Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Wraith (1965 – 1980) Review

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Wraith (1965 – 1980) At A Glance


+Lots to choose from, low values, excellent build quality

-Rust is an issue, and if you use regularly expect less than exemplary reliability... and then there's the monumental thirst

In 1965, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was little short of a revolution for the company. Out went the old palatial style, to be replaced by a more contemporary three-box style - and it certainly worked, because the Silver Shadow and its Bentley counterpart, the T-Series became the company's best-selling cars to date.

The advancements over the Cloud were many - the Silver Shadow boasted unitary construction, all-round disc brakes and self-levelling suspension. But because of the sheer size and scale of the new Rolls-Royce, it carried off all of these advancements in style.

The 6230cc V8 was a known quantity, and did its job very well indeed - but it rose in capacity to 6750cc in 1970, although as usual Rolls-Royce merely described its power as 'sufficient'. In 1977, it was facelifted to become the Silver Shadow II, and its most identifiable features are its rubber-faced bumpers and a front air dam. The previous long-wheelbase 'Shadow became a model in its own right, the Silver Wraith, at the same time. These were all sold with a vinyl roof as standard.

Ask Honest John

A classic Rolls Royce I'm considering buying has a noise from the hydraulic tappet - will an oil change solve this?

"I'm looking at buying a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 2. The car is excellent with a new MoT by a trusted specialist but the engine has a tap from a hydraulic tappet. It has had little recent use and it is suggested that an oil change and use will correct the noise. Is this likely?"
You don't mention how many miles the engine has covered or if it's had any work done so it's hard to say. Yes, use and fresh (correct grade) engine oil could cure this problem. But you may also need to replace the tappet if the car has frequently missed oil changes or had the wrong grade of oil used. Worst case scenario is that oil starvation could have also damaged the camshaft.
Answered by Keith Moody
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