Fri | Sep 22, 2017

1968 Rolls Royce

Published:Sunday | August 27, 2017 | 8:00 AMLatara Boodie
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The 1968 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow is the epitome of British elegance and was the height of extravagance in its time. It was seen by many as a symbol of prestige and wealth and was one of the first owner-driven vehicles within the United Kingdom. The Silver Shadow has several state-of-the-art features, which were seen as iconic when they were revealed. These features include: vanity windows, picnic tables, power windows, power steering and power seats. "Every Silver Shadow was handmade and built to last," said proud owner Brian Madden.

Madden's love for vehicles started with his uncle's collection which comprised Jaguars, and Rovers which were also known as the poor man's Rolls Royce. "When you opened the door of the Rover and the aroma hit you, it was heavenly," said Madden as he recalled his first experience with classic cars in 1962. "The quality and the workmanship of these cars were exceptional. It can be said that one does not buy a Rover, you invest in a Rover because those cars were built to last forever," said Madden. The star struck teenager at the time vowed that he would own at least one of these classic cars.

The 1968 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow came into Madden's hands in 2013 when he found it on eBay and opted to bid for it. "The Rolls Royce was considered the best car in the world and I decided to get one," said Madden. The car was located in Delaware in the United States and was imported into the country by Madden. "I wanted to drive the car from Delaware to the Miami port, however that could not happen because I could not license the car," explained Madden. He sees this as an act of God because he did not know the car had no brakes at the time.

The restoration process for the Silver Shadow was relatively simple. "I had to restore the entire braking system myself," said Madden who is also a trained mechanical engineer. "I recently sprayed it over, but that is about all the work I had to do. They are built to last."

It was a major project for Madden which caused the Silver Shadow to mean much more to him since he did all the work himself. "Ordering parts from the USA was fairly easy to do because everything was done online. The good thing is a Rolls Royce never breaks down, it simply refuses to proceed," he laughed.

"I would only drive this during the Classic Car Club meetings and only on special occasions. This is not my everyday car," explained Madden when asked how often he drove the Silver Shadow. "I would drive it to Mandeville or even Hope Gardens during the orchid show which is associated with the Classic Car Club," said Madden.

"I believe this car is a solid investment because it is the best car in the world and I own it. It is also a joy to drive," said Madden. He said he would never sell it as it is his prized possession. "In everything I do I give thanks to God because without Him nothing is possible. It is because of Him I am able to have this car to drive."

 

Did You Know?

 

- Most innovative feature is the high pressure hydraulic self-leveling system

- First Rolls Royce to use unitary body and chassis construction

- Produced from 1965-1980

- Introduced disc brakes instead of drum brakes

- Had independent front and rear suspension

- 6.2 litre V8 engine.