HEMI Powered 1970 Rolls-Royce Can Cut The (Dijon) Mustard
When it comes to hot rods and muscle cars, it’s almost a given that anything with a nice set of wheels and a blower sticking through the hood is going to be a cool car. We’ve seen all sorts of builds over the years, and also some odd recipients of high horsepower engines that you would never suspect. But this car takes the cake, or the Grey Poupon, as it were.
Beginning life as an average 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Florida attorney Tod Weston decided he needed a little something to spice up his daily driver. So he took this silver four-door car down to Little Joe’s Street Rod Shop in Denver, NC, to see what they could do with it. Most people wouldn’t think to make changes to an already classy car, but 1970 was a long time ago. While the craftsmanship that went into the Rolls-Royce was meticulous, that was merely the basis for this build, not the point to restore it to.
Arriving at Little Joe’s place, builder Joe Richardson told us he couldn’t believe that Weston wanted a HEMI in this car. But Weston had a HEMI Challenger when he was younger, and he has been a fan of the elephant motor ever since, so it was almost a natural decision to drop a HEMI into the Rolls-Royce.
Not wanting to settle for just any HEMI, the services of Ray Barton were solicited to put this 1350 horsepower engine together, and as Richardson tells us, “We basically had to build the car around the engine. We cut everything from the firewall below the windshield all the way to the back bumper.” He said the car is basically a custom Chris Alston chassis with a Silver Shadow body attached to it.
Suspension duty is handled by Ride Tech, while Wilwood brakes ride inside Billet Specialties Riviera wheels to do the stopping power. And unlike most blown HEMI hot rods that you see, this isn’t just a muscle car with a blower, it’s still sporting a Vintage Air air conditioning system, power steering and brakes, a tilt steering column, several TV screens and every inch of the roll bar has been baseball-stitched and covered with the same leather that Hot Rod Interiors used for the seats and interior.
While this car has “been there, done that” with the show circuit, including SEMA, it still deserves the accolades and praises for being an incredible build. We hear from Little Joe that Tod Weston even made a pass down the 1320, complete with wife and kid harnessed up and accompanying him on the pass.
Perhaps those across the pond aren’t too fond of what has been done to this Silver Shadow, but we love it and wanted to share it with you. Like we said, a nice set of wheels and a blower makes almost any car look awesome!