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1 of 2,136: 1977 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II

“That thing didn’t cost that much new!!!!” How often have we seen that comment when a seller prices a vintage vehicle higher than some folks think it should be worth? Too often, far, far too often. Those commenters conveniently never say that when a Hemi Cuda sells for $1,000,000, but God forbid a seller asks $10,000 for a Pinto or Pacer and all H breaks loose. They’ll also never say it about this 1977 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II, which is priced at $12,500 and can be found here on craigslist in Bisbee, Arizona. Here is the original listing, and thanks to PRA4SNW for sending in this tip!

Now there’s a grille that would be unmistakable as you cruise down the highway in a car that costs less than a 2015 Kia Sorento, which looks like every other car made in the last decade. Would it be less reliable and exponentially more high-maintenance? Yes, but that’s often the case when you step up in luxury or performance. The Silver Wraith II is timeless. For the record, this car would have cost a well-heeled buyer around $74,500 in 1977, approximately $378,500 today. This car is the 10th one made, according to the VIN, which the seller provides. Kudos to them for providing so many photos and the VIN in a craigslist ad, that’s highly unusual and very nice.

Based on the Silver Shadow but stretched 4″ behind the b-pillar, the Silver Wraith II came several decades after the original Silver Wraith and was made from 1977 to 1980. Reportedly, 2,136 were made and one feature was a smaller, more private rear window as these cars were often chauffer-driven. The seller tells us that this car spent time in California (we’re not sure how much time) before relocating to Arizona and was, in fact, chauffeur-driven.

While the light metallic green paint is said to have been reapplied after being purchased by the Arizona buyer at a cost of over $8,000, the interior looks fantastic and is presumably original, but we don’t know. The dash cover is always a giveaway that something may be awry, especially for a car living in Arizona. The seller mentions “dashboard cracks”, and also the air-conditioning isn’t working and the rear power windows are slow. Those seats, though, nice! I expected to see wood drop-down tables in the back. The huge, fully-finished trunk is also nice.

The engine looks as clean as the rest of the car does. Bentley and Rolls-Royce V8 engines have the second-longest run of all time, behind Chevy’s small block V8. This one is their 6.75-liter OHV V8 with around 200 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. It sends power through a GM-sourced THM-400 three-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels and the seller says that the power steering and rack-and-pinion system have been rebuilt and there is an upgraded fuel pump. Hagerty is at $14,700 for a #2 excellent-condition car and $10,700 for a #3 good car. That’s somewhat surprising to see how much car you can get for this amount of money, if you’re brave and can do a lot of maintenance and repair work yourself. Would any of you daily drive a 1977 Rolls-Royce?

Comments

  1. Frank Denardo

    Looks like a car Zsa Zsa Gabor would drive in. She along with her sister Eva who were Hungarian drove a Rolls-Royce saloon. There was a 1969 model Eva owned that sold at Barrett-Jackson for ab$100,000.

    Like 11
    • RICK W

      I believe ZSA ZSA Slap the Cop convert is currently available at some Classic Car Co. Saw ad, but don’t remember name! You have to admit ZSA ZSA was never GA Boring!

      Like 0
  2. Malcolm Boyes

    Zsa Zsa drover gold Corniche..I know because she bought it off the parents of a lady I was dating! It acquired a serious dent when the electric gate to her manse closed on it.I think that was before she slugged the Beverly Hills cop.Ah the rich and famous..

    Like 20
    • RICK W

      As mentioned in another of my posts, the Slap the Cop car is currently available. That one is white.

      Like 0
  3. Chinga-Trailer

    In 1977 I drove a new Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith much like this. It was my first experience with such a car and boy did it burst my bubble! Having admired Rolls-Royces from afar since my childhood in southern Arizona, not too far from this car, by the way, that first drive was quite a let down. Overall the experience wasn’t all that different from driving the old man’s 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Ranch Wagon! Little did I know then that I would ultimately have over 300 Rolls-Royces and Bentleys pass through my hands, which they have, but never a Silver Shadow or it’s LWB variant such as this – a good brake job alone will cost more than the asking price, and if hasn’t been done in the recent past, is likely an eventuality in the not-too-distant future. No, I won’t be making the drive down to Bisbee to see this one today, I never have, and never will, own a Rolls or Bentley built after 1965!

