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Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit: Buying guide and review (1980-1999)

Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit: Buying guide and review (1980-1999) Classic and Performance Car
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
Since its inception, Rolls Royce has built up an enviable reputation for manufacturing some of the world’s finest luxury automobiles. With the introduction of the Silver Spirit in 1980, the company continued this long tradition, moving tentatively into the modern motoring era. Motive power was still provided by the long-lived 6.75 Litre V8, modernised over the years with fuel injection and turbocharging, ensuring that the power levels remained at ‘sufficient’ levels for the demanding clientele.

The Silver Spirit had the longest production run of any Rolls-Royce model in the company’s history, spanning 18 years. Bentley also based its Mulsanne models on this same basic design, which were produced alongside the Rolls-Royce models until 1992. It’s interesting to note that demand for the Rolls-Royce models waned throughout the production run, while demand for the Bentley grew as customers’ tastes changed heading into the new millennium. 

Nevertheless, the smooth and cultured Silver Spirit remains a true Rolls-Royce to this day, exhibiting the sort of effortless luxury that is expected of the marque.
 
Which one to buy?
 
The Silver Spirit was an extremely expensive car at launch, and was built to the highest standards. Top quality materials were used throughout and the slow and steady rate of development within Rolls-Royce was evident in the extremely restrained design. 

To keep the Silver Spirit current, a number of changes were carried out during its long 18-year production run. The Mark II versions introduced in 1989 brought with them some welcome advances, such as ABS braking, fuel injection and an Automatic Ride Control system, as well as a four-speed gearbox from 1992 onwards. 

In 1993 the Mark III brought with it twin airbags, more power and improvements to the suspension system.  The Final Mark IV version was subtly redesigned to keep with the changing times, although in a very subdued Rolls-Royce fashion.  Not referred to as the Mark IV in eastern countries due to negative connotations it was known as the New Silver Spirit. 

The long-wheelbase Silver Spur version could be ordered throughout the production run. A number of limited edition models were also produced in very small numbers such as the Springfield and Lauderdale editions, which used the long wheelbase chassis.

The Mark I was by far the biggest seller, making it the cheapest option today, however if you can stretch to one of the newer cars, it’s worth it for the updates in suspension design and engine improvements. Condition is everything, as this is not the sort of car you want to rebuild or restore without a lot of background knowledge or excess funds burning a hole in your pocket. It’s almost always far more advisable to buy a well-sorted car that just needs regular maintenance to keep it that way.
 
Performance and specs
 
1980 Silver Spirit Mark I
Engine 6750cc 16valve OHV V8 
Power 245bhp (est)
Torque 398lb ft (est)
Top speed 118 mph 
0-60mph 10.6 seconds 
Fuel consumption 16mpg 
Gearbox Three-speed automatic
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 3061mm
Length 5278mm
Width 1887mm
Height 1486mm
Weight 2245kg
 
Common problems
 
• Parts are available from specialists as well as the manufacturer, but can be costly. The cars may be at the lower end of the price scale but the maintenance costs are often astronomical.

• Rust is a common issue and can strike anywhere. Check all the usual areas such as the wheel arches and sills and look out for interior leaks as they can cause corrosion over time. Body panel repairs on these cars can get expensive and respraying should be left to specialists. 

• The 6.75 V8 is strong and reliable, benefitting from decades of development work. Turbocharged cars can suffer from head gasket failure, repairs can range from gasket replacements to full engine rebuilds. Water leakage around the gasket or head bolts can indicate issues. Warming up engines before using all the available power can reduce damage to the head gasket and is generally the recommended way to treat any engine.
 
• Some Silver Spirits will have lead very pampered lives but long periods sitting dormant can still cause rubber seals to perish.

• Batteries tend to lead a hard life and should be checked periodically as they only last around 4-5 years.

• Electrics can give some issues and all the buttons and switches son the dashboard should be checked. Electric window mechanisms can wear out causing very slow movement of the glass. 

• Central door locking solenoids tend to give problems so check that all of the doors locks function correctly.

• Electric seat mechanisms can pack up and require replacement or refurbished motors.
 
