This Blown Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Hot Rod Is a Modern American Revolution
Ah…supercharged, sacrilegious freedom.
Consider this 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow drag racer with a supercharged 7.6-liter General Motors V8 engine a reminder who really won the Revolutionary War. The British might know a thing or two about world-beating luxury, but there are few formulas that can't be improved with a good ol' fashioned American engine swap.
To be fair, this beautiful monster was actually birthed in Finland of all places, and it's currently on sale in neighboring Norway for a cool $115,000. That's way less than the cost of a new Rolls-Royce, but way more than buying a classic example that hasn't been reborn as a quarter-mile car. So is it worth the scratch?
You may not be able to put a price on freedom, but you can absolutely tell that there's far more than a hundred grand in parts and labor in this build. Cartoonishly insane as it looks, this Silver Shadow has been finished with a level of care and precision that even the stodgiest owner's club would appreciate. (Well, maybe.)
Its classic bodywork has been restored to flawless condition and dropped with care onto a custom chromium molybdenum alloy tube chassis and cage. In fact, apart from the lowered suspension and meaty drag tires, there are only two (very obvious) modifications to the exterior: A pair of gold side pipes, and a hole in the hood to make room for the towering engine and supercharger combo.
The 462-cubic-inch V8 engine is connected to a Mooneyham 14-71 blower and twin Holley Dominator carburetors with a huge carbon fiber bug catcher intake up top. It's like a ice cream sundae of horsepower, and though we don't have exact specs on the car, suffice it to say it's rated at a lot.
Impressive as that powerplant is, the interior is where the true spirit of this Silver Shadow comes through. It's an incredible mixture of modern safety standards and old-school luxury, with handcrafted leather racing seats and the color-matched roll cage blending seamlessly with the original dashboard and steering wheel. And that three-stick shifter setup is a wild centerpiece.
Unlike most drag builds but true to its heritage, this Rolls retains its rear seats and a champagne holder, so you can be chauffeured in comfort at the speed of sound. We're not seeing any racing harnesses back there, though.
Lest you think this is all show and no go, there are several videos on YouTube that feature the car revving to the heavens and blasting down a drag strip. It looks, sounds, and performs like a properly-sorted race car—albeit a truly unique one. And it was enough to grab the attention of famous car customizer Gene Winfield, whose signature appears on the center console up front.
According to this Speedhunters profile from a few years back, this one-of-a-kind Silver Shadow was built by a pair of metal fabricators in their free time simply because they could. Sounds like the true meaning of liberty to us.