George Best’s Rolls-Royce up for grabs at auction

George Best with his white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
George Best with his white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

A white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow car once owned by George Best is to be sold at an auction at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire.

It is estimated that will sell for between £10,000 to £15,000 when the auction, carried out by H&H Classics, takes place on October 12.

Launched in 1965, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a bold departure for the Crewe-based company.

No stranger to publicity, Best and his new acquisition were photographed in the showrooms of Ian Anthony Car Sales on December 4, 1972.

The car has sported various registration numbers over the past 44 years but on that occasion wore plates advertising Mr Anthony’s Manchester-based dealership. Best is understood to have been only too happy to promote his friend’s business.

The Acrylic White Rolls-Royce was also pictured outside Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground with its surprised owner turning round just as he was about to open the driver’s door (doubtless in response to a shouted paparazzi request).

Repainted since belonging to Best, the luxury saloon has also gained a Black vinyl roof covering (a ‘must have’ automotive accessory during the late-1970s) and later-style integral reversing lamps. However, the Silver Shadow still retains its original steering wheel, black leather upholstery and grey Ambla headlining.

Any future custodian has the pleasure of knowing that they are not only driving a car that George Best owned in his heyday, but also sitting on the very same leather.

Acquired by its last registered keeper during 1994, chassis SRH 13549 has had some £22,000 spent on it over the last 22 years.

Adorned with more aesthetically pleasing bumpers than their successors, first series Silver Shadows have become increasingly collectible of late (with post 1970 cars boasting both the more powerful engine and smoother transmission). The Rolls-Royce possesses a current MOT certificate valid until June 14 2017 and offers a new owner the chance of restoring it back to ‘Best’ specification.