In Doug’s latest YouTube video, he calls the 1973 Silver Shadow the “Rolls-Royce Phantom of its day.” Except for one small problem. The 1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom was the Rolls-Royce Phantom of its day.
In the first 45 seconds of his newest video, he mistakenly calls the Silver Shadow the “top-of-the-line, the Ultimate Rolls-Royce of its day.” In so doing, Doug clearly demonstrates that he has zero concept of Rolls-Royce history, completely forgetting that the Silver Shadow was the junior line in the Rolls-Royce range from its debut in 1965 until it was replaced by the Spur/Spirit series in 1980.
Rolls-Royce kept the bespoke, handmade Silver Cloud-based Phantom VI in production from 1968-1990 (the very similar Phantom V ran from 1959-68) before they canceled it without replacement... until the Phantom VII debuted in 2003. But Doug didn’t seem to know that.
Before 90 seconds have elapsed in the video, he mispronounces the name of the Silver Seraph, and goes on to say that the 1973 Silver Shadow had a GM 4-speed automatic, when it actually had a THM400 3-speed auto.
At about 3:45 in his video, he calls the vinyl roof a “landau top,” which it isn’t. Landau roofs have only the rear sections covered as an homage to the landaulette cars of the 1910s-30s, which had retractable rear roof sections for backseat passengers. The Shadow in his video has a full vinyl roof. Rolls didn’t offer a landau-style vinyl roof for the Shadow.
Rolls-Royce did, however, offer a landau top on the *actual* Phantom of its day - the Phantom. It wasn’t just a vinyl covering, though. It actually folded back to expose the rear passengers, as Kabbalah Monster intended.
Before 6 minutes are up, he raves about the power door locks on the ‘73 Shadow, musing that this must have been one of the first cars with that feature. That honor actually goes to the 1956 Packard lineup, which came out 17 years before the car he’s reviewing. Power door locks were not uncommon, at all, on luxury cars in 1973. You could get power door locks on a ‘73 Chrysler Newport if you wanted. He later talks about how advanced power seats were in 1973. And again, they really were de rigeur for upscale cars of this era, having seen widespread use starting in the ‘50s. You could get them on a midsize mainstream ‘73 Ford Torino.
A minute or so later, he remarks on how a lot of cars of the ‘73 Shadow’s era didn’t have headrests. They were actually mandatory on all cars sold in the US from January 1, 1968.
His remarks about “speed control” and “cigar lighter” being special Rolls-Royce terms is pretty ignorant of the fact that these were common terms for these features at many car companies at the time. In fact, Ford and Chrysler called their cruise control systems “automatic speed control” in the same era. GM called theirs “Cruise Master Speed Control” and AMC called theirs “Cruise Command Speed Control.”
Also, does anyone know why he mentions that the 6.75L V8 in the Shadow isn’t as glorious today as it was 45 years ago? It’s still in production (in highly modified form) in the current Bentley Mulsanne. So it’s still pretty glorious.
Ordinarily, I get annoyed at Doug’s videos because... well... he’s Doug. But this time, the laundry list of stuff he got totally wrong takes me here. You’re welcome, everyone.