Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph


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It must have been the festive hoopla, but we all missed a bargain Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph in December. And not just any Seraph but Lord Sugar’s personal RR that featured in the first series of the apprentice wearing his number plate AMS 1 Bonhams at Olympia knocked down the mint, three-owner, fully historied ‘98 example for just £21,850. And it was in uber-cool factory black with grey hide, 79, 000 warranted miles, all books, manuals, tools and spare keys. A really proper thing. What were we thinking?

That price was almost twenty grand light compared to the much less famous Seraphs currently on offer. Similar-mileage cars start at the high £30k mark with Hanwells of London offering a 2001 with 74k for £42,950 and a 1998 left-hand drive with £72k for £39,950, so this one was very well bought indeed. Barons also had a Seraph in its December catalogue, an LWB 2001 with 88k, but the estimate was between £30 and £40k and it didn’t sell.

It’s worth remembering that RR only made 1540 Seraphs between 1998 and 2002, powered by BMW's 750I alloy V12 with the five-speed ZF auto, Lotus-designed suspension and Bosch electronics. List was a hefty £155k and that was one of 39 right-hand-drives built in ‘98. Maybe it’s early chassis number is why Lord Sugar kept it for seven years, not moving it on until 2005. Unlike the more numerous and contemporary Bently Arnage, the Seraph is more collectable as the first 12-cylinder Rolls since the Phantom in 2003.

This is an object lesson in scanning those auction catalogues well before the sale. The wobbly market is throwing up bargains like this every month and the enlightened buyer of Lord Sugar’s Seraph could easily take a £10k profit tomorrow. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again - there are some shiny opportunities out there if you just look hard enough. For missing this one we all deserved to be fired.