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
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
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...