Rolls MPW Convertible
For touring in the grandest style, this MPW drop-top balances light restoration and original untouched patina, says Rob Scorah
This car was originally ordered by Peter Rogers, producer of so many Carry
On films. However, this grand convertible possesses a sober and restrained demeanour.
Early documentation and history tells you it was always, as now, finished in Mason’s Black – a good colour for its large, square frame. But a look around shows you it has been repainted. That’s no bad thing – the finish is excellent: just the smallest of scratches on the boot and door edges – and no polishing swirls in the deep gloss shine. The brightwork is in fine fettle – the tombstone grille, bumpers and light surrounds retain their lustre with no dirt or corrosion in nooks, crannies or screwheads. There is a very small scuff on the offside rear light.
With their combination of subtle coachlines and folds, Shadow class Rollers can show their age, but all lines and panel gaps match up on this example and doors and lids open without sagging or creaking.
By contrast, the patina of the spacious cabin has been left intact. Seat leather is creased, faded in small places, the carpets a little worn. There are marks where the driver’s door-mounted armrest has been repositioned or replaced. The condition of the woodwork is good, though its finish is faded. There are scuffs to door capping edges and the dash veneer is dull, with small cracks at the top. However, the right owner wouldn’t change this for the world.
Should you need the top down it raises and lowers perfectly and looks good; even its out-of-sight mechanicals are very clean. The rear window has been replaced and the hood cover is supple and easy to deploy.
The big V8 fires up readily and the automatic gearbox snicks easily into drive. The Rolls moves away smoothly with no shunt from the drivetrain.
Of course, this is old-school over-servo’d British luxury, but the steering is positive in its traditional vagueness and you are soon confident about guiding it into bends. An MPW is a heavy lump, but its brakes bring it assuredly to a halt without groaning or snatching the car off-line.
From what information Rolls allows you while driving, the car seems to be running cool enough and with good oil pressure. As is the 6.7’s wont, there’s a momentary tappety clack on start-up, but it disappears promptly. No untoward smoke appears and the engine bay is very tidy.
For the first 30-odd years or so of its life this car was serviced by Rolls-royce’s best, but it would have been nice to see more recent bills for maintenance to back up its very tidy on-road performance and documentation on the repaint. However, the car has spent much of the last four years unused, so the absence of some paperwork is perhaps understandable.
Convertible Corniche/mpws command £10-20k over their hardtop siblings, so this car’s price isn’t alarming. It might not be for the show queen enthusiast, but if you drive your convertibles with the top where it’s meant to be – stowed – this is definitely one to come and see.
Hood raises and lowers perfectly, fit is excellent, cover supple
Interior patina has been left alone, creases and all
Big V8’s a smooth performer, engine bay nice and tidy