A chicken bankrupted Rolls-Royce, and the Corniche kept them relevant.

In the late 60s, Rolls-Royce were busy making cars and jet engines (amongst other things). The jet engine department, flush with cash and engineering know-how, decided to try and make the most technically advanced turboprop, the RB211. This game changer was resoundingly more efficient and better power to weight ratio, which was accomplished by making the fan blades of carbon fiber. This glorious engine was going to change the world! Or so was the thought, until the QA team (intentionally) fired a chicken at a spinning turbine. The resulting crunching sound was a perfect metaphor for the stock price.

Right about that time the Corniche was introduced (mostly to differentiate it from the Silver Shadow nameplate). The look and style of a driver’s RR fit the rock-and-roll lifestyle, making it a hot commodity among the nouveau riche. This provided much-needed cash flow, as well as keeping their marque on the roads as well as in the paper.