Hot Rod Rolls: 1975 Silver Shadow

It’s after that split-second glance that you realize that this car is more Ed Roth than Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. Can’t you just see this beast immortalized as a classic Rat Fink cartoon? Take a look at this 1975 Hot Rod Rolls found here on eBay, and you’ll agree it feels more satire than Silver Shadow

I appreciate this car’s 15 minutes of fame, having been featured on Season 2 of Junkyard Empire – in the episode where Andy’s cousin desperately wants to turn his Rolls into a Rod. I also appreciate the hard work that went into the modification of this classic, with the Empire team creating new motor mounts for the 650 horsepower small block that the seller claims cost nearly $15k alone.

Then they added the blower. And what a blower it is! Of course a new custom exhaust system had to be thrown in to handle all that air flow from the blower motor. Other than the massive protrusion in the hood, the rest of the Silver Shadow is remarkably intact – and in fact looks to be in great shape.

For the right person, the current $26k “Buy It Now” price might seem fine for a very (very) unique take on a Rolls that has a TV tie-in. However that premium for the pedigree is somewhere in the $10k range, with similar survivors in fine shape in the high teens. Love it or Hate it – you have to respect that Big Daddy Blower towering over an old British Beauty.



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  1. JRP

    Are you kidding me???

  2. RoKo

    It would be impressive if they somehow managed to hot-rod the original RR engine rather than chuck a Chevy smallblock in there.

    Still a horrible thing to do to a Rolls though.

    • 1st Gear

      Horrible thing to do to a small block.Belongs in a ’55.

  3. Fred w.

    Pardon me, have you any Grey Poupon? No? OK, let’s race for pink slips!

    • Leon

      French’s mustard instead.

  4. Michael

    What a monster. Reminds me of the “Draguar” that the Roadkill guys built.

  5. Mike B

    To compete with a Blower Bentley.

  6. Smokey Member

    What an abomination !! I am going to send this to Queen Elizabeth and she will take care of this matter.

    • Gnrdude

      Crikey MATE That’s an outrage i’m gonna Contact me Prime minister!!

  7. Enesset

    CA smog exempt!

  8. Bryce

    This is very disturbing. What is this a 69 Camaro l78 or a luxury car. This is like making a 59 elderado open header 376 hellcat crate hemi.

    • 68custom

      right, everyone knows you put a LS7 in a Cadillac!

      • JimmyinTEXAS

        Or an LS9. wink, wink, nod, nod

      • 1st Gear

        No. That goes into a Chevette.

  9. Coventrycat

    It’ll look great in the trailer park. Too bad it doesn’t have tables in the seat backs; you could live in it, too.

  10. P Wentzell

    No, I do not have to respect the ‘big daddy blower’. These cars can be had cheap, parts are dicey (ask me how I know) but asking 26K for THIS? Too late for my poor eyes…….

  11. Alan

    In my book its a crime to turn any vintage original car into a hot rod let alone a classic Rolls Royce!!

    • Gavin Tittle

      i wonder about this mentality, I don’t mean this as any don’t of personal attack, I myself was in the “the engineers did it that way, there is no reason to change it” camp for a minute or two, then someone introduced me to vintage drag racing.
      I must ask why you feel this way, its not as if silver shadows are particularly rare, or even all that valuable as far as RR is concerned.

    • 1st Gear

      Narrowminds don’t get you votes.

  12. sir mike

    I really hate blowers sticking through the hood/bonnet on ”street”cars.

  13. Derek

    He Man, nice car man. But you better get it back to the circus before somebody notices it’s missing.

  14. S.S.McDonald


  15. Henry Drake

    The only flaw is that it’s not a big block.

  16. michael h streuly

    It needs a enderle bug catcher instead of the 2 four barrels.
    10k at the most.

    • Enesset

      Please contact the seller via eBay and share your thoughts in a calm and extremely convincing manner on value….then I can offer $1 higher and start the “debate” with my spouse! 8-)

  17. 68custom

    since it has a blower it should be back halved as well! wheelies in the Rolls!

    • Gavin Tittle

      I personally wouldn’t bother back-halving it. I would jack it up and go AWB, weld up and finish the rear doors, gut it, lighten it, cage it, and change all that shiny stuff out for a good hilborn 4-pot mechanical. then run it.

