Exotic Find: 1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

This ’68 Rolls is part of a private car collection offered at auction via Mascus, a large European online marketplace for used excavators, trucks, tractors, trailers, wagons, buses, coaches, pickers, harvesters, bunchers, sweepers, skidders, mowers, golf carts, and yes…exotic cars!  Located across the Atlantic in Lommel, Belgium this first-generation Silver Shadow is reported to have been “standing still” for approximately five years.  Bidding is set to start at 2,625 Euro ($2,886) and the auction will run for ten days.  Special thanks to Barn Finds reader Dik S. for the tip!

I’m guessing when you first looked at this photo you immediately noticed something amiss.  It’s obvious – someone snatched the signature Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy ornament that used to adorn the grille!  That’s unfortunate but not at all surprising.  Beginning with 2004 models the luxury car company has made it nearly impossible to steal Flying Lady ornaments from its cars by mounting them on a spring-loaded mechanism that retracts when it comes into contact with a foreign object, such as a would-be thief’s greasy fingers.  Since a traditional Rolls-Royce grille ornament can run thousands of dollars, potential buyers should consider subtracting a substantial amount from their bid just to cover replacement costs!

After seeing this photo of the Silver Shadow’s interior complete with seat-back tables, I couldn’t help but hit-up Youtube and resurrect that memorable old Grey Poupon commercial from 1988!  The woodgrain inlay on the doors and seats as well as the dash is certainly beautiful, but if you can get past taking in the endlessly green interior you’ll notice there is some mold present here and there.  There’s also a fair amount of pitting visible on the steering wheel and door handles.

There are no photos of the 172 hp V-8 motor and no information is provided as to whether there are any known mechanical issues.  Mileage is listed as unknown.  Pre-1970 right-hand drive Silver Shadow models were outfitted with a GM Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission.  Although this Rolls is in need of some cosmetic refurbishing due to age and moisture exposure, it looks to be a solid car that could end up selling at a low price, perhaps in the $5,000 range.  But when Silver Shadows have been featured on this site in the past, Barn Finds member IkeyHeyman has taken the courtesy to remind us that “there is nothing more expensive than a cheap Rolls-Royce!”


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  1. Rodney - GSM

    A moldy non-running 1968 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow living in Belgium. What could go wrong?
    (Even The Spirit of Ecstasy left the building…)

    Like 19
  2. glen

    I’m surprised that the horsepower is that low, for such a heavy car. What is the torque of this engine?

    Like 3
    • Alex

      Most probably “adequate”! Lol

      Like 11
  3. Brakeservo

    Where on earth is your writer coming up with the oft repeated (but groundless) assertion that a Roll-Royce “Flying Lady” for a Silver Shadow will cost “thousands!” There’s been one on the local Craigslist for a couple of months for $100 (it’s genuine, not a fake) with no takers. I’ve got about half a dozen “Flying Ladies” dating back to the early 1930’s – gee, I’d take $1000 for any one of ’em!

    Like 7
    • Jay B Staff

      Brakeservo, predicting someone would comment if I were to mention the potential replacement cost of a Flying Lady, I carefully worded it as follows: “Since a traditional Rolls-Royce grille ornament can run thousands of dollars…” Please note use of the word “can.” I’m sorry you missed that.

      Like 1
      • Nate

        Or, it “can” cost $100. What’s the point?

        Like 2
      • Jay B Staff

        I used the word “can” which is used to indicate a possibility vs. Brakeservo who used the word “will” which is used to express inevitability. Does that help you?

  4. Brakeservo

    One should be aware that for many years, Belgium was the dumping ground for cars that would no longer pass technical or mechanical/safety inspection in other countries. Many a rusted hulk have gone to Belgium instead of the scrap yard, or perhaps Belgium was just a way station on the way to the scrap yard.

    Like 3
  5. Go Cart Mozart

    Small block Chevy perhaps? Pass the Grey Poupon!

    • Brakeservo

      The Rolls Royce V8 engine is the most reliable and durable part of the car. It’s the hydraulics for suspension and brakes, followed by the electrical system that are troublesome. A Chevy V8 creates more trouble than it’s worth in one of these cars as the Rolls motor powers the hydraulic system.

      Like 3
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I say then gut out the hydronic system and put in a more conventional system if I had it that’s what I’d do. Then I put in a SBC and 700r essentially an impala that looks like a RR why no it’s currently a bucket of $h!t with one wheel in the grave. It not like I’d be heading for pebble beach with it.

        Like 1
  6. Bob McK Member

    Don’t just pass the Grey Poupon, pass on this car. It is a beautiful car, but it will cost you more to get it running than it is worth. Yesterday on the Barrett Jackson auction, there were two really beautiful RR’s that sold for between 5K and 6,500. Neither was a barn find.

