Big convertibles couldn’t come any more opulent than the Rolls Royce Corniche. Elegant and beautifully built, it out lived the Silver Shadow on which it was based by many years; such was its popularity as the ultimate in open topped glamour. The body shape goes back several years before the Corniche label was first used in 1971. In fact the first two door open topped Silver Shadow appeared in 1967, entirely different to the four door models behind the front pillar with an elegant, curving waistline above the rear wheels. This body work was built by H.J Mulliner Park Ward and featured an electric hood. The Corniche was merely an up dated version of this car with a bolder radiator shell, different wheel trims and a new dashboard that incorporated a rev-counter. As before there was a (rare) Bentley version of the vehicle available. The engine was V, with 6750 cc equipped with the monocoque chassis. Disc brakes were applied to the car, with three speed automatic transmission. The suspension was independent and the top speed was 115 mph (96 km/h)
Technically the Corniche followed or sometimes anticipated the specification of Crewe’s mainstream saloons, receiving the Silver Spirits improved suspension and, later, fuel injection engines. It became the Corniche II after 197, while the Continental name was revived for the Bentley version. Increasingly the Corniche was becoming much tighter and more modern to drive, especially after 1992 when the automatic ride control was fitted. The cars finally bowed out of production in 1995 with the introduction of the Continental R, based Bentley Azure, although initially there was no Rolls Royce equivalent of this car.