Rolls Royce Retrospective Part 1: Introduction, Intrigue, and Quirks in Abundant Supply


In typical malaise fashion, there’s a myriad of tubes and lines everywhere. Yes, the oil cap is better than any peasant oil cap you may use. It’s hard to tell, but the throttle linkage which appears in the upper right is all solid rods and joints- not a cable in sight! The black cylinder off to the left is the fuel cooler. When the AC was on the cold side, it was used to chill the fuel and presumably prevent vapor lock. I’d soon delete the air injection and switch out the CAV alternator with its trunk-mounted voltage regulator for a simple GM 3-wire unit.

I thought it was more than enough engine to work with despite a redline of about 4500 RPM, 5000 if I’m feeling lucky. No one knows the exact power figures of the engine as installed but a good estimate is around 220 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.


Even the above-mentioned Mulsanne unit is a low-RPM engine, I’m not sure what gives first if the motor spins too high but I really don’t need to find out. All the thirst of a gasoline engine without any of the revs, buttery smoothness is the upside.

The chassis of the Silver Shadow II is a unibody with bolt-on subframes front and rear that carry the major systems, a design that’s used extensively in the modern day. Two large rails run the length of the chassis and it has always felt extremely solid unlike say, a 240Z. The front subframe is isolated by rubber bushings that I’ll probably fill in with caulking before considering the build done.


Attached to the front subframe is the front suspension with a massive two-piece lower control arm that seems to utilize some geometry tricks. The rear mounting point is higher than the front and further outboard. I suspect some anti-dive is the intended effect. In case the scale isn’t apparent I’d estimate the distance between front and rear mounting points to be approximately 3 feet.


The upper arm relies on bushing deflection to change geometry under braking loads, adjustments to the upper arm mounting determine caster and camber. Obscured by the coilover unit is the rubber droop travel stop.


A fairly simply shaped anti roll bar is attached to the subframe and loads the lower arm right in the middle. The arm’s so beefy, I doubt it matters. Aftermarket bars are available, but I’m not convinced I need one with my current coilover setup; they’re not cheap either.


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