Corniche became the first “post-crisis” premiere of Rolls-Royce, which was supposed to save the company. The new car came out elegant and stylish, and the name “cornish” meant “road along the cliff” or, more simply, serpentine.
The names Charles Rolls and Henry Royce are some of the brightest names in the automotive industry thanks to the luxury Rolls-Royce cars. Almost 120 years ago, the British began producing luxury class cars intended for businessmen and top government officials. The traditions of this sophisticated brand are unchanged today. However, the course of the company was not always a straight one. The first Corniche was a 1939 prototype based on the Bentley Mark V. However, the outbreak of World War II ceased the production of the model. Moreover, in 1971, the company declared bankruptcy. Luckily, for its revival, the British Government allocated $250 million to keep the pride of the British car industry adrift. The first post-Crisis Rolls-Royce Corniche was a two-door, four-seat convertible that was incredibly elegant and stylish, with a touch of the breed! The automobile had chrome bumpers with fangs, dual optics, and a “trick” of the model – an unusual “curve” sideline of the body. The roof, in turn, was the pride of the company. The masters assembled it by hand, but when unfolded, it looked like a glove.
The body of the beautiful and elegant two-door convertible Rolls-Royce Corniche was produced by the London company Mulliner Park Ward. The finished handmade body was transported 200 miles from London to Crewe, where it was fitted with mechanics, and then returned to London for interior fitting and finishing. It took about six months to assemble one car. It took a week for a skilled craftsman to only install and adjust the soft convertible roof. However, it was worth it: the raised position created a complete illusion of a rigid, like a coupe, roof. Body trim was traditional for Rolls-Royce – high-quality leather and precious woods. The first luxury cars got a 6750 cc V8 engine under the hood, with a cruise control option. The brake system was all-wheel disc brakes. Since 1976, Corniche coupes and convertibles have had air-conditioning systems as well. The model was able to develop a maximum speed of up to 190 km / h. The Corniche coupe was produced until 1982, and the convertible until 1995.
As a basis for the coupe and convertible bodies, Silver Shadow’s model platform was taken, and the vehicle debuted in 1971. The salon turned out to be exquisite, separated by the most delicate high-quality leather and expensive and high-quality wood. As noted earlier, the vehicle was equipped with a 6750 cc V8 engine, which was paired with an automatic transmission. During the whole production period, which lasted several generations something new was brought to the body design and interior trim. In a word, it was real chic – in the cabin! Leather seats, wood panel. The car even had power windows and an ashtray. The new Rolls-Royce did not drive but sailed! The sound of the engine was almost inaudible, which the car owed to the independent spring suspension. It was in such a luxurious car that important governmental affairs or contracts could be discussed. Despite the impressive weight, the car accelerated to a hundred kilometers per hour in less than 10 seconds. Fuel consumption was 23 liters per hundred. The brake system was multi-circuit, duplicated on each wheel separately. That is, you could be sure that the brakes would not fail. The steering wheel of the car was with a hydraulic booster, which protected the driver from fatigue even after a couple of hundred kilometers ride.
Twiggy in her 1971 Rolls Royce Corniche
The first generation Corniche was produced until 1986, but, as befits a car for the elite, in small batches. In total, a little more than 3 thousand of these cars were assembled. And of course, they cost a lot of money. John Lennon and the top model of the 60s Twiggy were owners of the first vehicles.
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