ME AND MY SHADOW
How My Dream Came True...by Pascal Liger (Edited by David McVay )
This is the story of one of the most famous Rolls-Royces in celluloid history :
a car once loved then forgotten for three decades. If you were born in the 1950s or 1960s, you probably saw it on many occasions, a bit-part player that often stole the scene or became the centre of attention in countless films and television series.
Somehow, people lost track of it with time. I suppose most of the previous owners never knew that so many famous people had sat in its luxurious seats and travelled in such style.
In my early teens, I spent countless hours watching television on Saturday afternoons in my native France. These shows are where I caught my first glimpse of the legendary car. Seeing that Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for the first time inspired indescribable emotions in me.
As a youth, my father took me to the nearby Paris Motor Show. I can remember staring at these cars on the Rolls-Royce/Bentley stand. I was enthralled, lingering for an age while my father was walking around the show. From then on, it was my ambition to own such a car, a Silver Shadow.
And then in July of 2012, my time came. After much research, I decided to seek out and buy one in England, where there would be far more choice than in my country. I visited a garage in Kent to view a 1967 grey Silver Shadow that I had seen in an advertisement. I arrived there and saw, for the first time in my life, fifty Rolls-Royces in one room -- incredible!
It was fabulous. I felt like a young boy in a toy shop. It was here that I chose my Silver Shadow, the only early version available from the seller. I asked about the car's history but his knowledge was scarce and sketchy. All he could tell me was that the mileage was correct compared to the old MOTs and that the previous owner had a limousine company in Portsmouth that rented it for weddings.
I proudly drove the car back to France on the Portsmouth-Saint Malo ferry and then enrolled in the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club, asking them if they could give me information about this particular car and supplying the chassis number as reference.
A few days later a file arrived from their incredible archive department containing photocopies of invoices dating from the delivery date in October 1967, to the Rolls-Royce dealer, until the end of the 50,000-miles guarantee period 15 years later.
I read that the car was delivered to Robert B. Massey’s garage in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, where it was used as a demonstration model, then sold to James Harrison's Building Company in Edinburgh in March 1968.
The file also contained a black and white picture of the car (shown on the first web page) with an insurance paper mentioning the cost of some repairs, on which was written “Insured by MGM British Studios”. I didn't even know that MGM had studios in the UK but I've been in touch with them ever since. This information began my quest to discover more about the car.
I have since learned that the first registration number was MWF 435F, re-registered as OPH2 probably in 1977, since when it was changed several times. If you look closely at the front, you will notice the side-light on the wings. They are not originals. They were fitted later to make the car look newer. Rolls-Royce only fitted those from 1971, I think ... (from 1966 to 1980, the factory made 2000 modifications to this model!). During the first two years of production, Rolls-Royce only made three or four cars per day and 4141 were produced with the Chippendale Dashboard.
In the weeks that followed my original inquiry I discovered that from September 1968 the vehicle was owned by Kingsbury Motors at Kingsbury Road, London NW9.
They were a huge rental company, extremely popular in the 1960s, who hired out action vehicles - police and military cars, hearses and so forth - for action films. My research revealed that they closed at the end of 1982.
Kingsbury motors owned famous cars including :
* John Steed's 4.5 litre Bentley in The Avengers
* Rolls-Royce Corniche in On her Majesty's secret service
* The WHO 5 spaceship car used in Dr Who
* The butcher's van from Dad's Army
* The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III in Old English White (chassis no. SJR477), star of " One Deadly Owner "(an episode of Brian Clemens' Thriller')
* The black Rolls-Royce 20/25 in To the Manor Born
This Rolls-Royce was then sold to Quality Cars Garage in Exmouth, Devon (U.K )
If you know any more films or shows that this Rolls-Royce has been featured in, please feel free to contact my page to make an addition.
This list is presented in chronological order.
Current list of Films and TV Series featuring this particular 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow :
1968 : THE AVENGERS season 6 with Patrick Macnee and Linda Thorson
Episodes : “I wish you were here”.
1968 : THE AVENGERS season 6 with Patrick Macnee and Linda Thorson, Robert Harris and Veronica Strong
" Love all "
1969: MY LOVER MY SON - a film by John Newland with Donald Houston, Romy Schneider and Dennis Waterman filmed at the MGM British Studios where the car had the accident which I mentioned when I found the insurance papers. If you see this film, you will see the collision.
