The 1966-1995 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible were swank two-door offshoots of the 1965-vintage Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow/Bentley T-series four-doors. It was sold under a confusing series of names, of which Corniche is probably the best known.
The initial 1966-1970 drophead and thin-pillar coupe were coachbuilt conversions chiefly by Mulliner-Park Ward, though the James Young concern managed a few coupes of near-identical design before its 1967 demise. The Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible were built in both Rolls and Bentley versions, of course, with badges and radiators the main difference, as on parent sedans.
A replacement Corniche arrived in 1971 as a regular "factory" series with detail equipment and appearance changes, a larger engine, a more reliable version of Crewe's complex hydraulic suspension system, vented front-disc brakes, and lesser assorted improvements. The original twin carbs were replaced in 1975 by a single four-barrel unit (La Camargue). Larger, sturdier U.S.-type bumpers and a front airdam from 1977 were per that year's revised Shadow II/T2.
The rear suspension on the Coupe & Convertible was updated in 1980 to the lighter new hydro-pneumatic design of the replacement Silver Spirit/Mulsanne sedans. Coupes were dropped in 1982. Two years later, the open Bentley was renamed Continental to set it further apart from the companion Rolls-Royce.
Specifications were again updated for 1987 "II" models with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and standard antilock brakes. The last Corniche of this series was produced in 1995. The final 20 examples were turbocharged. A new Corniche was introduced in 2000, based on the Silver Seraphe, but retained the 6.75-liter turbocharged Rolls-Royce V-8.
Pluses of the 1966-1995 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Hushed opulence
- Obvious collectibles all; pre-Corniche models, coupes, and Bentley versions lead values
- Quicker and more nimble than you'd think
- Styling has aged better than on the sedans
Minuses of the 1966-1995 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Brake, suspension, and electrical maladies common on pre-Corniche cars
- Bulky convertible top stack
- Costly to buy, run, and restore
- Some unique coupe trim and body panels becoming difficult
Production of the 1966-1970 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow coupe: 606
- Convertible: 505
- Bentley coupe: 114
- Convertible: 41
Production of the 1971-1976 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Rolls-Royce Corniche coupe: 780
- Convertible: 1,233
- Bentley Corniche coupe/convertible: 100
Production of the 1977-1982 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Corniche coupe: 53
- Corniche convertible: 45
- Rolls-Royce Corniche coupe: est. 300
- Corniche convertible: est. 1,300
Production of the 1985-1990 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
- Bentley Continental/Continental II convertible: est. 200
- Rolls-Royce Corniche/Corniche II convertible: est. 1,000
Specifications of the 1966-1995
Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.5
Length, inches: 207.5
Weight, pounds: 4,820-5,340
Price, new: $59,000-$265,000 in U.S.
Engines for the 1966-1995 Rolls-Royce/Bentley Coupe & Convertible:
|Type||Size ||Horsepower ||Years |
|ohv V-8||6,230 cc (380 cid)||220*||1966-1970|
|ohv V-8||6,750 cc (412 cid)||250*||1971-1986|
|ohv V-8**||6,750 cc (412 cid)||260*||1987-1990|
|ohv V-8***||6,750 cc (412 cid)||NA*||1995|
*Est. (not quoted by factory); **Fuel injection; ***Turbocharged
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