When somebody says, “Hey, look at that ’70 Hemi RR” you would normally expect your eyes to be drawn to a Hemi-powered Plymouth of the Road Runner variety. Amiright? Not this time.
This is a story about some lunatics who put a big blown Hemi into a 1970 Rolls Royce. Yes, a Rolls Royce. From England. And a Ray Barton Hemi at that. All 1350-horsepower of Ray Barton Hemi. But that’s the way Florida attorney Tod Weston wanted his Silver Shadow spruced up, or should we say Hemi-fied.
Little Joe’s Street Rod Shop in North Carolina basically took the Barton Hemi and combined it with a Chris Alston racecar chassis. Then – miracle of miracles – they stretched, cajoled, hammered and fitted the Rolls body down over all that badass engineering. What you’re looking at is the most over-engineered hybrid of American-Anglo hardware since Carroll Shelby shoe-horned a Ford V8 into an AC Ace and called it a Cobra.
And yet, somehow, Little Joe’s managed to retain the refined English accent of this most British of British luxury yachts. The suspension is air-ride smooth. The air conditioning blows cold as a Welsh wind. There’s supple hand-stitched leather everywhere – even around the roll bar. There are cupholders big enough to hold a bottle of champagne. Yesiree, this Silver Shadow stops and goes like a racecar but will impress the most pampered behind with its luxury touches.
The question is not why do this to a Rolls Royce? The question is, why hasn’t someone done this before? It’s so cool! There’s even a rumor that Tod and his family took this thing down the quarter-mile. The whole family. Now that’s having your Grey Poupon and eating it too – Mopar-style.