  18. Joe M

    That small block is probably cheaper to maintain than the original Rolls engine.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      The Rolls engine is pretty much bullet proof, as is the GM transmission. It’s the Citroen inspired brakes and suspension that will cost the equivalent of a new small car to overhaul and maintain. Then there’s all the Lucas switch gear and accessories. There was a similar Rolls with it’s original engine turbocharged and converted to a 4-spd on Bring-A-Tampon recently but it looked more the part of a junker or Rat Rod.

  19. Adam T45 Staff

    Well, it’s….um….”distinctive”. I can’t say that I like it, and the performance probably wouldn’t be quite what you’d expect. The old Rolls was a pretty heavy beast, and that will definitely impact performance. But I guess, to each his own.

  20. Beatnik Bedouin

    The Shadow is pretty much a giveaway car, as far as the comparable value of other Rolls Royce models are concerned, so maybe the owner got it cheap and then overspent on (or more likely, overvalued) the engine.

    A buddy of mine used to threaten to put a ‘mailbox’ hood scoop on a Shadow, as a lot of our friends were driving muscle cars and ponycars with tunnel rams. This thing would have appealed to his warped sense of humour…

    • Enesset

      That sounds as ridiculous as this poor fool.

      • SEAN C

        Is that car sponsored by jb weld ?

  21. Ken Carney

    In the days of my misspent youth, I, and some of my buddies put a 350
    Chevy V-8 into a late ’50’s Jaguar that had been given to me by a friend of
    my Dad’s who owned a car lot. But unlike the fools who built this car, we did
    it to preserve a really nice car whose engine and wiring were destroyed in an
    underhood fire. Other than the fire damage, my car was original and complete down to the picnic set in the trunk. The engine we used was bone
    stock and so was the tranny. It took us about 2 weeks (and many cases of
    beer) to do the swap, but all our hard work paid off when I sold the car to a
    local doctor for $4K! Those were the days!

  22. joeinthousandoaks

    I could see doing this to a Rolls but they would need to finish the rest of the car to match. I remember years ago seeing a beautiful Rolls at SEMA with a blower but it was a purpose built race car, no hubcaps!

  23. Patrick

    I think this car was on one of the shows on Velocity. I can’t remember the name of the show but it was one that was only on for a few episodes.

    • Hoos Member

      the show is Junkyard Empire. It is still on.

      • jdjonesdr

        I’m still trying to figure out if I like that program or not. I get a kick out of some of the stuff they do, but it’s horribly scripted.

      • JimmyinTEXAS

        @jdjonesdr: As are ALL the reality shows.

  24. Mountainwoodie

    I hate to admit it…but I like it!

    • Doug Medeiros

      Grew up in the 60’s Dad was a drag racer,Brings back memories Gassers…Yes Rolls parts are a JYP…………..

      • Brakeservo

        What does acronym JYP mean? For the earlier cars, particularly the 6 cylinder models quite a few things are just “generic” parts available virtually any auto parts store (if you know the interchanges.) Thus those cars are very simple, reliable and inexpensive to drive and maintain. To my experience those cars get converted to Chevy engines only out of ignorance, and then most guys won’t know how to make the brakes work.

  25. Rich

    Great car for picking up friends at the airport.

  26. Rube Goldberg Member

    I was told, the only sound you should hear in a Rolls is the clock ticking. So much for that.

    • Brakeservo

      But the reality is, the sound you hear most is the supersonic “whoosh” of large amounts of cash disappearing quickly from your bank account!!

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Oh, you know the old saying, if you own a Rolls, and have to ask how much things cost, you have no business owning a Rolls.

  27. Alex B

    Needs one of these to complete it. :D

  28. RichS

    I’m both a little surprised and disappointed that nobody here beat me to this reference – I would daily drive the crap outta this thing:

    • Alan (Michigan) Member

      Jamie Farr!

      So funny….

  29. KO

    I’ll take it!

  30. Joe Haska

    I was fortunate enough a number of years ago to spend the weekend with Ed Roth at one of my shows, one on one, he was very normal. It was a great time ,but I still don’t like blowers sticking out of hoods, I think the car could be fun ,I would DC the blower, and go for sleeper.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Ed was a great guy, Joe. I met him around, 1962-63.

      His shop was conveniently just down the road from my family’s metal stampings biz on Slauson Ave.

      That Rolls needs Ed’s touch, especially some of his pin striping and paint magic (yes, he did a lot of pin striping in the 1950s/early-’60s).

