GIANFI WOODS FRESCHI
ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER SPIRIT - 1996
1996 Silver Spirit, in Red Pearl, with Sandstone fine line (thin over thick), and Sandstone interior piped St James Red.
Chassis no.: SCAZS12C3TCH 58216
Engine no.: 86668L410M / N1T
Previous to my purchase, it had just one other owner, who got it from Appleyard Rippon of Leeds. He seems to have been a director of a number of companies in the Leeds/Huddersfield area, where the car seems to have spent its life to date (from service records).
Sadly it seems to have also suffered the northern climate, as it has some rust on sills and wheel arches, which I will have to attend to shortly.
Interestingly, while researching the history of Appleyard Rippon in Leeds, I've heard that in the 1910-20s the area had the highest sale and concentration of RRs in the whole of England (due to the numerous wealthy industrialists living there).
Both on DVLA records, and on RR specifications' sheets, it is listed as a Silver Shadow III, but in appearance it is the fourth generation model (no front quarter light, rectangular mirrors, central column console, no series' number on the boot badge, etc). This is slightly baffling, but then I have read that Crewe's model improvement was continuous and on a rolling basis. It does not have the light-pressure turbo that other fourth generation models have.
I bought it just a few months ago, at a classic car auction. I was looking online for a 70s Bentley, and this car got added to the catalogue in the last few days. It caught my eye because it was a "one owner car" and from the photos it looked pretty good, so I presumed it would have been well-cared (wrong!). I saved it to "my favourites" and indicated a maximum bid, but wasn't really counting on it.
Eventually the 70s Bentley went for much more than my maximum bid, and I ended up with this. When I travelled to Northampton to collect it, it looked (and sounded) much worse than expected but I made it home to SW London (giggling all the way behind the wheel). I then entrusted it to Nigel Sandell to rectify the most urgent issues.
On the road it feels much older than a late Nineties car, but once the door is closed, it's very cosseting and it insulates you from the frenetic traffic of today. I find I drive slower and more relaxed, which is a very good thing.
I look forward to driving it along to future Club and Section events...