CC readers may remember this tidy mid-60’s Mazda Porter minicar we reviewed some three years ago. I strolled by the same lot here in Tokyo this past weekend just to see if it was still there – it was. Unfortunately, it looks like whoever was giving it a wipe down every couple weeks has moved on – and it now has an abandoned car notice on the windshield. I was really hoping someone would have pulled it out and got it back on the road again. What really surprised me though was another car that’s taken up residence nearby.
You really can’t get too much farther on the automotive spectrum from the diminutive Porter to this Rolls Royce Silver Spur. What a shame, this elegant steed has certainly seen better days.
The Silver Spur was the long wheelbase version of the Silver Spirit – they were manufactured in four series (Marks) between 1980 and 1999. The picture above shows the longer rear door and window.
1987 Silver Spur – Picture found on internet
There was very little change in the exterior throughout the production run, so it’s hard to tell a specific year for this one. Given the black bumpers, it’s likely a Mark I or II. I found a picture of a 1987 model with the exact same paint, vinyl roof, and colored hubcaps so I’ll make an educated guess and say it’s a Mark I built between 1980-89.
These Silver Spurs had the spring-loaded retractable “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot on the front radiator; if it is disturbed, it would retract into the radiator shell. Current models also have this, but it’s a much more complex electric motor driven system – that’s a $3157 option. I really wanted to try that, but thought any “hands on” would likely invite a visit from the local gendarme. Trying to explain to the officers that I’m not a memento thief, just a Curbside Classic contributor would be tough with my limited Japanese.
These Silver Spurs and and Silver Spirits came with a hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, modified with a Girling automatic hydraulic ride height control system and gas-charged shock absorbers. One can only imagine what it would cost to fix a problem with all that. Perhaps that’s why it was abandoned here.
Given parts and labor are three times more expensive here in Japan than in the US or Europe, it’s doubtful this Roller will ever see the road again – darn shame…
$3000 for a retractable ornament!
Better solution: Make the ornament really easy to pop off, and give the original owner a supply of replacements. Less chance of damage, less chance that the thieves will try to defeat the $3000 mechanism and mess up the rest of the car.
Sure, but the point of a car like this is to advertise one’s ability to carelessly spend cubic money. Cost-effective solutions are the opposite of what’s wanted.
Wow, this is like a two-fer; I had to go and re-read the original Porter post you linked to which was great, btw. But this Rolls, well, just wow. I do like the styling very much, it’s so buttoned down in an early ’80’s way, looking so modern for the day without any garishness. Hard to believe it lasted for two decades, it still looks fresh to me today, but easier to believe than to fathom that this is basically abandoned now, especially somewhere in Japan.
Somehow I don’t think it will be there for as long as the Porter is/will be, however I look forward to the next update in 2022 and wonder what else may have joined by then.
It would be interesting to put the Porter and the Rolls right next to each other to see the size difference. The Prius next to it in the original article looks massive!
The growth of the rust on the lower door in three years is impressive. If it is getting notices on it, surely it will disappear soon. It would certainly be a lot easier to get it on the road than the Rolls.
Would the Poltel last longer if someone put in the trunk of the Roller?
It’s amazing that no one has touched the emblem yet!Down here the whole car would had been gone long time ago.
The suspension design was licenced from Citroen its easy to repair, RR did that in the 60s having failed miserably to improve on Citroen ride comfort, RR specific parts are priced horrendously but if you can afford to buy a Roller that should not be an issue.
Oddly enough, this is NOT the first RR in this condition that I’ve encountered.
When I worked in the Plymouth/Livonia, MI area a few years ago, there was a Silver Spirit in this exact color combination sitting forlornly in a local resident’s driveway.
If there is a bottle of Grey Poupon in this car, I’d check the sell by date.
I suppose that at one time owning just one Rolls Royce was all that was required. It would be pampered and maintained over the years and become a family heirloom. Older high line Mercedes were once also thought of that way. Now they are just status symbols that are quickly forgotten once the luster has worn off.
I’ve got to admit a sneaky satisfaction in seeing this descended so.
They are so poorly styled that I could have drawn them, and I once proudly drew my cat and won the prize for best tree.
Add here the ’80’s delights of a cream vinyl roof, whitewalls, white interior and lo-res black tinting and it looks practically like a LWB Tony Montana from Scarface, on wheels. The mold and rust and doing no end of improvement.
Lame is the Spur.
I did not realize such downtrodden neighborhood was legal in Japan.
This is in an industrial area T – this parking lot is for a large warehouse and factory nearby. You’re right, in a more residential area, you likely wouldn’t see this. Jim.
Right – even so I’m still surprised by it, could have been the US or any other “normal” country!