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1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II: No, I Won’t Pass the Bleeding Grey Poupon!

By the very nature of the fact we write this thing, you know we like stupid cars. What makes a car stupid? In my mind it is the potential hassle factor associated with owning it. The thing is, stupid cars are usually the ones that are most compelling as show pieces, driver’s cars, or even just as art. For me they also need to be somewhere in the same stratosphere as my budget could handle – even if I don’t have the cash at hand, I can convince myself that I could come up with it for just the right car. The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II is just one of those cars. This car exudes presence, class, a little snobbery, and, well, poor judgment. That last bit is only really apparent to those in the know, and Camry owners. Find it here on eBay in Muncie, Indiana with bids starting at $8500 and no reserve.

“Silver Wraith II” was the name given to the long wheelbase version of the Silver Shadow starting in 1977 and continuing until the model was discontinued in 1980. In addition to the extended wheelbase, Silver Wraith IIs also came standard with an Everflex roof cover and a smaller “opera style” rear window – which could be deleted at the discretion of the buyer. Otherwise, both the drivetrain and the accoutrements in the Silver Wraith II mirrored the Silver Shadow. This car’s two-tone black and silver with burgundy leather is an attractive combination, and looks remarkably well-preserved. Unfortunately, the lack of a comprehensive description means that due-diligence is critical on this one.

Many people in this day and age look at classic Rollers of this vintage as the red-headed stepchildren of the line. Many have fallen into disrepair thanks to maintenance and repair costs that have the potential to exceed the total value of the cars. Still, there are passionate, enthusiastic owners of these cars out there, and their following seems to be growing as those born in the 1960s and 1970s get to the point in their lives where discretionary income comes into play. Besides, we ALL remember the Grey Poupon commercials, right?

On the road, these cars are heavy and ponderous but relaxed and smooth thanks to their Citroen-sourced hydraulic suspension system – expensive when it breaks but fabulous when it works. They are also not fabulously quick cars, but the 6.75 liter motor is torquey and has more than enough power for cruising at illegal speeds. The driving position is very high so you can look down at the little people and the masses, and the tall doors make getting in and out an absolute breeze.

Obviously, where the LWB cars shine is in the back seat. This is definitely a car designed for people to be driven in. It is unfortunate this car lacks the optional picnic tables, but I’ll bet the buyer could find a set if so motivated. It’s also a shame that it is not one of the extremely rare cars with the front/rear divider, but I know I would rather be able to carry on a conversation with my passengers, and the novelty of a divider would wear off quickly.

As one of just 2135 Silver Wraith IIs produced between 1977 and 1980, this is not a car you are likely to see at every one of junior’s soccer games. The aforementioned lack of detail in the ad leaves a lot of room for speculation, but so long as there are no major engine malfunctions and no suspension or brake work needed, this could be a fun weekend classic. The transmission is a GM unit, and serviceable at any AAMCO shop. Much of the rest requires a specialist’s touch, and that will add-up quickly. In a nutshell, do your homework, but if it checks out, drive and enjoy. Totally that stupid.

7 thoughts on “1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II: No, I Won’t Pass the Bleeding Grey Poupon! Leave a comment

  1. i bought it! it’s now living on the shore of lake michigan in wind point, wisconsin (between chicago and milwaukee).

    it’s as elegant, shiny, immaculate and regal as it looks. i’ve found a mechanic in nearby burlington, wisconsin who has experience (and a successful reputation) with rolls royces, so i hope we’re off to a great star

    i was 4 years old when i saw my first rolls royce and bugatti cars in a car show at the indiana university football stadium parking lot. exactly 50 years later, i became an owner and get to cross one more thing off my bucket list! cp

    • So far, the honeymoon is still on! I’ve had a gig being a chauffeur for a wedding (no charge)…. Weather in Wisconsin is pleasant so far, but it’ll go into storage soon until spring. Minimal expenses thus far and I’ve had it gone over by two rolls Royce experts. Seems to check out well with no abuse or neglect. I’ve put 900 miles on it with no surprises. Cp

  2. I have the twin to it with Black Leather interior. It is the same love affair that you are talking about. I had a Matchbox version of the car that I own today and now I have it in the garage. My wife laughed at me for the first few months that I owned it because I would go out and do a happy dance in the garage before bed each night. Enjoy…..I am.


    • We live in Wisconsin. are you going to the RR conference in Louisville this summer? My wife and I are making plans… Curt pruitt , wind point, wi. A fellow matchbox car kid …. My matchbox car was burgundy, however. I prefer the silver/black real one, though.

  3. I had a ’76 RRSS, nearly identical. It was a blast and I just recently acquired an 80 RRSWII. One of my finest moments in the car was in Berkeley CA on the freeway. Traffic was horrendous and we were at a standstill. A biker and his babe on a Harley were lane-splitting (legal in California, believe it or not) and signalled for me to roll down the window.
    “Got any Grey Poupon?” He asked with a mischievous grin.
    I reached into glove box and pulled out one of those mini-bottles you get in hotel rooms. I handed it to him and said, “But of course, my good man!”

    They damn near fell off the motorcycle laughing.

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