BMW has done a very good job with the Rolls Royce brand. It’s infused the brand with the money and resources to flourish without getting too involved, so as to keep the brand’s heritage alive. Sink into the impossibly sumptuous seats of any modern Rolls and you’ll soon realize it’s a British as Afternoon Tea. Proof of that is looking back at classic Rolls’ to see that the same sort of stately luxury that was present then is still present now.

In this new video from Harry’s Garage, we take a look at a 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow I that Harry Metcalfe bought on Ebay for £4,100. That’s cheap as chips, as the Brits would say (how come the British have the best expressions?). Despite being so cheap, it’s still so stately and luxurious and has the same Rolls Royce presence.

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Sitting in the back seat, it’s incredibly luxurious, features wonderful leather and rich wood. It’s like a smoking room on wheels. While the materials have gotten better and the design has become far more modern, current Rolls Royces are every bit as elegant and stately on the inside. In both the Silver Shadow and the current Phantom, you feel like you belong at the center of the universe from the inside. It’s remarkable.

The way they drive are similar, too. Well, in terms of style. The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow flops quite a bit more, is significantly slower and is lazier than any current Rolls product. However, there’s an air of simplicity and relaxation that is as present now as it was then. While a current Rolls is as fast to 60 mph as a Ferrari was a decade ago, it doesn’t feel like it. When driving it, there’s no rush. It’s just about calmly getting to speed, in immense comfort and luxury. Same thing with the Silver Shadow. Except, you really don’t have a choice in the old Roller, as it’s slow as hell.

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Brand-New Rolls Royce Phantom VIII

A modern Rolls Royce is a thing of perfection, in terms of build quality, luxury and presence. Especially the new Phantom. However, that same sense of stateliness remains. And BMW should be commended for allowing Rolls Royce the freedom to do its thing, without interfering too much.