Magenta 1971 Rolls-Royce Corniche Linked To An Unsolved Murder


The Rolls-Royce Corniche was first produced in 1971 to replace the Silver Shadow coupe. It was in production for an astounding twenty-four years, ending in 1995. And similar to its predecessor, a number of celebrities bought and drove it.

Aristotle Onassis, Helen Brach, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, and Paul McCartney are just a few of the well-known figures with a Corniche in their garages.

Granted, the latter wasn’t as famous as Elton John or Frank Sinatra, but I’ve included her name here for two reasons. First, she owned this really cool 1971 Corniche finished in a special-order magenta color. Called Brach Candy Purple, this hue is unique. Second, Helen Brach created quite a stir when she disappeared without a trace in 1977. And she was never found.

Known as the “Candy heiress,” Helen Brach married Frank Brach, son of Emil J. Brach and heir to the E. J. Brach & Sons Candy Company. When her husband died in 1970, she inherited a multi-million-dollar fortune and got involved in the horse trade.

Brach mysteriously disappeared in 1977, and even though an investigation concluded that she was murdered, her body was never found. She was declared legally dead in 1984, and her case was linked to the “Show jumping horse killings scandal” that emerged in the early 1970s.

She may have discovered an insurance fraud scheme operated by the Chicago Mafia, according to investigators, which resulted in her kidnapping and murder. Owner of a horse stable Richard Bailey was accused of plotting Brach’s murder more than ten years later, but he was found not guilty. In the end, he received a 30-year prison sentence for tricking her.


This stunning 1971 Corniche was parked in front of her Glenview, Illinois, estate when she vanished. In 2022, the Rolls-Royce appears to be in perfect condition and is up for auction through Mecum Auctions, hoping to find a new home.

A low-mileage convertible with only 16,000 miles (25,750 km) on the odo, this Corniche was custom-ordered in an attention-grabbing magenta color that Rolls-Royce dubbed Brach Candy Purple. It was paired with a white top and a matching interior with Magenta piping and carpeting.

While the car is said to come with documentation, there’s no word if the Corniche was restored or simply kept in pristine condition in a heated garage for five decades. Given that it looks like it just left the Rolls-Royce factory, I’d say this classic was refreshed at some point.

Under the hood of this Rolls-Royce model from the inaugural year is a 6.75-liter V8 engine. When new, the mill was rated at 200 horsepower and paired with a three-speed automatic gearbox. It seems to be in like-new condition as well.

If you’re into brightly colored candies, showy classics, or a bit of intriguing Chicago true-crime history.