If the weird and possibly catastrophic decision taken by YouTuber Tyler Hoover to buy the cheapest Rolls-Royce Phantom in the USA has inspired you to do something similar, you should probably get yourself some kind of psychological exam.
If you’re positive that you’re not totally bonkers, though, and you really do want to try your hand at bargain Rolls-Royce ownership, read on. We have an option that makes the newest addition to Hoovie’s Garage look like a ridiculous bucket of broken German excess.
What we found in the classifieds is this, a 1985 Silver Spirit with a very modest 81,000 miles on the clock. It sits proudly in a mid blue paint job with hand-painted lines along the length of the sides. It oozes class, but its past owner(s) have barely used it. Looking at the car’s MOT history, the only mileage it has done in the last five years has been to and from the MOT centre. It has covered less than 2000 miles since 2006, and looks a little unloved.
Priced at just £3990, this lovable bundle of classic British aristocratic charm is almost too cheap to resist. It has 12 months’ MOT as we write this, albeit with a list of 11 separate advisory items. On closer inspection, though, it only actually needs three new brake pipes, a set of new brake discs and a new pair of tyres at the back. Given that you could potentially get much of that fixed with only the cost of the parts, how expensive could it really be?
Our bargain Roller is powered by a proper British engine; a 6.75-litre V8 whose heritage still echoes in the current Bentley Mulsanne. Connected to a three-speed automatic gearbox sourced from General Motors, this was no sports car. Instead, it aced ride quality.
It used hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension with a ride height control system and gas-charged shock absorbers. Now, we admit that the criminal lack of information in the Auto Trader listing leaves us in the dark about how the system is functioning today. But if it works, this will be one of the most comfortable cars on the road.
The four seats have a lot to do with that. Check out the deep cushioning and the lovely beige leather, a little cracked with age but not torn and still easy enough to scrub up. It’s accented by blue piping and a gorgeously eccentric blue dashboard over wood and beige lower sections. The plush carpet is the same royal blue. We love it.
We can see a nasty dent/gouge in the front left-hand wing, but otherwise the car simply looks tired. A liberal and extended application of elbow grease would have it looking like new(ish).
Less than £4000 seems like a ridiculous bargain for something that will make you look like a member of the old money elite. But are you brave enough?