Cheap luxury ’81 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

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The Rolls looks to be a well-cared-for, low-mileage orginal

As some of you know, I have a thing for cars built in Crewe, England. The Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars define what luxury motoring is all about. What is most interesting is how inexpensive some of these heirloom cars can be purchased for.

A case in point the Pick of the Day, this 1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit located in Carey, Illinois, offered at a bargain-basement price.

The car has had one repaint, the dealer says

The Silver Spirit was the replacement for the Silver Shadow, a car that somehow had a production life from 1967 to 1980, unbelievable for a top-tier car and unheard of today.

When Rolls designed the replacement for the Shadow they took a tremendous amount of time and more money than they had ever spent on a new model. While the new car still used the engine and many other parts from the outgoing model, most of the car, especially the styling, was brand new.

According to the Rolls-Royce specialist dealer advertising this one on ClassicCars.com, the Silver Spirit is finished in Light Ocean Blue (metallic) with Navy Connolly hide interior.. The dealer states that this car is a very clean and original example of a Spirit, not perfect, but it should receive high marks for originality.

Styling is clean and understated

This Spirit has had its ugly U.S.-spec headlights replaced by the correct Euro-spec items, which give the car the clean, modern look that the designers intended.

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The car has had the hubcaps changed to those from the Silver Spur, although the standard Silver Spirit hubcaps with body-color matching beauty rings are available, according to the ad.

The Silver Spirit is a well-maintained example with good collector-status ownership and it shows a total of only 66,700 miles, the dealer says.

The Spirit of Ecstasy above the Parthenon grille

Of great importance when buying one of these cars is that the car has been through their workshop and anything requiring doing was attended to, including all the hydraulics and brakes, and that the Rolls has been inspected and overhauled as required, including all pumps, accumulators and gas springs, all very expensive items.

The dealer calls this car mechanically perfect, needing nothing. Major electrical equipment and functions are operating as they should, including windows, seats, mirrors, central locking, A/C, heater, lights, wipers, etc, the seller says.

The pictures show a car that looks amazing under the “bonnet,” which the seller says is not due to the car receiving a precision detail but because it always has been kept clean and tidy throughout its life.

The original interior still looks fresh

The car was completely repainted some 10 years ago, according to the ad, and has been rarely used since, which explains why it presents so well with a finish that is deep in luster with almost no imperfections.

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The entire interior is said to be original and has not been re-dyed except for a small part on the front seat cushions. The wood in the car is completely original and shows some hairline cracks in the lacquer, but nothing unsightly.

This car with an asking price of only $22,500 is a great deal, especially when you consider that the prices for new Rolls-Royce cars start at somewhere around $275,000.

If you want to experience the good life on a budget, this Rolls could be the perfect choice.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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