Make : Rolls Royce
Model : Corniche
Year : 1973
Owner : Nostalgia Classic Cars
Country : United Arab Emirates
In 1939, Rolls Royce produced the first prototype car with the nameplate Corniche based on the Bentley Mark V. The car made it through the endurance testing in Continental Europe, however, the journey to England was not a success. The first Corniche was blown up while waiting at the dockside in World War II.
As for the name “The Corniche”, it is inspired by the French word “Corniche” which means a coastal road, especially along the face of a cliff, and mainly it is inspired by the luxury scenery of the Grande Corniche along the French Riviera above the principality of Monaco.
As for the history and how it started. Well, basically the Corniche is a Silver Shadow with two doors and that’s exactly how it started out. Back in 1965, the Silver Shadow replaced the aging Silver Cloud with what was then cutting-edge engineering.
In September 1967, a ‘proper’ convertible version was launched, with an electric roof.
Visually similar to the two-door saloon, the convertible had the advantage of frameless windows, giving a very elegant appearance with the roof stowed away. Apart from the obvious styling differences, under the skin, these two-door cars were pure Silver Shadow, so performance was much the same. However, after five years, they were heavily revised in March 1971 and relaunched simply as the Corniche both in Rolls and Bentley forms.
In February 1977, the Corniche was heavily revised again, with the most obvious changes being the split-level automatic air conditioning and the rubber-faced bumpers from the Shadow II/T2. Mechanically, the biggest improvement was the fitting of a rack and pinion steering replacing the old recirculating ball set up.
The Corniche was equipped with the standard Rolls-Royce V8 engine of 6.75 L Twin SU carburetors and was fitted with a three-speed automatic transmission (a Turbo Hydramatic 350 sourced from General Motors) and a four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs and four wheels disc brakes were specified, with ventilated discs added for 1972.
Corniche models received Bosch KE/K-Jetronic fuel injection in 1977. This engine, called the L410I, produced approximately 240 PS (177 kW) at just above 4,000 rpm for a top speed of 190 km/h.
Production totaled 1090 Rolls-Royce Corniche Saloons, 3239 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertibles, 69 Bentley Corniche Saloons and 77 Bentley Corniche Convertibles.