Rolls-Royce 1972 Silver Shadow gets Personalized (video)

by Rau on July 8, 2012

in Custom Projects,Restoration/Repair,Videos

Silver Shadow before

Silver Shadow before








Based on our extreme before and after photos, some may think William Rau Automotive Woodwork only does makeovers on wood that’s badly damaged, but this is not true. We often work on wood that looks almost as good as it did when it was brand new. Some owners grow tired of their wood, some want something new, or on the rare occasion, they have another car and they want the woods to match. The wood from this Silver Shadow (later named the Silver Wraith) with the long wheelbase was in good condition but the owner wanted a personalized interior with more visually interesting wood treatment.

The owner of this Silver Shadow had the experts at JE Robinson Service, in Massachusetts, remove the wood trim and ship it to us. It was our directive to make the wood trim more spectacular. We sent veneer samples to the owner and he decided to go with a walnut burl with a very active grain pattern, as well as a beautiful beeswing satinwood for the cross band on the door caps. With the veneers selected the makeover continued.

Interior After

Silver Shadow Door Cap after

Door caps in the Silver Shadow were designed with solid wood on top, walnut burl on the vertical face with a cross band of straight walnut surrounding the burl (this was a common construction of door caps for many models of Rolls-Royce and Bentley). Adding as much walnut burl as possible is a great way to make the door caps eye-catching. To increase the amount of walnut burl in the car we wrapped the burl from the top of the door cap, where the door cap meets the window, down to the bottom of the door cap where it meets an inlay of ebony with a cross band of the beeswing satinwood.

The vanities also had a cross band on them originally, limiting the impact of the walnut burl greatly, so we decided get rid of the cross band and simply use walnut burl in the design.

Silver Shadow vanities after

Vanity before

The owner also decided to add a world famous William Rau wood steering wheel to finish off his Silver Shadow restoration.

(For a more detailed look at the transformation of a Rolls-Royce steering wheel you can see our earlier blog post with video Rolls-Royce Steering Wheel Before and After.)

The wheel design matches the design of the door caps. From Ugly Duckling with boring black plastic to the beautiful swan that is a William Rau Custom steering wheel, with stunning walnut burl, bold ebony, outstanding beeswing satinwood, and gorgeous leather, this is truly a wheel befitting for a Rolls-Royce.

Silver Shadow wheel after

Wheel with Ebony and Beeswing Satinwood Inlay

This Silver Shadow is now truly a one of a kind because no other '72 Silver Shadow has this interior trim design, and no other Silver Shadow has this same steering wheel.

We finished the wood and steering wheel, sent them to Robison for instillation, and the owner was very happy with the results. JE Robison liked our work so much he posted our work on his Blog


If you would like to know more about this project please watch this video. If you have any questions about this or any other project please feel free to leave a comment.

Center Console Fascia after

Silver Shadow Dash After

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

royce littlejohn January 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

hello, looking to do over my wood in my rolls 87 spur wouid i have to send it to you or you’ll send me a new set?


Rau January 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Sorry for the delay in reply. Thank you for your interest, but we can’t take on new jobs at this time. We’re currently making production wood parts for a car manufacturer and need to dedicate all our time to that project.


Frank February 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I have a RR Silver Shadow and all the interior wood needs to be refinished. Can you give an approximate cost on doing this? I just want it to look original and fresh again.




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