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