Model history
 
1980: Rolls Royce Silver Spirit Mark I introduced. Long wheelbase version named Silver Spur
1989: Silver Spirit Mark II introduced. Automatic ride control system introduced with ABS and fuel injection now standard
1992: Four-speed automatic transmission replaces three speed GM unit
1993: Silver Spirit Mark III introduced. Power increased to a more ‘adequate’ level, suspension system improved and twin airbags introduced
1994: Flying Spur introduced – turbocharged version based on long wheelbase Silver Spur III. Silver Dawn special edition offered with unique optional extras
1995: Silver Spirit Mark IV introduced – named New Silver Spirit. Electrically adjustable steering column introduced
1997: Silver Spirit ends production run with 9614 units produced. All cars now based on longer wheelbase chassis. Silver Spur now available with the turbocharged 6.75 Litre engine as in Bentley Brooklands
1999: Production of Rolls Royce Silver Spur ends as well as all related Bentley models. 31,602 variants produced in total. 
 
Clubs and websites
 
• www.flyingspares.com - Flying Spares, specialist spares and parts supplier
• www.hillierhill.com - Hillier Hill, Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist
• www.midlandrrclub.co.uk - Midland Rolls-Royce Owners Club
• www.rrec.co.uk - Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club and forum

Summary and prices
 
£6000 is the entry fee for a relatively well maintained Mark I, but you shouldn’t be fooled by the low prices, as maintenance remains at Rolls-Royce levels. Poorly looked after cars can deteriorate quickly, and will cost thousands to put right. Values are still strong for low mileage Mark III and IV models with prices around £20,000 for good ones. 

Whichever version you choose, the inherent Rolls-Royce traits will be there. Find a well cared for example and it should provide you with years of upmarket motoring pleasure. 
 
Words: John Tallodi
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
Last updated: 18th Nov 2015
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Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
6995 19499 GBP
  • Rolls Royce Silver Spirit MK IV

    POA POA

    Make Enquiry Download all Images Current Stocklist Service Centre 100 Point Checkover Number 83 of 100 Limited Edition. Finished in Black Emerald with two tone special design interior, with Walnut veneers. Fantastic condition throughout and this is a firm investment in classic Bentley. Outstanding value click image to fit your screen

    • Year: 1996
    For sale
    POA POA
    Hanwells
    0208567 9729 View contact number
  • Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

    £6,995 £6,995

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Central Locking, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, UK Supplied, UK Specification, Radio Cassette, Cruise Control, Power Steering, ABS, Child Locks, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork A stunning Silver Spirit finished in Nordic Blue Metallic with Magnolia Hide piped Blue. 99,850 miles with Full Service History from new. ALL Handbook packs, service book, invoices, tool kit. Original H R Owen show car and was originally registered RR1. Supplied by us to its last 2 owners over 8 years. Leather headlining. Lambswool rugs.Leather Dash and knee roll. Electric seats. Badge Bar. Quarter badges. White wall tyres. Original working Blaupunkt Radio. Just Mot this week and drives well. HPi clear. Extended warranty and overseas delivery extra.

    • Mileage: 99850 mi
    • Engine size: 6750
    For sale
    £6,995 £6,995
  • Rolls Royce Silver Spirit MK II Active Ride

    POA POA

    Showrooms Download Images Make Enquiry Service Centre 100 Point Checkover Finished in beautiful special order Bordeaux with Black roof. White leather interior piped in St James, Cherry Red carpets and Walnut veneers with inlays. Fitted with picnic tables and cocktail cabinets to the rear of the front seats. Only 25,000 miles with Full Service History. Immaculate condition throughout and must be seen click image to fit your screen

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 25000 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • ROLLS ROYCE SILVER SPIRIT 6.8 V8 1985

    £14,995 £14,995

    We are excited to offer this outstanding example of a 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit 6.8. Finished in beautiful unmarked Acrylic White/ cream exterior with Gold coach lines and full Tan/ brown leather interior and lovely walnut veneers. Purchased new at H.R Owen and has Covered a low 59000 miles from new with a very good service history folder from H.R. Owen main agent and Rolls Royce motor cars main agent totalling 21 stamps. A new Mot will be carried out for sale.;A truly beautiful example fitted with the gold Spirit of ecstasy, fully functional Electric seats, Electric mirrors, Electric windows front and rear, Rear Carpet foot rests, Front and rear vanity mirrors, Cruise control, Chrome pin striped wheel caps, White wall tyres, Twin exhaust pipes.;a remarkable example oozing luxury and class.

