This classic Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was first owned by Michael Caine – before the British actor became an international star thanks to his lead role in The Italian Job.
Michael Caine’s first-ever car – a classic Rolls-Royce convertible – has sold for £135,000 ($AU246,000) at an auction in the UK, going under the hammer on the British film star’s 90th birthday.
Listed by H&H Classics, this Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Two-Door Drophead Coupe was first purchased by Michael Caine in 1968 for £10,511 – equivalent to more than £147,000 or $AU270,000 today.
This Silver Shadow is believed to be one of 506 Two-Door Drophead Coupe examples built by Rolls-Royce’s in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner Park Ward.
Mr Caine had reportedly never owned a car (or obtained a driver’s licence) by the time he reached 35 years of age in 1968, but the star of Zulu and The Ipcress File rectified this when he purchased the luxurious and expensive convertible.
According to the listing, the actor walked into one London Rolls-Royce dealership with a shopping list which read ‘milk, bread, newspaper, cigarettes, Rolls-Royce’, though he was escorted off the premises as he was “unkempt, unshaven and a little worse for wear”.
Upon visiting the next dealership, he found this Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and purchased it, reportedly employing a chauffeur to drive him around as it was cheaper than insuring the car as a learner driver.
Mr Caine only briefly owned the Rolls-Royce until 1970 – shortly after his role in the cult classic The Italian Job – when it was sold to his close friend and restaurateur, Jack Leach.
According to H&H Classics, Mr Leach owned the Rolls-Royce until his death in 2013, where the car was put into storage until its most recent owner purchased the convertible in 2018.
The Rolls-Royce’s current owner has reportedly spent “the best part of £100,000 ($AU183,000) on restoring the Silver Shadow to its former glory, with its odometer currently reading 59,000 miles (95,000km).
Power comes from a 6.2-litre V8 engine, driving the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.