Pomegranate Luncheon and the Landgrave

Rolls-Royce revealed a custom-made car, the Sweptail, at Villa d’Este. What does DTW think?

2017 Rolls Royce Sweptail: source

The Sweptail draws inspiration from a 1925 car called the Phantom Round Door and takes a little from the Phantom II and has some Park Ward features (say, the 20/25 Limousine Coupé). I see a little 1971 Buick Riviera in the shape of the glasshouse but perhaps that car was also drawing on Rolls-Royce influences. Continue reading “Pomegranate Luncheon and the Landgrave”

Louwman Museum I : A Prince In Exile

DTW’s correspondent visits a museum and finds his perception challenged.

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Before I start on any negatives and disappointments let me make it clear that the Louwman Museum at Den Haag in the Netherlands is one of the best car museums in the World, possibly the best. Obviously that opinion is subjective and so is the collection, generally the choice of one family. For instance if you’re looking for BMWs, a single pre-war 328 represents many people’s favoured marque, but at least one DTW contributor would be pleased to find three Lloyd cars on show.  The collection tapers out as we get later into the last century and production cars of the 21st Century are illustrated by just a cutaway Prius. But in terms of giving a general overview of the earlier history of the motor car, one that entertains, intrigues and informs by mixing in a good amount of both the quirky and the outstanding, it would be very hard to beat.  Continue reading “Louwman Museum I : A Prince In Exile”

A photo for Sunday: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Here is a Silver Shadow with the glass compartment divider.

image

This car has caused me to reflect on the “shoebox” theme of many 60s cars. The gross form is very simple. All the interest is in the proportions and the detailing. In the middle is the medium level of the design where little deviates from the engineering minimum of large boxes for the engine, passenger cell and the boot. Rolls Royce could rely on opulent materials and lustrous finish to carry the argument that this could be called the world’s best car. Continue reading “A photo for Sunday: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow”

Theme: Romance – Wedding Cars

Romance leads to all sorts of things. Before the divorce comes the wedding. And that means a car to get the bride to the registry office. In the United Kingdom that probably means a Rolls-Royce in purest white.

1976 Rolls Royce silver shadow wedding cars
The white Rolls-Royce is desirable in the role of wedding car and uttely undesirable in any other role. Without looking up actual statistics, I’d guess a white Roller is worth less than any other colour apart from pink. It’s funny how people Continue reading “Theme: Romance – Wedding Cars”

Theme: Economy – When Money Is No Object

We have considered various ways to save money on cars. Now what about when the budget is so big you can see it from space? 

2008 Rolls-Royce Hyperion: blogspot.com
2008 Rolls-Royce Hyperion: blogspot.com

This is the 2008 Rolls-Royce Hyperion, designed and made to order by Pininfarina. It turned up for sale in the Middle East in 2012 and may have been sold for about six million dollars. The person who commissioned it, a Briton, presumably had a lot of say in how it looked. Continue reading “Theme: Economy – When Money Is No Object”

Looking back: 2003 Rolls Royce Phantom

This is the only car in this series still in production. Why might that be?

2004 Rolls Royce Phantom side
Well, progress at this level is slow. Or maybe you believe Rolls Royce who say customers don’t want change to be too frequent. When the coachwork was revised in 2012 R-R said: “Our customers don’t want a new car coming to market too often,” said Richard Carter , Rolls-Royce’s communications director. Or rather, after stumping up more than a third of a million pounds, they don’t want their cars looking out of date when the Mark II version is launched” (wrote the Telegraph in 2012). A quarter of a million pounds sterling. Almost six metres long. So tall you can’t Continue reading “Looking back: 2003 Rolls Royce Phantom”

Rooting in the Parts Bins – Again…

It’s always the way. You wait ages, then two incidences of Citroën SM’s tail lamp units crop up on the same week – on two vastly different cars.

Those SM tail lights again. Frua's Phantom Drophead. Image: onlycarsandcars
Those SM tail lights again. Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead by carrozzeria Frua. Image: onlycarsandcars

Firstly (as we saw earlier) on Maserati’s 1976 Kyalami, and now here on Frua’s 1977 Rolls Royce Phantom VI Drophead. Of course the common strand here is Frua themselves who plainly had a job lot of SM lens units knocking about. Regardless of the merits (or otherwise) of this vast open tourer’s aesthetics, it’s interesting to see how adaptable a humble lens unit such as this can be. I can’t help feeling I’ve seen the SM tail lamp elsewhere. Any thoughts? Continue reading “Rooting in the Parts Bins – Again…”

Theme: Evolution – The Rolls-Royce/Bentley L410 V8

Slow, incremental change could be said to represent one of the hallmarks of the Rolls Royce marque. Something similar could be said of its engine.

