Ex-Muhammad Ali Rolls-Royce is a knockout 

Ex-Muhammad Ali 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Convertible with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward

A 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Convertible with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward, which was bought new by the boxing legend Muhammad Ali, is coming up for auction on October 8 when it is expected to fetch between £35,600 and £53,400.

The immaculate silver example is being sold by Bonhams as part of its annual Zoute sale at Knokke-Heist just outside Zeebrugge in Belgium.

The only three-time lineal heavyweight champion was still known as Cassius Clay when he bought the car new in New Jersey, USA for just over £12,000.

When he bought it, Clay was possibly still celebrating being re-awarded his boxing licence having had it taken away for refusing to be inducted in to the armed forces during the Vietnam War.

As punishment for his refusal to join the armed forces, he was stripped of both his boxing licence and passport for nearly five years.

Muhammad Ali and his close friend Diana Ross with the Rolls-Royce outside Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas before Ali’s fight against Joe Bugner in February 1973 Credit: Getty Images

In August 1970, the City of Atlanta granted him a licence and in October 1974 he took part in arguably the most famous boxing match of all time, The Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire, in which Ali knocked out previously undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman just before the end of the eighth round to regain the world title.

Ali’s fights regularly drew record audiences, including 1 billion television viewers for the Rumble in the Jungle and Thrilla in Manila (October 1975) and an estimated 2 billion for Spinks vs Ali in New Orleans in September 1978. 

The Silver Cloud Convertible has never been restored and looks as good today as it did almost 50 years ago when Ali bought the car Credit: Simon Clay

The Rolls-Royce packs a similar punch. Despite weighing in at more than two tonnes, the Silver Cloud can reach almost 120mph. In typical Rolls-Royce style, the maximum power output of the V8 engine was never announced, with the factory merely stating that it was “sufficient”.

The car was owned by Ali for several years – he was a known Rolls-Royce enthusiast and owned many during his life – before being purchased by an enthusiast in Holland where the car has remained ever since.

It has never been completely restored and is in beautifully original condition – even the optional headrests are still in place.

Ali was a fan of Rolls-Royce and owned several

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