    Like 0
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Chinga,

      There is good reason to stay away from this car. Look at the photo of the dashboard, where the square warning light array is located. Note that one of the brake warning lights is bright red! If that light comes on and stays on when the engine is running, the car is not safe to drive. As the photo shows only one red brake warning light is on, that’s likely to mean the car needs a brake system overhaul. I don’t know of any R-R shop that will only rebuild 1 part of the brake hydraulics, it’s always everything or nothing.

      This car is actually a rather rare example, as it does not appear to have ever had an Everflex roof covering [vinyl top to all those readers not familiar with R-R terminology]. The long wheelbase cars came standard with the Everflex top, but by special order it could be eliminated [a plus in my opinion, as it’s expensive to replace].

      When I was repairing these cars, I often had owners decide they didn’t want to go thru the expense of a total brake overhaul, and offer me the car. For a nice example in LHD, I never paid more than $4,000, $1,500 for a RHD example needing brakes.

      I sold off my last “modern” Rolls-Royce [1985 Silver Spur Centennial] in 2001, and I won’t buy another.

      Like 1
  4. Ward William

    At that price, if you are willing to work and market yourself properly, you could start a self employed wedding/event car business and make a living. Perfect color and condition for a wedding car. It ticks every box. What a beautiful vehicle. You could make it pay for itself in a short time. IMHO

    Like 19
    • Billyray

      That’s a good idea! Plus you could deduct all of your repairs and other expenses!

      Like 16
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Please scroll down to see Cam W’s comment and my reply. I’ve never known anyone who made money by LEGALLY renting out a vintage car or limousine, as the government regulations, business costs, and the insanely high costs for liability insurance, always result in failure.

      Like 2
  5. Troy

    I always wanted a Rolls Royce .. Until I watched some YouTube videos of Hoovies Garage and watched how much the parts are to fix relatively minor things , that changed my mind I will pay my stupid taxes in other ways

    Like 8
    • Ward William

      We car guys ALL pay “stupid taxes”. It is only the brand on the hood that changes. ;-)

      Like 12
  6. Frank Barrett Member

    The guy may have paid $8,000 for paint, but they did a lousy job of masking that windshield rubber. Oh, and he must have read what you wrote, because he’s raised the price to $15,000.

    Like 0
  7. Marques Dean

    Pardon me,but would happen to have any Grey Poupon??
    Sorry,someone had to say it!lol
    You could actually start a limo service with that car!

    Like 13
    • Frank Denardo

      I went to a car show and I saw this 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow L and has the tray tables. One table had the Grey Poupon Dijon mustard to make it authentic.

      Like 0
      • RICK W

        Pardon Me. Do you have any Grey Poupon? Loved that commercial as much as Clara Peller in her DeSoto asking Where’s the BEEF?

        Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        In addition to the Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars I’ve owned over the years, I have a Vanden Plas Princess limo that was the British Royal Family’s private limo in the USA until 1972. Most Americans think it’s a Rolls or Bentley. So I keep a plastic bottle of French’s Mustard in the glove box, and when people ask me for some Grey Poupon, I hold up the bottle and say “This ain’t a Rolls, but we do have some French’s mustard, is that okay?”

        Like 1
  8. Sam61

    It is a timeless body style. I’ve never understood the steering wheel….it looks like it came off a Divco milk truck. I’m thinking a judge Smales tribute car if the colors were different.

    Like 5
  9. ACZ

    LS anyone? Oh, that’s already been done.

    Like 3
    • John

      In Cuba they would just place a Toyota motor in it and keep on gittin’ it. LOL.

      Like 3
  10. Cam W.

