1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow – $13,500

“1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow with collector plates. Car is in original condition–never restored. One repaint years ago and still looks like new. Interior is immaculate. Wood, leather, rugs, gauges, etc. all in excellent condition. Car runs very well. Original Rolls Royce V8, dual carb., automatic transmission. Air-conditioning blows ice cold. Power steering, power brakes, power seats, power windows, power antennae; with dealer-installed am/fm cassette player. Brakes overhauled this year. Mechanic owned (this is my private vehicle and is just stored at work for convenience–we are a full-service shop, not a dealership!). Car can be viewed at Tokyo Auto at 240 E. 5th Avenue in Vancouver. Ask for Reg or Fish at 604-873-0123 (work) OR for more information, call Fish at home 604-466-0202.”

If you’re a firm believer in making a good first impression, you simply can’t do any better than to be seen stepping out of a classic Rolls Royce. There’s just something about them  that no other car can match. They ooze style and grace in a manner that modern cars just can’t hold a candle to, and if a new BMW 760i or Mercedes S65 makes sure everyone hears you screaming “new money,” an old Roller whispers “so much goddamn money that I don’t even care if you hear me,” and then punctuates the end of that sentence with “Peasant.” And although a 1967 Silver Shadow may not have quite the same panache as a Silver Wraith (which is definitely the coolest car name ever), it’s still at the pinnacle of Rolls Royce styling and engineering, before the 70s brought its chiselled lines and painted/plastic bumpers to the brand, and before crappy electronics started befuddling the glorious swathes of walnut and leather that comprised these cars’ interiors. Perhaps that why, with 16,717 produced, the Silver Shadow remains the most popular Rolls Royce ever.

But, make no bones about it: this isn’t a classic car for the faint of heart. Although the $13,500 price tag may have you thinking it’s a great alternative to the Honda Fit you were eying, the truth is that these vehicles are incredibly complicated, and require someone that’s as much a partner as they are an owner. Although incredibly well designed and constructed of the absolute finest materials, Silver Shadows were entirely hand-built, as a result, you simply must accept that things will not be assembled as they would in a modern, robotically-built car. Certain things may squeak, others may leak, and nearly everything will require constant vigilance to correct these issues and maintain the car. Why? Because although the 6.2 litre V8 isn’t overwrought, and  the dual carburetor setup isn’t afflicted with the mass of pollution controls that you’ll find on later cars, and the three-speed automatic isn’t known for unreliability, the reality is this: when something does break, it will cost a pretty penny to replace. So, do your due diligence: check maintenance records, thoroughly inspect absolutely every nook and cranny (looking specifically for leaks under the car, rust around the body, or corrosion under the bonnet on things like the radiator connections), get a CarProof history (that’ll tell you if the relatively new paint is hiding some dings!), and take it for a drive. The ride should be dead calm, the powertrain should be powerful (reaching 100 mph in these cars should be effortless) and utterly silent, and everything should work. Then, check everything again. And keep this in mind: as daunting as owning an old Rolls may seem, when you consider that such a fantastic vehicle can be had for less than half the cost of a well-equipped Honda Civic, you’ll be leaving plenty of dollars in the bank to deal with the inevitable and still be able to look down on the S65, 760i, and LS600hL crowd with nothing less than complete and utter disdain while you mutter “peons” under your breath.

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