ONE of the last cars developed by Rolls-Royce and built at Crewe before production switched to its current base under BMW ownership is going under the hammer later this month with a guide value of around six-figures.
The 2000 Corniche has the chassis number 001 and was the first of the glamorous convertibles built on the chassis of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph and Bentley Azure.
However, whereas those cars had the BMW-developed V12s, the Corniche used the tried and tested 6.75 V8 that had powered the Pyms Lane products for decades because it was felt this engine's vast torque and effortless power was better suited to the more gentle progress expected in a Corniche.
Now it will be one of the stars of the show at Silverstone Auctions' sale later this month, on May 24, where it is being entered with a guide price of between £95,000 and £105,000.
A spokesman said: "Silverstone Auctions is proud to be able to offer this Rolls-Royce Corniche chassis number 001 from the second owner of the car.
"Purchased by our vendor in 2001 from Michael Powles, now Bentley Leicester, its first owner was the Rolls-Royce Motor Company, who we are led to believe used the car for testing and development, along with promotional marketing of the new model.
"The car has been fully maintained as per Rolls-Royce factory requirements, with the first five stamps in the service book being completed by Rolls-Royce themselves at Crewe.
"At 14,538 miles, it is recorded by Rolls-Royce in the service book that they replaced the electronic speedometer trip display unit and since the car has further covered a mere 10,388 miles; the total mileage of the car today is 24,926.
"Maintained regardless of cost from new with Bentley Leicester, it's last service in May 2013 was undertaken by marque specialists Hillier Hill. In 2008, at 21,000 recorded miles, the car was subject to a comprehensive 60,000 mile service. Presented with the car is a substantial history file of service invoices and also the official sales brochure from Rolls Royce featuring the car. Presumably the very last model developed at the original Crewe factory when independently owned – and having been designed in the true Rolls-Royce philosophy – this car being chassis number 001 is a significant motorcar in the history of Rolls-Royce and their production days at Crewe."
The final Crewe Rolls-Royce came off the production line in 2002.