Rolls-Royce Spirit Emperor State Landaulet

The Silver Spirit and its long-wheelbase partner, the Silver Spur, were announced in the autumn of 1980 as replacements for the aging Silver Shadow and Silver Wraith II. Despite sharing many components with their predecessors, the new, more aggressively styled body was 1½ inches lower than the former, and all models featured a completely revised rear suspension. The Phantom VI continued to be available until 1990, though some customers preferred a smaller limousine. Thus, the Silver Spirit was stretched at the Crewe factory by in-house coachbuilder Mulliner Park Ward. In addition, Robert Jankel Design and Hooper also offered their unique interpretations of the Silver Spirit.

Hooper ceased traditional coachbuilding in 1959 but remained active in the automotive business with sales, restoration, refurbishing and service work. The company has continued coachbuilding since the early 1980s, however. This right-hand drive car was commissioned by an Australian client for the purpose of being featured at the Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth Motor Shows for charity fund raising. Work commenced in 1988 with construction continuing through 1991. George Moseley was retained by Hooper and Company as the engineer to oversee the design and construction of the unique vehicle, having previously been responsible for the Rolls-Royce Phantom V and VI Mulliner-Park Ward Laundaulettes.

Wheelbase was increased 22.5 inches over the standard 120.5-inch Silver Spirit chassis. The body sides were restyled, new doors fashioned and new glass fitted all around to accommodate the raised roof, all of which combine to give the massive car elegant proportions. The passenger compartment with division can accommodate four individuals. It features a removable targa panel with collapsible rear hood, which enables passengers or travelling dignitaries the ability to stand for ceremonial occasions. Painted a conservatively handsome Anvil Black over Regency Red with black mohair hood, the chauffeur’s compartment is upholstered in grey Connolly hides while the passenger compartment is covered in complementary grey velour. Matching red carpets provide a contrast to the grey mats in an otherwise conservative interior environment. Typical of coachbuilt Rolls-Royces, the dash, doors and rear passenger compartment with bar cabinet are furnished with book-matched walnut burl. A separate entertainment system is provided for passengers. Offered from the Hooper Corporate Collection, this is yet another example of bespoke modern coachwork, offered at a very attractive price point, particularly when one considers the original seven-figure cost of construction.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

6,750 cc OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension with hydraulic height control system. Wheelbase: 143"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

Rolls-Royce Spirit Emperor State Landaulet