Stupendous Silver Spur: 1985 Rolls-Royce

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Now this is a dignified automobile! When I spy a new Rolls-Royce I see a brick with headlights and refrigerator door handles – hardly the case with this 1985 Silver Spur. Nope, I see understated, non-pretensious elegance. Unfortunately, the listing images are few, and the details are even fewer. So, this will be a quick review but let’s look her over anyway. Mr. Numskal found the listing for this stately British import, here on craigslist where it’s available for $29,000. If you want to see it in the steel, you’ll have to head to Gilroy, California.

Being a Silver Spur means that it rolls on a four-inch longer wheelbase than the Silver Spirit on which it’s based. Offered for twenty-one years (’80-’00), approximately 3,000 Spurs were built at Rolls’ Crewe, England assembly plant. In addition to the standard Silver Spur four-inch stretch, there was a small number of cars with custom lengths applied. The mileage recording of this car is 12K miles though that’s not authenticated. Any way you cut it, this Rolls looks like new. It’s resplendent in its Mason Black finish which is highlighted by a “flawless Everflex roof covering” while it rides on white stripe tires accented by the correct formal wheel covers.

Nothing is said, or shown, regarding the engine but we know that it is a 170 net HP, 6.75 liter V8 engine which is attached to a GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic transmission. This seems like a rather middling power output for an engine of this size, especially considering this car’s 5,000 lb. curb weight. The European version, ostensibly due to a lack of U.S emission control standards, managed a 200 net HP output – and I imagine those twenty-five 30 additional ponies were much appreciated.

Inside, Connolly leather hides? You betcha! The upholstery looks sumptuous and the instrument panel is first-class all the way. And as is usually the case, the rear compartment features fold-down trays. The entire environment is welcoming but all business at the same time. Oh, and let’s dispense with the Grey Poupon schtick…

I’m hard-pressed to think of viable 1985 competition for this Silver Spur. Cadillac’s “Standard of the World” moniker had faded by then and a Lincoln? I don’t think so. How about a Mercedes SEL? Getting warmer but not quite. “Nothing like it in the world” is the thought that I’m left with, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Nelson C

    Bentley was the competition. What a lovely car. Beautiful in every way save for the ridiculous medallions in front of the grille. Where are all these coming from lately?

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      Bentley crossed my mind but those seemed more like badge engineered Rolls-Royces in those days.


      Like 8
    • madbrit

      The grill badges are from motoring organizations and the like. I see the badge from the Automobile Association (AA) on the right. Tried zooming in but too blurry to see what the others are. The left one has a lions head so maybe something to do with the Lions, the middle one looks a bit like a Metropolitan Police insignia.

      Like 6
      • Nelson C

        High honors, I’m sure. I think they look like socks on a rooster.

        Like 6
    • Randall Tefft Sundeen

      In those days Rolls and Bentley were the same company! My father almost traded His 560sel for one of these!

      Like 4
  2. Richard

    Guessing no $49.99 oil change. Beautiful but on a serious side, it’s cheaper than a new car but the maintenance costs will cost ya.

    Like 6
  3. Chunk

    Don’t think the extra 25 30 horsepower will amount to much in the contest against inertia, given the big girl’s 5040-pound curb weight. That’s 25.2 pounds per horse vs. 28.8 – either way, progress will be stately at best.

    Like 4
    • Madbrit

      Don’t worry too much about the hp, it’s the torque that moves the beast. Still prefer the Cloud 3. Bentley and Rolls have been badge engineered for much of their history.

      Like 3
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      Rolls Royce motorcars were never designed as a hot rod contender, they were designed to “proceed” with “adequate”. power.

      Like 11
      • Constantine Theodore Panos

        Perfectly Stated

        Like 3
  4. Big C

    You buy the Roller. I’ll buy the same year Lincoln. We’ll compare costs after 1 year. And, mine will be still on the road.

    Like 9
    • Cam W.

      I owned an ’84 Spur for about 8 years. Maintaining it myself, costs were actually in the same ballpark as more “common” cars. I can guarantee owning/driving an ’85 Lincoln is not a comparable experience.
      The car for sale here seems priced a little high, but if it passes a thorough PPI by a qualified Rolls guy, it may be worth it.

      Like 5
      • Big C

        I’ll always come out on top, in value, with the Lincoln. And you must be one of a precious few Rolls owners who do their own maintenance.

        Like 2
      • Jim ODonnellAuthor

        I can guarantee owning/driving an ’85 Lincoln is not a comparable experience“.

        That’s what it’s really all about. If one is going to measure the experience on cost alone, a gussied-up Ford is where one should stay.


        Like 9
      • Dave Lando

        Agree on all fronts – I also think the price is a bit steep, being that the mid-late 1990s cars, which have the better Bosch fuel injection and the 4-speed automatic as compared to the 3-speed in the 80s cars go for roughly the same price.

        Like 2
      • Big C

        When money is no object? Of course the Rolls is a better ride. I guess I’m just one of those poor folk that’ll have drive them thar “gussied up Ferds.”

        Like 0
  5. Ed

    200HP – 170HP = 30HP.

    Like 1
  6. Edward Benavides

    Has anyone ever owned a problem free Rolls. Or are all of them problems

    Like 3
  7. Kent

    But how much is this marvel of British Engineering worth. Does it have wiring by Lucas, inventors of darkness? What about those problematic load leveling shocks. Are they up to snuff?

    I understand that it’s a Rolls-Royce, but they too had their issues.

    Like 0
    • ChingaTrailer

      Have you never owned a Fiat, Alfa or Ferrari? Remember, it was Magnetti Marelli that gave Lucas a good name.

      Like 1
  8. Richard

    It’s a beauty, for the price of a new Accord or Camry. It would be expensive to own, though.
    I can imagine the look on my mechanic’s face if I pulled up in it!

    Like 3
  9. JoeNYWF64

    Does it have a locking steering column? Note where the igntion key is.
    I sure hope this doesn’t get modern huge tires & wheels some day.
    IMO, black is the ONLY color for such a lux car inside & out. Even a ’75-’77 merc monarch looks much better that way(like in the magazine ad), but good luck finding one.

    Like 1
  10. Paul R

    As usual for Rolls Royce, absolutely beautiful , especially the interior.
    As for Lincoln vs. Rolls , there will never be a “hot rod Rolls”

    Like 1
  11. MKG

    EdC. In Re: to your above comment, you would be incorrect!

    Like 0
  12. Mark

    They sell at auction all day for 11-18k. Why would any buy this for double what you can get one for at auction that’s been checked out and you know its running condition.?

    Like 2

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