T87’s been a bit busy of late, but hasn’t given up on CC. My last post here featured this Rolls, which I had managed to capture only three photos of at the time. As luck would have it, I saw it on the street shortly thereafter, doubling the amount of documented evidence and proving, as I and some CCommenters suspected, that this is indeed a Park Ward.
I was fortunate enough to be able to capture it from more angles as it floated by me. Though rather imperfect, this side-shot shows the 25cm (10”) stretch quite clearly, which makes this car on of 127 LWB Silver Seraphs ever made from 2000 to 2002.
Not too many people picked the Park Ward, as it added US$25,000 to the 2001-02 Seraph’s base price of US$226,000. A grand per centimeter, in other words. Nowadays, you could pick one up for US$50,000 or less. That’s old Rolls-Royces for you — something of a bargain, but only for those who can afford it.
CC Capsule: 2000 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph — Retreat Of The Clones, by T87
I have always liked the looks of these. They succeeded in making it look like a Rolls, and they also got the proportions right for a car of its size. Although I can’t help but see a little bit of the final Lincoln Town Car in the rear end styling and detailing.
Aah, yes – the old bit of wisdom that there is nothing more expensive than a cheap prestige car. Unlike the super high end cars of the 1930s, I doubt that we will see any of these cut up and turned into tow trucks.
“Although I can’t help but see a little bit of the final Lincoln Town Car in the rear end styling and detailing.”
I see it too. Although that’s not to say that Rolls-Royce copied Lincoln, or vice-versa. Both this Silver Seraph and the final “curvy” Town Car debuted in MY1998, so the similar rear design language is either a happy coincidence or a commentary on what a contemporary luxury sedan should look like.
Agreed on the Lincoln overtones – as well as a certain je-ne-sais-quoi of the Rover 75, as commented below.
This LWB car is not a candidate for tow truck service, I reckon. But a campervan conversion might suit it better. Our Editor would design a terrific one on this base I’m sure!
Somebody did that as this Getty Images showed (I can’t copy and paste the image without causing any legal ramification for Paul and this website).
Or even the Bentley converted to dump truck in 1988 Australian film, Rikky and Pete.
It wouldnt be the first time a Rolls Royce was cut down into a ute.
I have to agree with JPC, somehow I quite like this, it still looks very stately while looking modern but not beyond that. Some of RR’s other recent-ish offerings leave me quite ambivalent.
Another few years and perhaps a Ran When Parked example will pop up on Craigslist for a further fraction of the current asking prices, making it the optimum and obvious time to pounce. 🙂 Autozone can read the codes for free and disconnecting the battery for a short while will clear them anyway, making for a few days at least of bliss and carefree motoring.
Something tells me an AutoZone code reader would only get the universal, ECU-related codes on one of these. It wouldn’t be able to tell you why the electronic suspension has failed, leaving the car listing to one side like a pimp leaning on his cane. You’d need a specialist tool.
My dad is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it. 🙂
Methinks thou dost take me too seriously… Just pull the fuse and let the other side settle down too, instant lowering kit. It may not drive well but will look, how do the kids say it, “lit”. As we all know, it’s always better to look good than to feel good…
They probably got the electronic suspension from Citroen like they did for the earlier cars so it will be quite simple and totally reliable.
Some people bash the curvy styling of these final Vickers Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, but I think they were an excellent turn-of-the-century translation of the brands’ classic design language. The Vickers cars especially looked good at Bentley…where they (Arnage, Azure, Brooklands) continued through 2010. The Continental GT/Flying Spur were very different, as was the Phantom VII.
Call the Silver Seraph and its ilk the last of an era, kind of like the E38, E39 and E46 Bimmers.
And yes, you can pick one up rather inexpensively.
Updated Silver Shadow at the front and along the sides with plenty of Silver Coud references from the back. Personally I like it too. The rear licence plate surround is a bit like the contemporary Rover 75.
I’ve long admired the way RR approached models like these, in that they didn’t settle for simply splicing in an extra 10 inches in the rear doors. That’s the easy way. Rather, these have elongated doors both front and rear, to keep the proportions balanced. It’s only when you see photos of the rear seating area that you realize just how much bigger these are.
The front doors aren’t extended in this Park Ward version: only the rear doors.
Rolls-Royce isn’t only one to add extended length to the rear doors. BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Porsche Panamera, and Audi A8 are few of many examples.
Additionally, many manufacturers offer the extended length version for Chinese market, including the compact cars such as Honda Civic, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, etc. Chinese considers having chauffeur as a status symbol but doesn’t want to pay so much for bigger cars due to taxation.
What a pumpkin carriage. Quite apt that the personage in Part The Second of the wheelbase has ruffled curtains round the boudoir windows, lest we should see that the gaudy maximalism of the exterior continues within. Rolls clearly studied the finest in taste that the NeoGeo repro housing crowd had to offer, and applied the principles with gusto. And to disastrous effect.
The personage within might be just as far from the madding crowd as the car is from the company’s finest hour.
Taken a few days ago when the Queen of England attended the 20th anniversary of the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. It’s a Bentley, but with a special body and raised roof line. No idea of its’ age. Incredible that the hoy polloi was allowed so close to the Queen.
I must admit a degree of ambivalence to these. Compared with the Silver Spirit, the Seraph looks smaller and less stately both in pictures and in the metal. I’m not sure the RR grille completely suits the body shape either – the Arnage looks much more natural.