Fish Out of Water is a TV documentary that currently airs on APTN. The show features Don Kelley and every week, he embarks on a new adventure that’s completely out of his comfort zone.
This week’s episode features the 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II. For those of you who are not aware of the Silver Shadow, it was once the ultimate level of luxury and elegance in the automotive industry - well, back in the 70s. If forty years ago, you were a person of significance, a celebrity, or one of the richest entrepreneurs, you might have owned one of these, or at least were driven in one by your chauffeur.
Under the RR’s hood is a 6.7 liter V8 engine. That is just one of the few things that captivated people, besides the cabin that was covered with leather upholstery, which complemented the wood trim, plus a range of optional accessories here and there to personalize your ride. But the biggest downside of this car is probably keeping it alive and in good condition. To simply maintain this car yearly, it would cost you the same amount as purchasing a new Toyota.
The Silver Shadow that was featured on the show is undeniably personalized, but not in the way any of us would expect - it looks more rugged than luxurious. This one was built with huge fender flares and a set of wheels that look like they came from a NASCAR event, sans bumpers and chrome. The original Silver Shadow exterior was replaced by matte black paint. And air bags replace the suspension to raise and lower the rig.
In the cabin are custom race seats that are finished in bright red leather. There is an odd looking aluminum handle installed between the two front seats (from the center console), with the Rolls-Royce logo carved on it. It is meant to operate the hydraulic rear handbrake, in case you plan to take this 2.5 ton luxury barge out for a drift.
In fact, if you watch TV a lot, you may recognize this car from National Geographic Channel’s Supercar Megabuild, where the challenge of the episode was to build a Rolls-Royce drift car. They were able to accomplish the task by welding the rear differential, and by modifying the automatic transmission to hold gears. To be able to drift, the Silver Shadow relies on the handbrake and locked diff, since it can only produce 189 horsepower.
This model is currently being sold by Prindiville PLC in London for £99,995 ($130,000). It is quite pricey compared to a stock model which you can get for just $20,000. But you’re also probably paying for the recognition the car already has, as it has appeared on TV a couple of times, plus it’s a drifter too.