1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Four door sedan
Sale Price
£20,000 - £30,000
Est. Range
5 November 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Visually maintained, largely original
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. SRH18696. 6.7-liter V-8. Silver Chalice over grey leather. Sharp radio cassette player, handset telephone.

Evaluation: Formerly owned by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury from 1979 until his death in 1991. Finished in its factory-correct color pairing of Silver Chalice over Blue, its ownership has been verified by the manager of the band and subsequently owned by the singer’s sister until 2013. Still very original, but needs a lot of work to bring it up to a good standard. Panel gaps throughout are good, but there is rust bubbling through on many edges, especially the sills. The chrome is okay, with only light pitting except front bumper (a few small dents) and rear bumper, which has larger dents, scuffs and rust, especially on the corners. Wheel trims are okay as well, showing some corrosion and scuffs. Number plates are original type. The interior is seemingly original and showing wear consistent with age and mileage (62,300 miles). The headliner needs a clean. There is a 1980s garage decal on the door jamb, suggesting repairs done then. 

Bottom Line: A Silver Shadow is one of the cheaper ways to get into Rolls-Royce ownership, and as with any affordable Rolls a generally scruffy condition and lack of maintenance are big red flags. But does any of that matter for this car? Not really. It’s Freddie Mercury’s Rolls. That’s the only reason the car is even in this auction. 

It previously sold for a reported 74,600 GBP by Coys in 2013 (the equivalent of 131,098 GBP or about $146,000 today).

Bidding was fierce despite this being the very first car of the auction, and it sold for nearly ten times its top estimate, with all proceeds going to a Ukraine charity. The number is of little to no relevance to the wider Silver Shadow market, but just for reference, this would have been a four-figure car if not for the rock and roll history.

by Andrew Newton
10 November 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.