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Ex-George Best Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for sale

Published 27 September 2016

A Rolls-Royce that used to belong to footballer George Best is going under the hammer. The 1972 Silver Shadow will be one of the highlights of H&H Classics sale at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on 12 October. The Rolls is estimated to sell for between £10,000 and £15,000.

Best was one of the first celebrity footballers, but ultimately fell victim to his alcoholism in 2005 aged 59. He was once quoted as saying, ‘I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.'

And the Rolls-Royce certainly wasn’t slow, thanks to a 6750cc V8 that offered an almost unstoppable wave of torque. Factory finished in Acrylic White with Black leather upholstery, Grey Ambla headlining and Black carpets, the luxury saloon was supplied new to Grassicks Garage Limited of Perth, Scotland as a ‘Trials Car’ on 27 June, 1972.

As well as ‘Plain Sundym Glass throughout’ and an ‘internally adjustable mirror to the driver’s door’, optional equipment also included ‘Automatic Speed Control’ (better known these days as cruise control). A letter on file from Tony Clark of Grassicks Ltd reveals that the Silver Shadow was sold to Best before the dealer had the chance to open a Service Record for it.

No stranger to publicity, Best and his new acquisition were photographed by the Daily Mirror in the showrooms of Ian Anthony Car Sales on 4 December, 1972. The car has sported various registration numbers over the past 44 years but on that occasion wore plates advertising the Now repainted since belonging to Best, the luxury saloon has also gained a black vinyl roof covering and later-style integral reversing lamps.

However, the Silver Shadow still retains its original steering wheel, black leather upholstery and Grey Ambla headlining. Acquired by its last registered keeper during 1994, chassis SRH 13549 has had some £22,000 spent on it over the past 22 years. Adorned with more aesthetically pleasing bumpers than their successors, first series Silver Shadows have become increasingly collectible of late (with post-1970 cars boasting both the more powerful engine and smoother transmission).


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