Rolls Royce Car Reviews and Road Tests

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Rolls-Royce Car Company

Arguably the most famous partnership in automotive history belongs to Rolls Royce. Having acquired a Deauville car, Henry Royce was so dissatisfied that he decided to build his own; somewhat of a perfectionist his first car, the 10hp, ran with unsurpassed precision. It would impress many, none more so than one Charles Rolls, who offered to sell as many cars as Royce could manufacture. A partnership was formed, and Rolls Royce born. At first there would be only one model, a running chassis 40/50 that required the purchaser to obtain a body from a coachbuilder (a practice not uncommon for the time). As demand grew, the company would move from Manchester to Derby, then came the smaller Twenty, powered by a new overhead valve six of 3.1 litres, which would grow to 4.3 litres by 1936.

The 40/50 was replaced by the awesome 7.6 litre Phantom, which featured a hypoid rear axle with allowed the body to sit lower on the car, resulting in a significant handling improvement; this would be the last car designed by Royce, he passing in 1933. Subsequent exports to the US market would ensure the marques survival through the difficult depression years, there even being a factory set up in Springfield Massachusetts (in 1919) to build cars not only designed for US conditions, but to avoid the crippling US Tariff’s.

The Phantom III of 1935 was powered by a V12 to help it compete with the best Detroit could offer, it fitted with independent front suspension. The company would garner a stellar reputation during the Second World War with the Merlin engines fitted to Britain’s Spitfire fighter and Lancaster bomber. After the war Rolls Royce switched to providing their cars with factory fitted bodies, each built with the same care and precision that went with the chassis and engines. It has always been the case that Britain has produced the finest in quality combined with upper-class,  the Silver Ghost, Silver Cloud and Silver Shadow are without peer, and only one company would have dared manufacture cars of this ilk, one founded by a perfectionist of course.

Also see: The Spirit of the Silver Ghost - The Rolls Royce Story (USA Edition)
Rolls Royce Silver Ghost  

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

1907 - 1926
Undeniably an elitist car - particularly in the 1920's, the Silver Ghost's chassis alone cost approximately US$5000 - or roughly 10 times that of a fully complete Ford Model T. More>>
Rolls Royce Silver Wraith  

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith

1959 - 1965
For the £9,000 price tag you didn't simply ride in comfort and enjoy plenty of standard kit, moreover it was the way you felt and the uplift to the morale, enabling you to make bigger, better decisions, ignoring the trivialities and diversionary influences. More>>
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud  

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

1959 - 1965
Available from 1957, the Silver Cloud Long Wheel Base (lwb) was designed to be Chauffeur driven, with its four inches of extra length allowing for a glass division to be fitted behind the front seats. More>>
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow  

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

1965 - 1980
Launched in 1965 the Silver Shadow represented a massive leap forward for Rolls-Royce. The new car had an all new, modern monocoque bodyshell, hydraulic, self levelling suspension and all round, split circuit disc brakes. More>>
Rolls Royce Silver Spur

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur

1965 - 1980
The 1980 Rollers were longer, lower and wider than their preedecessors, but it is of note that they were 're-skinned' models using the pushrod ohv light alloy V8 engine that had by then now powered three diffferent marks of Rolls-Royce car products. More>>
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