1969: GALTON & SIMPSON COMEDY - Episode " The Suit " with Leslie Phillips and Jennie Linden. Car driven by Leslie Phillips.
1969 : THE MAIN CHANCE - Episode 1 season 1 " What about justice " with John Stride and Kate O'Mara.
1970/71- SHIRLEY'S WORLD
Episode : A mother's touch, with Shirley MacLaine.
1971 - THE PERSUADERS - Episode: “That's me over there”
with Roger Moore, Tony Curtis and Geoffrey Keen.
1971 : DR WHO - Episode "Day of the Daleks"
1972 : ENDLESS NIGHT - a film directed by Sidney Gilliat with Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, George Sanders, Britt Ekland, Lois Maxwell
1972 : BLESS THIS HOUSE - Série TV with Sidney James - Episode " A Rolls by any other name "
Car driven by Sidney James.
1973 – SPECIAL BRANCH with George Sewell and Roger Rowland. Season 3 Episode 11
" You won't remember me. "
1973 - THRILLER by Brian Clemens - Episode " Spell of evil " with Diane Cilento, Jennifer Daniel
1973 - SOME MOTHERS DO ' AVE 'EM - Episode " George's house " with Michael Crawford, Michele Dotrice.
1973 - SOME MOTHERS DO ' AVE 'EM - Episode " The baby arrives " with Michael Crawford.
1974 – THRILLER by Brian Clemens– Episode “Sign it death“ with Patrick Allen
1975 - PUBLIC EYE - Episode " The Fatted calf " with Alfred Burke.
1976 - THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN with Leonard Rossiter . Season 1. Episode 6
1976 - LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE - Episode " The kink in Foggy's Niblick" with Bill Owen, Peter Sallis.
1977- THE PROFESSIONALS series 1, Episode " Where the Jungle Ends ".
1977- THE SQUEEZE - Film directed by Michael Apted with Stacy Keach, David Hemmings, Edward Fox.
Car driven by Stephen Boyd, his last film.
1978 – RETURN OF THE SAINT – Episode " The brave Goose " - with Ian OGILVY
1978 - THE PROFESSIONALS - Episode " Everest Was Also Conquered " with Richard Greene
1979 - DR JEKYLL LIKES THEM HOT - Italian film directed by Steno with Paolo Villaggio and Edwige Fenech
1979-THE PROFESSIONALS series 4, Episode "Acorn Syndrome".
1979 - MINDER, Season 1 - Episode 1, "Gunfight at the ok Laundrette" car driven by Dave King.
1979- SHOESTRING Season 1, Episode 4 "An Uncertain Circle". With Trevor EVE.
1979- THE PROFESSIONALS, Episode " Week-End in the Country ".
1979- MURPHY'S STROKE - with Pierce BROSNAN, Niall TOIBIN, Tony DOYLE -
1980 - THE PROFESSIONALS series 4, Episode: Blood Sports.
1980 - MINDER Season 3, Episode "Dream House". With George COLE and Dennis WATERMAN
1980- SUNDAY LOVERS, a film directed by Bryan Forbes. Part 1 of the film is called “An Englishman's Home” with Roger Moore and Denholm Elliot. Roger Moore plays a chauffeur and drives the car. The film was shot in Windsor, Heathrow Airport and in France near Bordeaux at the Chateau de Roquetaillade (supposed to be England).
1982-ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES - Lord Ridgemere's car in famous episode: A Touch of Glass. The most wiewed episode of the series.
1982 - ANYONE FOR DENIS ? - Comedy written and played by John Wells.
1982- THE PROFESSIONALS - Tv Series - Episode " The untouchables ". Car fitted with fake plates.
To help me maintaining and preserving this masterpiece, you can make a donation, which will be much appreciated.
( see bottom of French page )
Here is a very good website dedicated to the rolls royce silver shadow : www.mysilvershadow.com
THE AUTHOR WOULD LIKE TO THANK :
Members of the internet movie car data base : www.imcdb.com
Members of the RREC ( Marinus Rijkers, Rob Geelen and Alain Schenkels )
Mr. MORETTI from Studiocanal Ltd. London.
Monsieur Renaud ROUBOUDI and his government : http://www.petites-observations-automobile.com/ ( POA )
Monsieur Ronan ROCHER, photographer
More pictures in French Section and TV series & films.