    Running an old Roller like this as a wedding/rental can be a very challenging, and expensive (maintenance) prospect. I was a partner some years ago in a company that had one of the first stretched Shadows. Once it got old, it ended up costing more to run tan it could make. Thats why most successful limo companies run newer rides. BTW, I have just finished recommissioning a ’79 Wraith II, for my own collection. It was in similar condition to the one shown here, but still required almost $5K in parts (accumulators, brake hoses, pipes, parking brake cables, electrics, etc). And several weeks of my labour.
    Before you ponder it, check the insurance prices: Several thousand $ ….Per Month. Typical inexpensive classic car policies exclude any sort of commercial use. Wedding use is expressly prohibited. If there is a crash or claim, investigators Always check for this, and lawsuits have followed.

    Like 10
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Cam,
      Thanks for pointing all of the above info out, you’ve saved me from having to do it!

      In the 1980s I owned & operated the largest vintage British limo service on America’s east coast, known as Fantasy Limousine based in the DC/Baltimore area. Cam is quite correct. I know plenty of people who started a vintage limo service over the years, and none survive. It’s the quickest way to lose a lot of cash! The only way we made it as long as we did was because I owned a restoration shop specializing in British luxury cars like Rolls-Royce. Finally closed the limo service in the early 1990s when the liability insurance costs were doubling every year.

      I love to provide the following information to anyone considering a vintage limo business:

      “The best way to end up with $1 million in the vintage limo business, is to start with $2 million or more!”

      Like 2
  11. Jim

    No car more expensive than a cheap Rolls Royce.

    Like 10
    • Euromoto Member

      A cheap Ferrari comes to mind…

      Like 7
  12. Archie

    One problem with these older RR cars is many parts are hand made in a backyard garage over in England. That’s fine ‘cept when the supplier passes and RR has to fine somebody else to make said parts. They can be backordered forever.

    Like 3
    • RICK W

      See my post. My brother had to wait months for replacement hides to arrive when restoring the 62 Silver Cloud II. But it was a regal beauty.

      Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        Rick W,

        My shop restored Rolls-Royce & Bentley cars for over 25 years, and we rarely had to wait for hides. The factory leather supplier for the Cloud series and later cars is an English firm known as Bridge of Weir Leather and they are still in business [bridgeofweirleather.com]. The company has a major distributor in New Jersey and unless his car was a rare color or special grain pattern, most are in stock.

        Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Archie,

      Any spare parts sold thru the Rolls-Royce “factory to dealer” system are all manufactured by R-R or contracted suppliers [for example, oil filters are made by Crossland in England].

      However you are correct when describing “third party” small runs of spare parts for mostly pre-WW2 cars. These small runs of parts are often done with permission of the factory, to supply owners of specific parts the factory has no interest in producing due to low demand.

      In general, almost all parts for 1956 and newer Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars are available, either thru the factory or established 3rd party suppliers.

      Like 1
  13. Nelson C

    This what I think of when I hear a Rolls Royce. The signature grille, pronounced headlamps and stately body. Just beautiful.

    It never occurred to me to count Rolls Royces. Thanks for helping me out.

    Like 3
    • Lou Rugani

      I don’t believe I’d ever heard a plural for Rolls-Royce previously.

      Like 3
      • RICK W

        How about Rollses Royces? Isn’t that even more betterer? 😉

        Like 0
  14. RICK W

    My late brother had a 62 Cloud, a Shadow and Corniche. All spectacular automobiles. Riding in the Corniche was like riding on air with pavement just slipping beneath. For some reason, he switched to Mercedes! Never could understand that. So sad to see that prices for ROLLS-ROYCE are so much lower than pieces of crap! I am fortunate owner of a 2007 Town Car Signature Limited, which has been referred to as the American ROLLS-ROYCE! I agree, but at my age, I am a vintage Rolls Canardly. I Roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next!

    Like 1
  15. RICK W

    Pardon Me. Do you have any Grey Poupon? Loved that commercial as much as Clara Peller in her DeSoto asking Where’s the BEEF?

    Like 1

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