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Car of the Month Selection

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Rolls-Royce and Bentley


Car of the Month - June  2003
Rolls-Royce Corniche, #DRH17362, 1974,
Convertible by Mulliner Park Ward

Rolls-Royce Corniche

Introduced in March 1971, the Corniche was a revised version of the two-door variants created by Mulliner Park Ward and based on the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow saloon. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow which emerged in the autumn of 1965 alongside the Bentley T series was notable as the manufacturer’s first unitary–construction car. In Corniche form the familiar 6.75 litre V8-engine produced around 10% more power than standard. Capable to exceed a top speed of 120mph and providing impressive acceleration the car did cater well for the wishes of those requiring something a little more distinctive than the four-door saloon.

Rolls-Royce Corniche

The designation Corniche was allocated to the convertible version and the two-door saloon, too, of the new model series. Rolls-Royce announced: “The name Corniche has been chosen for the latest coachbuilt models because it symbolises their higher cruising speeds and their ability to cover greater distances with the minimum of fatigue for driver and passengers.” In convertible form, that purists would call a drophead coupe, all the joys of fresh-air motoring are offered. The interior view shows a fascia with tachometer – the Corniche was the first ever Rolls-Royce to be fitted with one, clearly indicating the sports car qualities of this model. It is well worth to know though that the first cars delivered had a sort of ultra-soft “boulevard ride” – that changed in 1972 when virtually all components of the front suspension and steering linkages were improved. The ‘compliant front suspension’ was a remarkable development ensuring crisp steering response, not least because it allowed to take full advantage of radial-ply tyres.

Rolls-Royce Corniche

Rolls-Royce Corniche

Rolls-Royce Corniche

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