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Does anyone have advice for a first-time Rolls-Royce or Bentley buyer? Assuming the buyer is willing to spend up to $30K, lives in a city with no RR/B specialist, and is mildly technically-inclined but by no means is a mechanic, what model and era should we be looking at?
 

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In short, I would recommend looking at the SZ 20000 series cars(87 1/2, 88 & 89). They had a fair amount of modern equipment and before the active ride system which is a major expense to repair.
 

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I've gone for a tidy, late Silver Shadow II. Good spec, not as modern as later cars, obviously. Slightly more refined than the Shad I, but with the advantage that they (in my opinion) look better than the Spirit/Spur types. The Spirit is too square for me, and bears less of a resemblance to the traditional RR's of old than the models that came before or after. Shad II spares are not that expensive if you have a few contacts and the running costs, so I hear/hope are also reasonable now.

All RR's and Bentleys are wonderful cars, and I'm not a Spirit basher. If I wanted an RR for regular long journeys and day to day commuting then for under US$30,000 (GB£15,000) I'd have no choice but to got for a late Spirit shape (or a pre active ride like Lew says). My girlfriend sums up the Spirit styling thus: "It looks like a giant Lada!"

I think a well maintained tidy low mileage SSII could be used daily for short trips and the odd medium trip without much issue.

I'll hope to prove my theory when I get the car on February 22nd. I'll report back.
 

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Stirling the advise i was give when looking for a car was go for as late a model as you can afford for the build quality got better,yes the coil sprung cars are good but the active ride on my benlety works wonders in and around london its nice and soft but when i get out on the winding roads and motorways it stiffens up for us
what ever you look at make sure it has a proper service history check for signs of rust engine runs smooth all electrics are fine there are many specalists esp in the uk that send parts all over the world i myself have a great rr&b center 10mins down the road
and i think you must feel right about the car you get they all have tere faults but these cars can be forgiven
 

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I would not recommend a model over another. Some people love the shape of the Spirit/Spurs, some prefer the Shadow/Wraith or older models. The important thing is that the car has been well maintained.

Most Rolls-Royce will have an oily engine and this not something to worry about as it is common. The most common problems is the rust around the wheel arches. The paint usually make bubbles on the bonnet near the Spirit of Ecstasy and on the boot by the badge. Common problems are also rust by the rear arms where the suspension spring sits. The arm is super expensive over 2000 £ sterling, but it is possible to have it mended. Check that the doors close properly too, as if it does not the part that needs to be changed is about £360 + VAT at the dealer. Something expensive to fix too is the accumulator pheres. When you start the car, you will see 2 red lights for the brakes that should go off pretty fast, if they don't => pheres problem.

When the car is running, it should whisper. If the engine sounds like it is running on one leg (adjustment) it is a sign that the car has not been maintained properly or by someone that is not competent. A simple adjustement will fix the problem but if it is there on the first place and the owner can't be bothered, just imagine the rest!

The good thing is older cars will benefit from a classic insurance (about £150 a year) so what you will save on insurance, you can spend the rest on repairs.

Hope this helps. I have many more info on my site at http://www.rolls-royce.150m.com/maintenance_cost/indexen.html
 
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