As Sir Michael Caine turns 90, his first ever motor is set to go up for auction. The stunning 1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow convertible has undergone significant restoration and is estimated to be worth between £100,000 and £150,000 when it goes under the hammer at the end of March.
The car has had a colourful history since its order back in the late ‘60s. In 1968, in true Caine-style, the then-35-year-old Cockney wandered into one Rolls-Royce dealership in London’s fancy Mayfair looking dishevelled and wandering around with a handwritten shopping list, noting ‘milk, bread, cigarette, Rolls-Royce’, as you do.
Kicked out for not being suitably presentable (or recognised), the British icon ended up at the Dover St dealer in Haymarket and picked up the Silver Shadow, an order cancelled by playwright Sir Terence Rattigan.
Dropping a cool £80,000 (ish) to return the car to its original colour and re-trimming the beautiful magnolia leather, Oxfordshire’s 1st Choice Body and Car Works has presented the black convertible in pristine condition. Just one of 506 Silver Shadow Two-Door drophead coupes handbuilt by Mulliner Park Ward, Rolls-Royce’s in-house coachbuilder at the time, the car has only clocked around 59,000 miles.
Interestingly, Caine made the purchase without actually holding a driver’s licence. The actor ended up hiring a chauffeur, after the insurance company refused to insure it as his set of learner wheels. Eventually, a move to LA forced the Oscar winner to finally get his licence at the age of 50, though when interviewed, admitted he was never a very good driver because he lacked concentration.
Caine sold the car in 1970 to Jack Leach, a successful businessman prolific for owning the infamously star-studded Chelsea nightclub, The Gasworks. Leach would go on to own it for 43 years before his death in 2013.
The auction kicks off on 15 March at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.