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Car of the Month Selection

Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit & Silver Spur


Car of the Month - September 2011
Rolls-Royce 'New' Silver Spur, 1997, #VCX59854


Rolls-Royce New Silver Spur

Cars from the generation that at the factory was known as "SZ cars" were in their final phase by 1997. These were models based on 1980 launched Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit; several variations and permanent development had expanded the model family of "SZ cars". For the 1996 model year a significant up-date as regards technical layout and a considerable face-lift as regards outward appearance had enhanced the series. However it was expected that within the near future Rolls-Royce was about to introduce an entirely new range of cars.

Only 507 'New' Rolls-Royce Silver Spur have been made so that model stands for less than two per cent of the total production figure of more than 30,000 four-door SZ cars. To a certain degree there had been 'in-house-competition' because the sister model 'New' Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn showed the same long wheelbase body (there remained the option to specify this with a standard wheelbase, when the designation in certain markets reverted to 'New' Silver Spirit). As regards technical layout the 'New’' Silver Spur was separated from the lead-in model Silver Dawn by a more powerful engine thanks to a turbocharger being fitted.

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Rolls-Royce New Silver Spur

From 1997 onward Electronic Traction Assistance became an option and very few customers did not opt for that – not least because there had been a 25 per cent increase in engine power for cars from the 1997 model year. Work on these highly complex cars with their multitude of electronic control units required enormous experience and knowledge – and that didn’t come inexpensive. The Workshop Manuals and Part Catalogues for SZ cars up to model year 1989 (which are filed here) sum up to more than 2,000 pages; however for models from 90ies the Technical Service Documents are considerably more voluminous, and quite often it needs careful exploration where in the vast array of printwork, fiches and CDs certain information can be found. As regards the 'New' Rolls-Royce Silver Spur it is a 'Must'  to have complete documentation that regular maintenance and service as per the manufacturer’s schedules kept the car in appropriate condition.

If the 1997 price of a then new car of approximately 350,000US$ (different markets showed different price tags, of course) is compared to what is asked for cars from this model series nowadays it seems there are bargains in the market. Indeed that is quite often true because more or less during the first 10 to 12 years of the life of a car of this calibre proper maintenance is guaranteed by a fastidious owner. The critical phase begins (of course there are exceptions to this rule) once a further 5+ years have passed by and cars are offered had changed hands three or four times. Neglected service or insufficient repairs will cause work to rectify faults becoming so expensive it doesn’t make economic sense. – It is a fair guess that but a microscopically small number of 'New' Rolls-Royce Silver Spurs will mature to become a classic or veteran car.

Rolls-Royce New Silver Spur

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