Rolls MPW Con­vert­ible

For tour­ing in the grand­est style, this MPW drop-top bal­ances light restora­tion and orig­i­nal un­touched patina, says Rob Sco­rah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Welcome -

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

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