1998 Bentley Turbo RT: www.rrsilverspirit.com
1998 Bentley Turbo RT: http://www.rrsilverspirit.com

The L410 V8 engine was born in the early 50s with the role of powering Bentleys and Rolls-Royce cars. From the 50s to 1998 the engine found homes in cars of both brands. After BMW acquired Rolls-Royce (the name and nothing else), the engine then became the sole preserve of Bentley where it is still in use, very highly modified, in the Mulsanne. This engine has a rough parallel with the Buick V8 talked about recently, in that it is simply a very long lived V8. The differences are that the L410 is still in production and that nobody seems to have tried to use the engine in other commercial applications. Continue reading “Theme: Evolution – The Rolls-Royce/Bentley L410 V8”

Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 6

DTW Goes Hunting

RR Hunting Car 01

I’ve previously mentioned my fickleness regarding cars. In the morning I fancy a luxury barge, by the afternoon I want a beach buggy. Here is something that fills both criteria, a hunting car built for the King of Morocco by the ever resourceful Sbarro.

http://home.mobile.de/MICHAEL-FROEHLICH#des_51923131 Continue reading “Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 6”

Rolls Royce Unveil Some Brilliantly Purple Prose

It’s a slow day in the news department when the unveiling of a new name counts as reportable material. But the name in question is “Dawn”.

A 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn: favcar.com.
A 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn: favcar.com.

That’s not a new staff member at Rolls Royce but the name of their forthcoming drophead. This is what Rolls-Royce had to say: ‘Dawn’ perfectly expresses the character of the new Rolls-Royce. In its tentative, inchoate, anticipatory state, dawn is the world coming to light from the ethereal dark of the night. The early-day chill of dawn provides an erotic tingle on the skin, awakening the senses and passions as the day begins.

Like Eleanor Thornton, thought by many to Continue reading “Rolls Royce Unveil Some Brilliantly Purple Prose”

They’re All At It Now (nearly)

A recent announcement by Aston Martin that it will go off road soon confirms that the ranks of aristo SUV’s are now filled, just about. Anything is now possible.

2017 Rolls Royce Cullinan: techviewon.com
2017 Rolls Royce Cullinan: techviewon.com

The Cadillac Escalade arrived first in 1999, an SUV from a marque known for limousines and stately sedans. Because Cadillac’s brand value lay in the ditch by then, nobody minded much: more kitsch, they said. However, it was an inspirational move from a brand that has often – though unintentionally – led the way. Lincoln dressed up a Ford pick-up to make it into the Blackwood in 2001 and got a three year run before really piling on the trim for the 2005 Mark LT. Continue reading “They’re All At It Now (nearly)”

Kimona Over To My Place, Drive Here In Your Rolls

This year Rolls Royce is showcasing the things it is willing to do to its cars for its wealthier customers. A one-off car, the Serenity, will be shown at Geneva this year to this end.

2015 Rolls Royce Serenity interior concept drawing. Thanks to RRMC for the image.
2015 Rolls Royce Serenity interior concept drawing. Thanks to RRMC for the image.

The aqua leather and wooden accents work very well indeed. It might even be that the silk used extensively is fetching. I remain unconvinced by the Kimona-esque detailing in the roof that looks like a strange blood spatter rather than a delicate tree in blossom.

You can read Rolls Royce’s more generous description here:

Continue reading “Kimona Over To My Place, Drive Here In Your Rolls”

The Wraith Of Khan

This post actually involves neither Ricardo Montalbán nor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Instead, this is about a video presenting one of the few genuinely decadent motor cars on sale today, the Rolls-Royce Wraith. Unlike certain motion picture formats concerning the automobile, this little film isn’t about a tarred-and-feathered Rolls-Royce that has to cross the Gobi desert before the egg on its motor block has been fried to a crisp. It simply tries to understand the appeal of the car in its most likely habitat. And appeal it does, in a sense I personally find somewhat perplexing in this day and age of oversaturation. Continue reading “The Wraith Of Khan”

Theme : Cute Car Hall of Fame – FAB 1

Simon reveals his softer side.

Fab 1 Crop

I’ve asked myself if I can think of a large car that is ‘cute’ and, at present, can only think of one, but perhaps that is because this particular vehicle will always have a dominant place in my memories. In the late Seventies, I filled in for the European Motoring Correspondent on Soldier Of Fortune magazine when he was unavoidably detained for several months by the German security services. Apart from it being the introduction to my beloved Alvis Stalwart, when I tested one for the ‘Used and Bruised’ feature, that time also has more tender memories for me.

Continue reading “Theme : Cute Car Hall of Fame – FAB 1”