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Car of the Month Selection

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Wood: Rolls-Royce and Bentley: Spirit of Excellence


Car of the Month - April 2009
Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III, 1994, #RCX54580

  Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III

Rolls-Royce insisted it had become integral part of their company philosophy to pay "Attention to Detail". The motto had been coined in the early 50s by the legendary CEO Lord Hives when this had been his answer to the question what was the essence of the marque's success. So there might be good reason to check the details of the 1993 launched new models Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit III and Silver Spur III to find out if indeed decades later that slogan still was complied with. A good candidate for a test is this Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III, #RCX 54580, delivered to the State of Quatar, an Arab emirate in the Middle East.

Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III

Hardly obvious at a quick glance were certain improvements like the steering column cowl now trimmed in hide colour-keyed to the upholstery or picnic tables now illuminated for night use. Such tables fitted into the backrests of the front seats had been subtle re-styled, too, although the alteration was noted only by direct comparison with one of the predecessor’s. There was no longer need to raise an eyebrow because only the driver enjoyed to be protected by advanced safety features because on the new models airbags for both driver and front seat passenger were standard. The passenger airbag was concealed behind a veneered hinged flap and installed where previously the glovebox had been located. The passenger side fascia remained unchanged except for absence of lock and handle; beneath the fascia was provided lockable stowage space. Newly designed seats offered a higher degree of lumbar and side support. The long wheelbase variant, i.e. the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III had reclining rear seats and comfort was enhanced by re-styled headrests and new seatbelt installation.

Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III


Rolls-Royce Silver Spur IIIAn environmentally friendly CFC-free refrigerant was used in the air-conditioning system – and air-conditioning surely was a major feature on any motor car used in desert climate. A slight reduction as regards power steering input did ensure the “driver’s feel” offered suspension settings and ride characteristics to be detected more clearly. The introduction of front and rear anti-roll bars had resulted in increased roll stiffness and more responsive handling balance. Revised illumination and graphics for warnings and gear-change indicator, etc., lifted clarity of the driver information panel to a new level.

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A layman might have learned from an under-bonnet view only that a new engine cover with a machined aluminium cooling grille did hide the engine and the multitude of additional equipment. Major engineering changes ensured that exhaust emissions were even below the stringent Californian limits set to be introduced from 1995 onward; indeed Rolls-Royce were convinced the engine would meet all worldwide emission legislation expected up to the year 2000. Complex service diagnostics had been enhanced – especially as regards ever increasing number of electronic control units – by incorporating a more comprehensive on-board diagnostic system. Nonetheless better fuel economy had been achieved as well as increased power throughout the speed range. Faster acceleration was one result and slightly higher top speed another. All in all remarkable refinement and testimony of what could be achieved by “Attention to Detail”.

Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III

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