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Autotrader Find: 1981 Rolls-Royce That's Cheaper Than a Nissan Versa

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author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2017

Today's Autotrader Find is one of the most tempting -- and, yet, not so tempting -- vehicles we've ever listed. It's a 1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit for $13,950, which makes it less than a Nissan Versa. Less than a Kia Rio. Less than a Ford Fiesta. For a Rolls-Royce!!!

Before I get into my thoughts about this, here are the particulars. This is a 1981 Silver Spirit, and it's offered by a private seller near Palm Beach for $13,950. It's traveled roughly 109,000 miles, and it features a burgundy exterior with a tan leather interior. Both the interior and exterior seem to have the usual wear for a car that's been well-kept (but has traveled 109,000 miles), and the thick lamb's wool floor mats are included in back.

On one hand, this is highly tempting. Despite its age, this Rolls still has all the stately charm of, well ... a Rolls. It still looks the part, and it isn't even that far out of date, as the flagship Rolls-Royce model has changed designs just twice since this thing came out. More importantly, it's all just fourteen grand! What would you rather have? A modern economy car with plastic all over the interior? Or rear floor mats made out of one-inch-thick lamb's wool?!?!?!

But then you consider the downside. Namely, the fact that a 30-year-old Rolls-Royce may be cheap to buy, but it probably won't be cheap to own. Or use. Or fuel. Or repair. Or maintain. This isn't a car you can just take down to the local Chevy dealer and tell 'em to replace the window regulators. Stuff in this Rolls-Royce simply isn't cheap.

So, this is a hard decision. I think we must hope for the best possible outcome, namely: It's purchased by someone we know, and they let us drive it occasionally, but we don't have to spend any money keeping it running.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: 1981 Rolls-Royce That's Cheaper Than a Nissan Versa - Autotrader