From "The Thomas Crown Affair" Starring Steve McQueen
Sold for $ 36,300
- 6,750-cc, 220-hp OHV V-8 engine
- Three-speed automatic transmission
- Purchased new by director Jerry Bresler
- One of 606 from coachbuilder
- Movie car provenance
Coachwork by Mulliner-Park Ward
Chassis no. CRX2672
6,750-cc, 220-hp (est) OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel coil spring independent suspension and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 119.5-inches.
Of the 20,605 Silver Shadow I cars built by Rolls-Royce, just 606 were converted by coachbuilders Mulliner Park Ward as two-door saloons. This one is unique among them for its role in the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair.
The Silver Shadow I was Rolls’ first unitary construction car. Released in October 1965, it featured independent rear suspension with automatic level control and four-wheel disc brakes. The absence of a chassis frame allowed more passenger room inside and better access to the luggage compartment.
The engine was initially the 6,230-cc unit from the Silver Cloud III, but export models such as this one had an enlarged 6,750-cc engine, made standard from 1969. Export models similarly got a more modern, three-speed version of Rolls’ Hydra-Matic transmission, also standardized later for all cars.
Most cars were four-door saloons, 2,776 of them with long wheelbase. The two-door, and a similar convertible model, were given the full coachbuilder’s treatment, with Wilton carpets, Connolly leather seats and burl walnut veneer dashboard and window moldings. As a result, the price was a full 50 percent higher than factory cars.
Purchased new by director Jerry Bresler (The Vikings, Major Dundee and Casino Royale), it was ordered with a lowered steering column, electric antenna, Sundym tinted glass, air conditioning, driver’s door mirror, hazard warning lights and inertia-reel seat belts. Bresler kept it until 1980, at which time it was purchased by Sharon Simons of New Orleans, Dallas and Beverly Hills. She kept it into the 1990s.
In the movie, it appeared in a number of key scenes, including money-drops at the beginning and end. There’s a notable rain scene where the nefarious bank executive Thomas Crown, played by Steve McQueen, drives with insurance investigator Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway).
Currently painted Oxford Blue, its original color was Mason black. It has the original beige leather interior, which shows considerable use, and matching headliner. The carpet is black. The contours are correct and the repaint has held up well, the latter reportedly dating from December 2000. All the brightwork is in good condition. It has a modern stereo installed underneath the dashboard, the removable face plate of which has its own case for use when the car is left unattended.
While the car would benefit from a general recommissioning, it remains a rare example of Mulliner-Park Ward craftsmanship with unparalleled cinema provenance, making it, in short, one of one.