  31. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Perfect for the Duck Dynasty guys.

  32. Mark

    Right hand drive, a blower and oncoming traffic from the left….just make sure you have decent depth perception and you’re good to go….lol.

  33. Steve

    I see a bunch of Farmall Cubs in the background of the photos. A man after my own heart. I own several including a lo boy and lo boy 154 (ugh), as well as a Super A and Super C.

  34. Peter R

    I saw this at a cars and coffee recently. Did not look nearly as good as the pictures. I can’t imagine why anybody would build this or who would want to buy it at even half the price.

    • Brakeservo

      What you describe is why so many people never successfully sell their cars – if people would only realize that the key to a successful sale is to have happy people pleasantly surprised the first time they see a car in person yet 99% of the time, the exact opposite happens because the seller has exaggerated or mis-represented the conditon, manipulated the photos to look much better than the car will appear in person etc. I wish sellers would realize that no buyer is ever happy when they travel a great distance (or even a close distance) and are disappointed the first time they actually see the car because they’ve been mislead. If I’ve got a car with a dented quarter panel for instance, the first photo someone sees is of that damaged part! And my record has been pretty good – I almost always get my full asking price and sell my cars fast! Whoever coined the phrase “Honesty is the best policy” was certainly on to something.

  35. Inky

    I just made up some t-shirts with a ’55 Gasser. Next time I’m using a Rolls! ;)

    • Zapp

      I think I’d have to wear a Big Johnson Racing tee while driving this thing around…

    • Doug Medeiros

      Laguna Seca……….Fantastic track………Super Sports Bikes ……..Side Cars……back in 1990-91 season………..was waiting at the corkscrew………Stoked………..cooler beer………Fantastic………..And J.B. Weld life saver………

  36. Rick D Borstein

    This one inspires cognitive dissonance, but I do have a proclivity for weird vehicles and this one would certainly be attention getting. Chacun à son goût!

  37. gto4ever

    I can just see James Bond ruling the streets, chasing the agents of SPECTR. As for me, just give me a Goat!!

  38. Maestro1

    it’s atrocious.

  39. duaney Member

    Ruined a good car

    • Brakeservo

      Very few people who are familiar with this model and/or have owned one will agree with you. There’s a reason the world is filled with very cheap Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows and that certainly wouldn’t be the case of they really were good cars. While I have personally owned over 240 Bentley and Rolls-Royce motorcars in my life (so far) I’ve always done my best to get rid of anything built post 1965 ASAP because they are hard to work on, unreliable and very expensive when it comes to brakes and suspension. The engine and transmission are perhaps the very best parts of these cars but in this case, it was the engine the guy replaced. As good as a Rolls-Silver Shadow engine is, if it develops a serious problem, a Chevy conversion is perhaps usually the best solution to at least keeping the car on the road. I think the car is really cool in an outrageous sort of manner!

  40. RobfromTexas

    Heck Yeah!!!! I’d drive it around doing burnouts at all the country club front entrances.

  41. Classic Steel

    It’s for the owner who dies every thing quick !

    Pardon me do you have any hot sauce for my racing wings ☠️😃

  42. PeterK

    WTF?! What were they smoking when this idea was born? Hey Bubba! HOLD MAH BEER! WATCH THIS!

  43. Bill McCoskey

    The feeBay ad doesn’t mention if modifications & updates were done to the brakes. The original Rolls-Royce brake system is powered from 2 hi-pressure [2,500psi] hydraulic pumps driven off the engine’s camshaft, and the high pressure brake fluid is stored in 2 hydraulic spheres until needed. So if the original engine is gone, how are they generating the high pressure brake fluid to stop this 3 ton car?

    I know from personal experience as a Rolls-Royce service tech, that without the dual engine pump systems running, pushing the brake pedal will only work the rear brake calipers, and they won’t have power assist. Stomping on the brake pedal at 30mph will only slow the car down a bit.

  44. Pete

    What you are looking at is a very expensive really fast rural contract mail carrier vehicle. Couple of US Mail door magnets and you would be in bidness. That is just a hideous looking beast. Mr Rolls and Mr Royce are spinning in their graves I just know it.

  45. Doug Medeiros

    Express Mail……………………………

  46. Doug Medeiros

    I like the T shirt with the 55,bummer is I have a 56 Bel Air……..

  47. PAW

    Blown rolls? This is Pro Classic Roller is your daddy on street

    Made in Finland

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