe. The first new model to wear the famous Spirit of Ecstasy for the ‘80s, the Silver Spirit featured updated versions of its venerable V8 and GM automatic transmission. True to form, power output was merely described as ‘adequate’ however the 6.75-litre motor certainly had more than enough capacity to allow the Silver Spirit to waft along at impressive speeds. The latest Rolls-Royce boasted elegant styling by Fritz Feller, the new head of the styling department, its modern, horizontal themes accentuated by rectangular head lights and rear light clusters to create a luxury saloon with real presence. A novel touch was the fully retractable Spirit of Ecstasy radiator mascot, which was brought about by new safety legislation. The self-levelling rear suspension was revised using gas-filled shock absorbers and a Girling automatic ride control system, to enhance an already superb ride. The Spirit’s magnificent cabin featured digital displays for selected functions but retained its traditionally luxurious ambience, with the Connolly hides and wood capping one would expect in a Rolls-Royce. The Silver Spirit may have been relatively high-tech compared to the Silver Shadow but was still largely hand crafted and no more than 60 cars were completed each week. Production of the original Silver Spirit lasted from 1980 until 1989, and the total output was just 8126 cars (plus a further number of long wheelbase Silver Spur variants). Representing excellent buying in today's marketplace, the Silver Spirit offers unparalleled luxury for minimal financial outlay.