Truly great design never grows old. Rolls-Royce’s Corniche Drophead Coupé was introduced in 1970 as a convertible variant of the popular Silver Shadow, and it would remain in production for a remarkable 25 years. Each was built to individual customer order at Rolls-Royce’s H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward coachworks in London, taking over a month to handcraft to magnificent standards. Only the finest Connolly leather was used within, and the top alone was crafted so perfectly that it fit like the roof of a coupé.
Not just long lived, the Corniche Drophead was as desirable at the end of those 25 years as it was at the beginning. It was a magnificent rolling status symbol, signifying its owner’s superb taste and success, which allowed him to enjoy the greater things in life.
The Corniche presented here is the highly sought-after final-generation model, the Series IV, equipped with a more advanced suspension system, air bags, and other desirable modern features. Significantly, this car was the first to be built in the final year of Corniche production, 1995. Its build records record that it was finished in Red Pearl, piped in Magnolia, with a Beige mohair hood, Magnolia leather interior, and special-ordered interior trim modifications of a steering wheel upholstered in St James Red leather, Magnolia sun visors, and red piping on the interior armrests. The original owner also specified the removal of all exterior badges as well as the usual picnic tables on the back of the front seats.
The car was reportedly ordered by a member of the ruling family of Dubai for use during vacations in Marbella, Spain. Indeed, the build sheets document that the car was delivered to the UAE—and that the original owner received a “Special Chairman Discount”—but it was reportedly never actually taken to Marbella, or, in fact, regularly driven.