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Stored 11 Years: 1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

Let’s see a show of hands for those of you who have owned a Rolls-Royce, I know a few of you have. This car looks slick and sleek on the outside but the once-luxurious interior has seen better days. The seller has this one posted here on craigslist in East Berlin, Pennsylvania and they’re asking $5,500. Here is the original listing and thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

I have definitely never owned a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley. Or a Maserati, Alfa-Romeo, Lancia, Lamborghini, Ferrari, or a… Ok, now I’m depressed. I put over 300,000 miles on a 1991 Dodge Spirit but that isn’t quite in the same category as a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit. The Silver Spirit was made from 1980 to 1997 and the longer-wheelbase model, the Silver Spur, lasted until 2000.

The Silver Spirit didn’t use generic terms such as first-generation, second-generation, etc. No way, these cars are Mark I, Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV. That’s much cooler and much more exclusive, and it’s a British thing. This is a Mark I which would have been made from 1980 to 1988. They’re related to the Bentley Mulsanne, Mulsanne Turbo, and my personal favorite, the Bentley Turbo R.

This example has been in “dry storage” since 2011 which doesn’t seem like that long but it has taken a toll on the interior, or something has. I hope that the steering wheel has been protected with that $3 cover rather than having it hide any damage. The blue leather is in need of a lot of repair work, not just cleaning. There are rips both front and rear and speaking of the rear seating area, there’s no place to rest your Gray Poupon here as it doesn’t have drop-down tray tables.

If there’s one thing scarier than an early Maserati Biturbo engine that hasn’t been started in over a decade, it’s a forty-year-old Rolls-Royce engine that hasn’t been started in over a decade. This one looks a little rugged but I’m sure that most of you Crewe fans could have it purring again in a short while, I hope. It’s a Rolls-Royce 6.75L V8 with 220 horsepower. Hagerty is at $6,100 for a #4 fair condition car, how much would you pay for this one?

Comments

  1. Dave

    Pull that lump out and swap in a big block of your favorite flavor.

    • Matt c

      My thoughts exactly but, my nephew inherited one of these money pit, almost exactly like this one ,1983, couldnt get more than $6k for it, they literally cost 4-500 a month in maintenance and about $10k for any repair. The brake systems are tied into the engine and steering system and even if you bolt a nice crate Chevy to the turbo hydramatic 400 already in it, the suspension system is a nightmare to remove and set up with anything considered normal

      Like 2
  2. Dusty Rider

    It looks like it’s missing some of the headlight trim.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      That’s the first thing I noticed.

  3. Big_Fun Member

    What’s the adage on any Rolls Royce, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and other expensive foreign makes 15 years and older?
    Ah yes, now I remember, ‘If you couldn’t afford it new, you can’t afford it now.”
    Even if it was given away for $1.00, you may be behind the curve…

    Like 12
  4. PaulG

    The under hood shot looks like 5 pounds in a 1 pound bag…
    I purchased a 1988 Mercedes 300 SL that sat in a garage for 3 years; prior to that it was maintained to a high level. Running and driving the next day. I don’t quite see that happening with this Rolls.
    Scotty, if you squint really hard the rear view of the Dodge Spirit and this car are somewhat similar!

    Like 3
  5. Rodney - GSM

    I particularly like the floor mats thrown on top of the hood. A good indication of the respect this car has been shown. Perhaps not a felony but for sure a misdemeanor.
    And don’t get me started on the “chicken coop interior”. Not a “Barn Find” but a “Barn”.

    Like 2
  6. Tony Primo
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      That’s a beauty, Tony! What could possibly go wrong there?…

  7. Cam W.

    I’ve had a couple Silver Shadows, and a Silver Spur (long wheelbase version of the Silver Spirit). 2 of the 3 had been parked for several years, and required the usual recommissioning, which I did myself. There are a number of sources for reasonably priced mechanical/maintenance parts……..if you do your research. BTW, I highly recommend joining the Rolls-Royce owners Club.
    The really expensive stuff was the interior trim. In that relatively presentable “driver quality” Spirits and Spurs can often be had for around $10K these days, this car is likely not a good value. There are a number of Rolls/Bentley used parts businesses that regularly buy similar cars to disassemble for parts. I see that as the most suitable use for this car.
    If owning a Roller is on your bucket list (it was on mine), the best way to protect your finances, is have a qualified Rolls-Royce mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection.

    Like 15
    • Steve Clinton

      The only thing more expensive than a restored Rolls Royce is a Rolls Royce that needs to be restored.

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Cam W,

      Your comment “If owning a Roller is on your bucket list (it was on mine), the best way to protect your finances, is have a qualified Rolls-Royce mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection”, is one of the most important comments ever made on Barn Finds.

      I operated a vintage car shop that specialized in Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. I used to buy cars like this one, once the owner discovered just how much money would be required to put it back on the road. I’ve bought complete non-running Rolls-Royce cars as cheap as $500, and in that case mine was the highest offer!

      I expanded the interior photo to get a better look. The white stuff on the steering wheel and column, as well as the seating surfaces is MOLD. This car was not stored in a dry climate. I’m positive the interior of this car smells of mold, and it’s going to be difficult to eliminate that smell.

      Like 9
  8. luke arnott Member

    A friend of mine has one.The gearbox failed – hail & farewell $11,000.