    • Mileage: 59000 mi
    • Engine size: 6.75
    For sale
    £14,995 £14,995
  • Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

    £6,995 £6,995

    Rolls Royce Silver Spirit 6.8 V8 1983NEW MOT on purchasePink Lady! Rolss Royce Spirit, drives well, ideal for proms, weddings etc.Automatic, certainly a head turner! Low mileage, great condition for a 34 year old car.Lots of other cars available, call 02392617444

    • Mileage: 25000 mi
    • Engine size: 6750
    For sale
    £6,995 £6,995
  • silver spirit 1

    €15,500(£0) €15,500(£0)

    repaint,excellent engine.new exaust and tires.lpg conversion,original usebook.no rust. start and drive. http://www.alfavintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20161111_165220.mp4 http://www.alfavintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20161112_122422.mp4

    • Year: 1984
    • Mileage: 77219 mi
    For sale
    €15,500(£0) €15,500(£0)
  • Rolls Royce Silver Spirit

    POA POA

    Showrooms Download Images Make Enquiry Service Centre 100 Point Checkover Finished in Honey Gold with contrasting coach lines and whitewall tyres. The interior is finished in Cream with contrasting carpets and Walnut veneers. Only 65,000 miles with history. This car is just stunning throughout and really must be seen. click image to fit your screen

    • Year: 1981
    • Mileage: 65000 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

    £6,995 £6,995

    Rolls Royce Silver Spirit V8 6.8 1984 PlateMOT 26 February 2018Yellow peril! Automatic, p/x bargain Silver Spirit, 140k miles approx, handbooks, service history, drives well, long MOT, Hpi clear, tidy looking car but needs some paint to make perfect, but, hey, it's £250000 new!! Looks £20000 worth, personal plate, sold as is, lovely engine!

    • Mileage: 140000 mi
    • Engine size: 6750
    For sale
    £6,995 £6,995
  • Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

    £9,295 £9,295

    Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Electric Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Full Leather, Air Conditioning, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, CD Player, Radio, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Armrest, Front Centre Armrest, Rear Headrests, Seat-back Tables, Heated Seats, Lumbar Adjustment Rolls Royce, the epitome of Luxury Motoring - Appreciating in value -VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Please ring to arrange.

    • Mileage: 93800 mi
    • Engine size: 6750
    For sale
    £9,295 £9,295
  • ROLLS ROYCE SILVER SPIRIT 1987 Auto 69000

    £12,995 £12,995

    SORRY NOW SOLD;Rolls Royce Silver Spirit;Date of registration- 26-05- 1987;1987 Bosch fuel injection model;Mileage 69,778 miles;Full service history complemented with 19 service stamps and a huge file of service invoices requiring two service books;Original Rolls-Royce Sales Brochure;Rolls-Royce Enthusiast owner with featured magazines;A collection of Rolls-Royce letters, old MOT certificates and tax discs verifying the very low mileage;Superb Original Condition still wearing its Original Factory Underseal;Windsor Blue;Beautiful unmarked Walnut Veneers;Parchment leather piped in Windsor Blue;Electric Memory Seats;Windsor Blue Carpets with matching Lambs Wool Over rugs;Rear Foot Rests;3 x sets of keys in a Rolls Royce Keepers Box;Air Conditioning- Fully operational;Cruise Control- Fully operational;Original Rolls-Royce Toolkit in Carry Bag;Single Ownership for 12 Years;Mot- November 2017 no advisories;Supplied with all its original Rolls-Royce handbooks, service books, original Blaupunkt Toronto SQR 46 instruction manual;Original purchase invoice from the second keeper for GBP 60,000;Original Sales brochure and previous owner letters;Beautiful Condition;Aforementioned Service History comprising 19 Stamps;3986 miles- Rolls-Royce;6450 miles- Rolls-Royce;8060 miles- Rolls-Royce;15291 miles- Rolls-Royce;18994 miles- Rolls –Royce;20300 miles- Rolls-Royce;31897 miles- Rolls-Royce;40713 miles- Rolls Royce;49433 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;52132 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;53580 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;55121 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;59105 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;60256 miles- Rolls Royce Specialist;61184 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;62210 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;63187 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;64428 miles- Rolls-Royce Specialist;65484 miles- Roll-Royce Specialist;69778 miles- Full Service Specialist;;Please Call Michael to arrange a viewing;

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    • Engine size: 6.75
    For sale
    £12,995 £12,995