There are few cars that deliver that feeling of being someone very special than a Rolls-Royce. The tagline “Simply the Best Motorcar in the World” is something that people have said about Rolls for almost 100 years. Over the years, some of its cars might not have quite delivered on this promise but, in the world of collector cars, one model that delivered this completely was the Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible. I have driven more than ten Corniches over the years and can truly say that the build of these cars, when viewed in the era in which they were built, has a better quality of construction than any convertible in the era.
The Corniche was launched in 1967 as the coachbuilt Mulliner Park Ward convertible, based on the Silver Shadow series. It was renamed Corniche in 1971 and would continue in production through 1995. Through those 28 years, only 5,898 of these magnificent cars were built.
Over the years, the Corniche represented not only one of the most expensive and exclusive Rolls-Royce vehicles but also the most expensive cars available from any manufacturer in the world. They were owned by a veritable who’s who of the rich and famous including Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, Zsa Gabor, Aristotle Onassis, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Elton John, Liberace, Dean Martin, David Attenborough, Freddie Mercury and Johnny Cash.
The Boca Raton, Florida dealer describes this automobile as a real head-turner with 57,268 miles from new. It includes its original red sheepskin floor rugs and has had a recent top replacement. The seller adds that this vehicle has always been maintained to the highest standards with no fluid leaks. Never has it suffered from the indignity of having someone sit on its Connolly hide while smoking a cigarette.
From behind the wheel of a Corniche, you are never in doubt that these cars are truly special. From leather interior panels to the Wilton wool carpets and the polished walnut dash, a Rolls-Royce subtly states that it is a quality motorcar. The Corniche is in no way a sports or GT, but it would be an amazing way to go to dinner followed by the theatre or, better yet, a wonderful way to cross a continent on an extended driving vacation. The ride is as smooth as glass, and the 6.7-liter V8 is well-equipped to keep up with traffic on any interstate with ease. It also would be quite fun to take a Corniche to a McDonald’s drive-thru.
This Rolls-Royce is advertised at a very market-correct price of only $49,999 that, to me, represents an amazing value. I struggle to think of another car available for less than double this price that offers the exclusivity combined with the quality and luxury that this Corniche offers.
Rolls-Royce co-founder Sir Henry Royce stated that the job of Rolls-Royce was to “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.” With the Corniche, the company achieved this.