The “Best” Rolls-Royce: The Belfast Boy’s Silver Shadow


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

It’s a quote we never tire of repeating, because it’s just so damn perfect: “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”  So said George Best,

the Belfast-born professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team, won the 1968 European Cup, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. Nor was he merely making a bon mot. The James Hunt of football lived a life most men can only dream of, never bothered pinching pennies, and never settled for less than the best – as who could not with a last name like that?

Best’s car collection was quite impressive, and included a Lotus Europa, a Lotus Elan, and a pair of Jaguar E-Types.  But his poshest ride was a cocaine-white 1972 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, which H&H Classics will auction off at its Duxford sale on October 12 at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire. With a powerful 6750cc V8 engine it was stately but damned quick off the mark. Best, who never minded a bit of publicity, was photographed by the Daily Mirror with his new wheels in December 1972. Expected to fetch up to $20,000, it’s a steal and something you could actually drive around in regal style rather than relegate to a dusty car vault. Georgie would have wanted it that way….

Words by JPS for duncan quinn