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Rolls Royce & Bentley

Published: 28th Apr 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Far more comfy than old Shadow, you’ll want for little and they drive well, too Far more comfy than old Shadow, you’ll want for little and they drive well, too
ul Bussey’s excellent Bentley shows what a well cared for interior can look like ul Bussey’s excellent Bentley shows what a well cared for interior can look like
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What is a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit or a Bentley Mulsanne?

One of the finest cars in the world that’s now also fine value for money! These 1980s replacements for the cultured Silver Shadow and the Bentley T Series can be bought for a pittance and represent the best, most cost effective way into owning a car from Crewe. Once seen as flashy rather than classy, Silver Spirit/Mulsanne are fast becoming classics in their own right and with prices on the floor, there’s never been a better time to buy.

History

The Silver Spirit and T Series were pensioned off in late 1980 after 15 years if not at the top, then very near the summit. Replacing this iconic saloon wasn’t easy as many cheaper rivals from vulgar upstarts such as Mercedes and Jaguar proved that they could build world beating cars too - and a lot cheaper. Replacing the old Crewe classic hadn’t come a moment too soon because the aforementioned S-Class and XJ12 were streets ahead in terms of dynamics and driving pleasure and could provide most of the creature comforts Rolls and Bentley buyers expected.

That said, Rolls did a fine job with the replacement considering it still retained most of the old drivetrain and infrastructure from the Shadow, but it still lacked a certain something for ever-discerning buyers. The answer lay in the Bentley name. Previously only about five per cent of Shadows were delivered as Bentleys. Even the all new Silver Spirit – and the Mulsanne as the Bentley version was known - made things little better. However, something stirred at Crewe in the early eighties when David Plastow, the then Chief Executive, began thinking he could do some daring things with Bentley to bring it a personality all its own. We didn’t know how daring until 1982 when the Mulsanne Turbo was announced; a full fat two ton of a monster capable of 0-60mph in under seven seconds. That was the headline grabber, but in 1984, another important car was introduced which would also have far reaching implications for Bentley. That car was the Eight. It was essentially a Mulsanne with some cost-cutting features such as a mesh radiator grille, less wood and leather and slightly more basic specification. This enabled the price to be pegged at just under the magic £50,000 barrier and it was anticipated this would attract the younger buyer to Bentley. The gamble paid off handsomely, with 1734 Eights being delivered in eight years, at which point it was replaced by the



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