Rolls Royce Corniche MPW coupé (1971). 55k miles

Superb example of the fabulous Corniche coupé. Low mileage, full repaint, fantastic interior, new MoT, personal plate included.

This is a wonderful car. Originally produced as the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward (MPW) two-door saloon or fixed head coupé, the car’s name was changed to Corniche in 1971 based on a historic car from the thirties. Both a coupé and a convertible body were produced. Each of the two bodystyles was distinctively different from the four-door saloon, sharing no panels other than at the very front. This marked them out as very much a separate, coach built version with additional power on tap. The result of all this extra handcrafted work was a price at least half as much again as the standard saloon depending on options.

Following the change of name to Corniche, the model continued to be assembled and finished in London at MPW as the original Silver Shadow coupés and convertibles had been. A little over one thousand of the first series of Corniche coupés were produced from 1971 up to the coupé being discontinued in 1981 with the launch of the Silver Spirit saloon (the convertibles carried on being made until the late 1980s). The Corniche takes the Rolls Royce coupé theme and, in our opinion, enhances the Silver Shadow to another level. The Corniche was appreciated for its innate style and exclusivity and those that were available were often owned by the rich and famous.

This car is a very early coupé, having been first ordered in February 1971 and registered in July the same year. The order sheet specification includes body paint in garnet (a lovely solid, deep red), black Everflex vinyl roof, off-white leather and maroon carpets. Additional features included foglamps, interior quality matching carpet in the boot, upgraded headlamps, Sundym glass, Maserati horns and beefed up front armrest. All this for over £12,000, a fortune at the time. Copies of the factory build sheets are in the extensive paperwork which accompanies this car.

The paintwork was refreshed this year with an all body repaint at the bodyshop of a well-known classic and prestige dealer in the south-east of England. The front seats were recovered in 2012 and the door panel leather and interior woodwork were restored in 2013 and can only be described as exceptional. The interior is a lovely place to sit, enhanced by the wooden steering wheel with fingertip control. While retaining the original stereo for completeness, there is a modern DAB radio/CD player in the lower facia.

Mechanically, the car has received regular attention over its lifetime, reflected in the large quantity of invoices for servicing and old MoT certificates. Since 2012, the car has had thousands spent on keeping it in superb operating condition. The highlights of this include revamping of the suspension and brakes, fitting of electronic ignition and, in 2015, a reconditioned gearbox and a rebuilt engine. These last two exchange units and ancillaries were included in an invoice for almost £9,000 for the parts alone, fitting and testing costing a further £5,000 plus. In 2016 a new starter motor and plugs were fitted and the battery was replaced earlier this year.

Showing just over 55k miles, this can only be described as a beautiful motor car, deserving of its past history and is a credit to the original concept. It has an MoT until Nov 2018 and is ready to be driven away in style.

Price - £43,850. Offers or P/Ex considered.

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