    Like 2
    • Concinnity

      But they use a GM 400 automatic, don’t they? Sounds like your friend was ripped off.

      Like 4
  9. david R

    Sorry. Rolls Royce’s are kind of ridiculously over-engineered. I’ll take a used Lexus any day.

    Like 3
  10. Steve Clinton

    Unfortunately, used Lexuses (Lexi?) don’t command the same respect as a used Rolls does.

  11. MICHAEL LLOYD GREGORY

    Owning a Rolls has always been on my bucket list, but so has having enough money to own and maintain one. If I had the money I would totally be driving a Corniche convertible to Sonic for burgers.

    I have two friends who have ventured into this territory: both had miserable experiences. One had a fancy Jaguar that was only a few years old and the other bought a supposedly running and driving Rolls similar to this one. The first friend kept the Jaguar six years and still owed more than $20K to his credit card used to pay for repairs, and the other friend never got his Rolls started again after it was backed off the delivery truck. He had it worked on for three years and never got it to drive anywhere.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      “Owning a Rolls has always been on my bucket list, but so has having enough money to own and maintain one.”

      I operated a restoration shop that specialized in luxury cars including Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, and I’ve personally owned about 30 of those, from 1932 to 1985.

      The key [in my personal experience] is to stick with the earlier 6 cylinder cars up to and including the Silver Cloud 1 cars [cars built 1959 and earlier.] With very few exceptions the 6 cylinder cars can be worked on by most mechanics, or owners with a basic ability to do repairs themselves. If you know how to do most of the repairs to a similar year Packard, Jaguar saloon, Cadillac, etc, you can repair the Rolls-Royce or Bentley cars.

      Even the early Silver Cloud V8 cars are not beyond the average collector’s abilities. However, once you get into the Silver Shadow cars, they become far more complicated and need far more service and repairs compared to the earlier cars. Consider the factory Rolls-Royce repair manuals for the Cloud 1 and the Shadow/Spirit cars. The later manuals, when stacked up are about 6″ thick, while the Cloud manuals are only about 2 inches!

      For example, if you can afford to buy a decent Packard, or a 1950s or earlier Cadillac, and/or if you have the ability to restore or work on such cars, then you should be able to handle an older Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Most parts are reasonably priced unless you buy them thru a factory dealership.

      Like 4
  12. Ward William

    Dry storage my hairy backside. That engine bay is full of leaves and crap.

    Like 2
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    How hard is it to get years of mouse urine out of fine Connolly hides?

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Mouse urine is one of the most powerful smells I’ve ever dealt with. It’s so powerful because mice use it to navigate back to the nest, and return again to points like the interior of a car. They can pick up their scent YEARS later due to it’s staying power. The only thing that gets rid of it is chlorine bleach, and you can’t use bleach on leather seats in a concentrate that will eliminate the urine smell.

      I’ve never been able to find a product that can remove rodent urine from leather or other organic things like wool carpets without damage. I’ve always had to replace the leather. There are products that will mask the smell, but as soon as the leather is exposed to moisture [as on a rainy day] the smell comes back.

      I’ve even tried removing the leather seating surface and treating it from the back side, because automobile leather is not traditionally vat died [color all the way through the leather], but is coated with lacquer with a softening agent. This is why auto seat leather cracks, because the lacquer dries out. The urine still came back, even after replacing all the seat stuffing and/or foam.

      I was able to remove the mold smell from a Rolls-Royce that had been completely submerged in Potomac river flood waters, but not mouse urine!
      The best way to prevent mice visiting your car is to place sections of shed snake skin every year, place a section under the hood, in the trunk, and on the front & rear seats. Talk to your local pet store or snake clubs to get fresh snake skin.

      Like 4
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Thanks for the reply, Bill.

        I never thought that my attempted witty comment would garner such an informative reply.

        My worst experience with mice urine is when they invaded our kitchen and left droppings in the backside of our oven, Since it was new, we did not want to replace it, so every once in awhile you get that horrible reeking odor when you are baking something.

        We had regular pest control visits and the advice that ended up working was like you said – hands and knees with a scrub brush using a bleach based solution. Then, taking that same solution and spraying it up into the backside of the flooring in the basement ceiling.

        Like 2
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I did have a Corvette that for years smelled like mice whenever the HVAC was used (thankfully, not that much). When I had the interior and dash out of the car, I cleaned as much as I could, up into the vents, that did not help.

    I finally pulled the plastic fan cover off from the engine compartment side and the entire thing was jammed with an old nest, mostly pink insulation from the garage it was stored in.

  15. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Field mice have the ability to dis-joint their skeleton and actually fit thru holes the size of a typical pencil. They can get inside of almost any place on a car with an opening of that size or larger.

    about 50 years ago I was offered a 1954 Packard Patrician that had sat for years. I didn’t buy it because I was headed into the Army [not by choice], and had nowhere to put it. A friend of mine in the Packard Club bought the car and he told me later that mice had made a nest in the rearmost cylinder of the straight 8 engine.

    Each time the mouse entered or exited the cylinder, it had to squeeze past the exhaust valve, and travel down the exhaust manifold into the front exhaust pipe, and exit thru a hole in the muffler! As for the condition of that back cylinder, it was so badly corroded from mouse urine, the piston had to be destroyed and the cylinder re-sleeved!

    Like 2
  16. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Listing update: someone grabbed it already! Was it one of you? Bonus point if it was…

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