" BRITISH STUDIOS FORGOTTEN ROLLS-ROYCE "
how My Dream Came True...by Pascal Liger ( Edited by Joshua Stinnett )
This is the story of the most famous Rolls-Royce in film; a car once loved, then forgotten for three decades. If you were born in the sixties or the seventies, you probably saw it many times...
Somehow, people lost track of it with time. I guess most of the previous owners never knew that so many famous people had travelled in it.
When I was a young teen, I spent countless hours watching television series on Saturday afternoons. These shows are where I caught my first glimpse of the legendary car. Seeing that Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for the first time invoked 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, staying at the stand for a long time while my father was walking around the show. It was my ambition ever since to own such a car, a "Silver Shadow".
In July of 2012, My time came. After much research, I decided to go to England to find one, where there would be more choice than my home country of France. I went to a garage in Kent to view an 1967 Silver Shadow in grey 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! 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 questioned him seller about the car's history, but he knew little about it. All he could tell me was that the mileage was correct compared to the old MOT's 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 to Saint Malo ferry. I then enrolled in the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club and asked them if they could give me information about this particular car. I gave them the chassis number, and a few days later a file arrived from their incredible archiving 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 mile guarantee period 15 years later.
I read that the car was delivered to Robert B. Massey’s garage in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire. 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 find out more about the car.
I have since learned that the first registration number was MWF 435F, which was changed to OPH2 in the seventies, which has naturally changed several times since. 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 2 years of production, Rolls-Royce only made 3 or 4 cars per day. 4141 cars were produced with the "Chippendale Dashboard."
In the following weeks, I discovered that from September 1968, the car was owned by Kingsbury Motors at Kingsbury Road, London NW9. They were a massive rental company that was popular in the sixties, who hired out action vehicles such as police cars, military cars, and hearses for action films. My research shows that they closed at the end of 1982. This car then sold to Quality Cars Garage in Exmouth, Devon. Some other famous cars from this company include:
* John Steed's 4.5 litre Bentley
* The WHO 5 spaceship car used in “Dr Who”
* The delivery 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 used in "To the Manor Born"
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 my 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 Jenny Linden. Car driven by Leslie Phillips.
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
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
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
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.
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.
More pictures in French Section and TV series & films.