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Car of the Month - September 2000
Rolls-Royce Corniche, 1976, #CRH23674,
Mulliner Park Ward Two Door Saloon


Rolls-Royce Corniche

Early in March 1971 Rolls-Royce Corniche and Bentley Corniche were unveiled. Based on the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow's floorpan most elegant two door versions were built at Mulliner Park Ward. There was a choice between two door saloon or convertible and no doubt was left: this was the performance model of the range.

The manufacturer's intention was to introduce new ideas as regards styling and technique first on the „coachbuilt cars", i.e. Rolls-Royce Corniche. Specialised components could be checked, and improved when necessary, before full production got under way and they were standardised on mainstream models too. Ventilated disc brakes, compliant front suspension and electronic ignition – and these are but a few examples – were to be found on the Rolls-Royce Corniche always months ahead of the four door cars.

Rolls-Royce Corniche

The Rolls-Royce Corniche shown here does illustrate that even modifications from a later model series were included on coachbuilt cars. Built in 1976 this Corniche is already fitted with polyurethane bumpers which became standard only a year later on the new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II and Bentley T2. Well, Americans had been familiar with this feature, as it was introduced on cars for North America even earlier – but this is a right hand drive motor car destined for the home market. The precisely responding Burman steering had replaced the soft „American" Saginaw steering on this car too, another feature that was not even optional on the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I in 1976...


Rolls-Royce Corniche interior

Spirit of EcstasyThe customer had specified a gold plated mascot and a special windscreen. He also ordered an Everflex hood and small RR-emblems to be fitted to the C-post. Thus he personalised his Rolls-Royce Corniche, a car that sported the most advanced technical components and styling features ex factory anyway.

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Rolls-Royce Corniche

 

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