You see a ton of those Lexus “December to Remember” ads this time of year, featuring some nondescript ES with a bow on the hood. It’s like getting a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. We’d much rather see this 1984 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit sitting in the driveway with the keys in a jewelry box. The Silver Spirit was the first of the new generation SZ cars that Rolls-Royce introduced in 1980. That car essentially formed Rolls-Royce’s entire product line for the next 20 years, with only a handful of serious modifications.
It was platform for Rolls-Royce’s 6.75-liter V8, the engine for which Rolls would never publish any performance related documentation. The Six and Three Quarter V8 is still in use in the Bentley Mulsanne, making in the third-longest produced engine in history, behind GM’s small-block V8, and Lamborghini’s V12.
Speaking of GM, that company built the Silver Spirit’s transmission, a barely disguised GM TH400 three-speed automatic. It’s a silky smooth transmission that was — at the time — one of the best automatics in the world that was capable of handling the torque a 412-cu.in. V8 could produce.
Silver Spirts are the short-wheelbase version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur from the same era. Stylistically, they’re standard Rolls-Royce fare, although the US version use crappy DOT-approved rectangular sealed beams, rather than the elegant, large headlamps in the European models.
This one looks like it’s in really nice condition, though far from perfect. If you could ever describe a Rolls-Royce as a daily driver, this 65,000 mile unit might be it. About the only thing not right with it is the aftermarket CD player, but for some reason it doesn’t bother us too much in this application.
The bidding at the moment is stuck at $5,500. The seller claims a low reserve, but also notes that he’s interested in trades of steel-bodied hot rods, plus cash. Not sure which direction that cash is headed. If it’s toward the Rolls, that’s a bad deal. If it’s going the other way, it could be a way to get into one of the world’s finest automobiles for cheap.