I am looking at a late '70s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow with around 70,000 miles on it. There is no significant rust, the exterior is in good shape, and the interior front seat leather and wood veneer show a bit of wear but are generally in good shape. A Chevy dealer is selling the car, which they took as a trade-in as a favor to a customer.
- They don't know a whole lot about RRs, but they have a service history that doesn't suggest neglect.
- I test drove the car for around 20 miles, highway and around town with no noticeable turning, suspension, or engine issues in any gear or at any speed.
- No funny noises.
- They had to jump the car to get it started.
- The air conditioner is cold and was recently recharged but cycles on and off.
- The parking break does not work.
- The engine compartment was fairly dirty, but I didn't see any rust. Unfortunately I didn't pay enough attention to the belts or hoses.
- There was oil residue underneath the car on the oil pan and/or engine, but I don't know if it was leaking or just from a sloppy oil change.
- I was not able to get the car above about 65 mph-- I realize it's a land yacht, but is this normal?
- Are any of the above points indicative of massively expensive repairs in the future?
- If this car is for Sunday drives only, what kind of maintenance am I looking at if the car is in decent shape?
- Can I do my own oil changes and brake work? (I do this for my wife's and my cars (Mitsubishi and Toyota), so I have some experience and the tools, though I'm not a gearhead.)
- If I go back to the dealer to take another look, what should I pay particular attention to?
Talk me out of this!