    Like 2
  7. Sir Heinrich Royce

    Having owned two Silver Shadows (1969 & 1976 model), I can say the hydraulic levelling system coupled with the high-pressure brake system is what scares the Castrol RR363 out of me!

    Seriously, though, RR’s are elegant and a sight to behold…so long as it is your ONLY toy to maintain if one is on an “average” budget. I’ll keep my ’82 Mercedes-Benz 380SE and skip the prestige…and have leftover $$$ to play with a few more toys.

    Like 2
    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetngs All,

      The brakes are the weak point, but its more of a “knowing how” as opposed to a poor workmanship.

      The 172 HP bothers me more.

      Looked at one in ’82 while working in the UK. I ended up with a Jaguar MKII with wires, 4-speed/OD and a Webasto that I had put in before it came home.

      The brakes would not deter me now, but that lack of HP in that heavy a vehicle would mean passing with the AC shut off.

      Like 1
  8. JagManBill

    The only thing more expensive that a Rolls is a cheap Rolls. Lets make the casual assumption that with little effort you get it running. If I remember correctly, its a TH400 or a BW65 tranny so fixing that won’t be too expensive if it doesn’t move. If its been sitting a while, you’ll be rebuilding the ENTIRE brake system. The parts alone will set you back about a grand. So now it runs, moves and stops. Next, fix the the hydro-static suspension. The parts alone will set you back about two grand (although last time I check it was pushing 3 based on the exchange rate).
    So now it runs, drives, stops and rides properly. A good, RR worthy paint job will set you back about $15k. Or you could try and buff it out and save a buck. Dump everything in it, and you might break even. Oh…but I forgot…you still have to buy the car…
    So…get it running, coil overs at the corners, Willwood brakes and Maaco paint job and your good to go for 5k tops…

    Like 3
    • Corniche Comedian

      Hey JagManBill – you may be on to something. Perhaps a 24 Hours de Lemons candidate? Skip the paint job…it would only add unnecessary weight.

      Where would we get the springs large-enough to support this beast on all four corners…my ex’s bathroom scale?

      Like 2
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Hahaha…haha….ha… to funny.

  9. Doug

    Barn Finds member IkeyHeyman has taken the courtesy to remind us that “there is nothing more expensive than a cheap Rolls-Royce!”

    Actually, the one thing that can be potentially more expensive is a young lady who is free for the evening……..

    Like 1
  10. Richard

    My 79 silver shadow has been sitting for 11 years while the gas slowly turns to varnish. The car ran perfect when I quit driving it but the hydraulics were impossible. Collapsed brake lines, accumulator issues, leaks in some of the many valves. I have the service manuals for the car and I swear they made it as complicated as they could. Example; the headlight switch supposedly has 274 parts. What were they thinking? And to take the spirit of ecstasy off is no easy feat. It’s held on with a bicycle chain.

    Like 1
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      As I said above gut that RR of yours out and rebuild it with 90’s Impala parts you’ll be back to driving it again and fixing it will be much cheaper. it’ll probably get better mileage too.

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        Before anyone attempts to make the changes you suggest, they should take a really hard look at what it requires. It’s probably cheaper to just make the repairs as long as the engine is OK.

        And as for the pitting on the interior chrome, that’s likely just dirt or bits of mold, because ALL the chrome trim on the interior of a Silver Shadow is polished Stainless Steel, so no pits. Except for the chrome bumpers, all the exterior chrome trim on these cars is also Stainless Steel.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I guess I look at it through the eye of both a mechanic and a welder fabricator of which I’m certified in both. If this was my project I would not hesitate to do it. I’d buy an impala in decent shape as a donor and go to work. And it would cost me a fortune either. I’ve been fixing car for 40 years and welding for 20.

  11. Del

    Didn’t the Beatles own this at one time ?

  12. P Wentzell

    One “fun” aspect is the 1968 was a “parts specific” year. You may be able to modify something (parking brake cable), or things like taillamps (non mechanical) that are no big deal. Beautiful car, though.

    Like 1
  13. Del

    I disagree.

    Another pretentious piece of British crap.

    If anyone cared about it then it would be running

    Like 2
  14. V8roller

    I ran a 1970 Shadow for two years.
    Magic carpet, the wood the leather, like wafting around in a library.
    And plenty of power, never mind 170hp, one floated on a wave of torque.
    But the hydraulics arrgh.
    And the rust. Everything you needed to work on was hard to get at, and when you got to it, it was rusted.
    One of the shocks punched through the rusted spring pan of the (steel) trailing arm. The three-part sills were rusted, the valances, the wheel arches.
    Oh, and the alloy engines suffer from corrosion if the coolant isn’t regularly changed.
    I’d love to have another, but it would have to come with a current and impeccable service history. Standing five years?? Some optimist can empty his wallet into it, not me, thankyou.

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