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Lot 639: 1975 Rolls-Royce Corniche Coupé
Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

‘The name Corniche has been chosen for the latest coachbuilt models because it symbolises their higher cruising speeds and their ability to cover greater distances with the minimum of fatigue for driver and passengers,’ announced Rolls-Royce in 1971. Introduced in March that year, the Corniche was a revised version of the H J Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied two-door variants of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series saloons, themselves notable as the Crewe factory's first unitary-construction cars. The bodies continued to be built by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd, while in Corniche form Rolls-Royce’s familiar 6,750cc aluminium-alloy V8 engine produced around ten percent more power than standard, propelling the car to a top speed in excess of 120mph with sports car-beating acceleration to match. The Corniche received Rolls’s advanced split-level air conditioning system along with a redesigned fascia in 1976, and in 1977 benefited from the many improvements - most notably rack-and-pinion steering - introduced on the Shadow II range. Despite its sky-high asking price, the model proved a major success for Rolls-Royce; periodically revised and updated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (Convertible) examples being delivered in 1995.
The right-hand drive Corniche Coupé offered here was delivered to its first owner, a Mr G R Mount, of East Preston on 12th May 1975. It had been ordered in Nutmeg Brown with matching interior, while additional features included fog lamps, un-pleated upholstery, and the ‘lightest possible’ veneers. The aptly named Mr Mount must have been of above average stature, since the build sheet also specifies the ‘driver’s seat to be 1” lower and set back as far as possible’. Mr Mount kept the Corniche until it was bought by the current owner in 2001 and reregistered in France.
Since acquisition the car has been carefully maintained, undergoing a certain amount of refurbishment including a re-spray in period-correct dark grey metallic and an overhaul of the hydraulic system. The most recent service, carried out in October 2006 (at 76,819 miles) by Rolls-Royce & Bentley specialists English Automotive Services, of West Molesey included replacing the exhaust main silencer, exhaust downpipes and central locking switches (invoice available). In all, this two-owner car represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a well maintained example of one of the most elegant of post-war Rolls-Royces.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
Lot Number639
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£14000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£16100
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberCRH20397
Engine number20397
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors