Internet Gem of the Week: 1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph

1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph front 3/4 view

The Internet has done many things to change the world, from putting seemingly limitless quantities of information at our fingertips, to taking video chat from science fiction to science fact, to making funny pictures of cats with poorly spelled captions touchstones of Western culture, to broadening the horizons of commerce. That last one is especially good for car enthusiasts, who are no longer limited to the likes of their local paper’s classifieds or the Recycler when shopping for a car.

We definitely harbor an appreciation for the vast dealership that is the World Wide Web, and we want to spread the gospel. How? By showing you folks what sort of awesome finds are out there waiting on sites like eBay Motors and Craigslist nationwide, of course. So to kick off this series, it would be fitting to start with something special right. And this is a special car that was built for special (and wealthy) people.

1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph rear view

It’s a 1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph with 53,000 miles on the clock. Now some of you are probably thinking, “Why would I want a 12-year-old Rolls with that many miles on the clock?” Well, if we had to guess, it would be because of the Buy-It-Now price of $34,500. You read right: For one Benjamin less than the MSRP of the cheapest new BMW 3 Series available in the U.S., you can own a late-model, honest-to-Charles-and-Henry Roller.

The Silver Seraph was the first Rolls-Royce produced under BMW ownership (though it was developed when the company was still British-owned), and was the last one developed and built alongside a Bentley twin, the Arnage. Unlike the Bentley, which used a twin-turbocharged 4.4L BMW V8 (later a turbo version of the Rolls-Royce/Bentley 6.75L V8), the Silver Seraph utilized a 5.4L BMW V12 cribbed from the E38 7 Series. It was backed up by a column-shifted ZF 5-speed automatic transmission. Performance, like engine output, was officially listed by the company as “Adequate.”

1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph engine view

Most people, however, would likely describe the interior accommodations as “More than adequate.” Granted, the tan leather with what appear to be salmon inserts on the seats and door panels are a curious combo, and the seller concedes that some of the wood trim is of the sun-baked variety, but this ride’s cabin still exudes the kind of opulence lesser luxury sedans can only try to imitate.

1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph interior view

As mentioned, the eBay Buy-It-Now price is $34,500, but that doesn’t include the cost of getting it from New Jersey to your domicile (unless you too live in the Garden State). It also doesn’t include future service and maintenance costs and, as you’d expect from a car that cost about $220,000 new, those are high. Like “I-could-buy-a-Hyundai-Accent-for-the-cost-of-the-75,000-mile-service” high. So don’t you dare say we didn’t warn you. We should also warn you that you shouldn’t expect to run into many of your fellow Silver Seraph owners, since only 1,570 were built over the model’s five-year production run.

So what do you say? Is Old World craftsmanship and extreme rarity worth well-equipped minivan money?

Source: eBay Motors