We en­joy the Re­gency Em­press and put it fully to the test

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 Daily Driv­ing

If your com­mute to work in­volves tree­lined drive­ways, coun­try clubs and you live per­haps in the south of France, well then this well-ap­pointed ve­hi­cle could cope with that com­fort­ably. The stream­lined sweep of the body­work, the gen­er­ous cock­tail cab­i­net, fold­ing ta­bles and 14mpg fuel econ­omy all tell you that this isn’t re­ally a car that would en­joy sit­ting in your pre­ferred dis­count su­per­mar­ket car park. Lady Docker may have been driven in the car ev­ery day, but even The Queen and other Royal fam­ily mem­bers who have owned sim­i­lar cars pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle more stan­dard for ev­ery­day life.

2 IN The Ser­vice Bay

This car is sur­pris­ingly easy to work on; such is the build-qual­ity of the en­gine that even af­ter more than a decade rot­ting in a field, this par­tic­u­lar Re­gency could still be brought back to life. Parts are avail­able, al­though they can take time to source. In this in­stance, the head­lights took two years of trawl­ing though auto-jum­bles – thank you Stoneleigh – while the ex­haust had to be hand-built to fit and it took a sim­i­lar amount of time to fi­nalise. An abil­ity to French pol­ish is also handy, given the co­pi­ous amount of maple, but ev­ery­thing else is eas­ily worked on and well within the realms of the com­pe­tent home en­thu­si­ast.

3 On The Show Cir­cuit

This is very much a limou­sine in the tra­di­tional sense and, even though the gold leaf bright­work that adorned one or two other Lady Docker-in­spired cars may be a touch more im­pres­sive, there’s no doubt­ing the sheer mag­nif­i­cence of this im­pos­ing ma­chine. Given that so few ex­am­ples were built in the first place, you can rea­son­ably ex­pect to spend a good por­tion of your day at any given show ex­plain­ing to passers-by ex­actly what it is they’re look­ing at, and de­light­ing in re­veal­ing just how truly spe­cial it is. You’ll be revered for your good taste in mo­tor ve­hi­cles and won’t be short of a friend or three.

4 The Long WEEK­END

Given that the ca­pa­cious boot is ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing sev­eral large pic­nic ham­pers, a va­ri­ety of um­brel­las, shoot­ing sticks, a sad­dle or three and per­haps four or five top hats, even get­ting away to spend a month in the Riviera should be no prob­lem at all. This car was orig­i­nally de­signed with the coun­try house week­end re­treat in mind; sim­ply re­lax in the cos­set­ing com­fort of the rear com­part­ment, your del­i­cate cham­pagne glass rest­ing on the handy fold-down ta­ble while the driver spir­its you on­wards to your fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. His cap, by the way, is on the par­cel shelf – snake­skin, ob­vi­ously.

5 The B-road Blast

Even though this par­tic­u­lar car fea­tures the rare ex­tra of over­drive on top of the stan­dard four for­ward ra­tios, fit­ted for im­press­ing on the open road, B-roads may not be the ideal venue for the Re­gency. This is a pow­er­ful, heavy car that re­laxes around cor­ners as if set­tling into a comfy arm­chair. That be­ing said, as ca­pa­ble as this size­able car is of han­dling a de­cent amount of speed, it re­ally is more of a loner and wouldn’t be par­tic­u­larly happy among modern day traf­fic. It’s not one for dic­ing in and out of gaps… in­stead take it for gen­tle Sun­day morn­ing out­ings in the coun­try­side and it will treat you roy­ally.

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