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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Who’s shooting?

Rolls-Royce shooting brake commissioned by John Entwistle of The Who goes to auction


In the manner typical of a rock star, The Who’s John Entwistle never learnt to drive. Instead, the legendary bass player bought cars because he liked to “drink in them”. One – specially adapted to suit an Irish Wolfhound named Fits Perfectly and several Rottweilers – is due at auction on 7th September.


A shot of the 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II Shooting Brake from the front
A shot of the 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II Shooting Brake from the front

John Entwistle (1944 – 2002)
John Entwistle (1944 – 2002)

The car John Entwistle commissioned the conversion of into a shooting brake was a 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II. The coachbuilder is not known but it is suspected that it could have been FLM (Panelcraft) Limited of South London. A friend of the star, rock journalist Lesley Ann Jones, recalled a conversation about the vehicle’s original colour – it is now in brown – in a 2007 article in the Mail Online:


“I had never seen a Rolls-Royce that shade of green before, I told him. ‘Neither has anyone’, said John. ‘I took a Harrods carrier bag to the bodyshop when I bought the car, and told the paint sprayer to match it’”.


The 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow shooting brake pictured at John Entwistle's Cotswold's estate, Quarwood, and elsewhere in its original Harrods green colour
The 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow shooting brake pictured at John Entwistle’s Cotswold’s estate, Quarwood, and elsewhere in its original Harrods green colour (photographs from the collection of Godfrey Townsend, http://www.godfreytownsendmusic.com)

A shot of the car from the rear
A shot of the car from the rear

The Silver Shadow features a Spirit of Ecstasy mascot in gold
The Silver Shadow features a Spirit of Ecstasy mascot in gold

The front seats are large and comfortable
The front seats are large and comfortable

The rear seats provide ample comfort also
The rear seats provided ample comfort for the rocker and his entourage also

The car comes complete with picnic tables
The car comes complete with picnic tables

Given Entwistle once commented "I drink in them" when asked what he did with his cars, this bar was an essential addition
Given Entwistle once commented “I drink in them” when asked what he did with his cars, this drinks cabinet was an essential addition also

In the feature, Jones also recounts a journey she took with Entwistle to Wembley where she sat with Fit’s Perfectly (the dog) in the Rolls-Royce’s boot drinking brandy but after the musician’s death, whilst being driven by one of his girlfriends, Lisa Pritchett-Johnson, in 2003 the vehicle was stopped by the police. Pritchett-Johnson – who tragically died of a cocaine overdose in 2005 in Memphis, Tennessee – was cautioned for the possession of cocaine and banned from driving for two years.


Subsequently, Entwistle’s family sold the car to the present owner in 2006. They commissioned Coway Coachbuilders of Bolton, Lancashire to refurbish it and have continued to maintain it through the recognised Rolls-Royce mechanical engineer Alastair Scott of Abernethy, Perthshire. It has said  “not [to have given] any trouble” during this period and 115,000 miles are recorded on the clock.


Of the vehicle, a spokesman for Bonhams, who are selling the car, commented:


“There was never an official factory-bodied estate version of the Shadow but that did not deter those wealthy enough from commissioning their own. The car has been kept at an estate in Perthshire, Scotland where it was mainly used for grouse shooting, and has been garage stored in a ‘bubble’ to maintain ideal air temperature”.


A guide price of just £12,000 to £16,000 has been set.



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