Rolls-Royce Ca­mar­gue

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Con­tents - Nick Larkin

EN­GINE 6750cc/V8/OHV POWER 190bhp@4000rpm TORQUE 290lb ft@2500rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 119mph 0-60MPH 10sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 10-14mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed au­to­matic MoT April 2018 ODOME­TER 52,251 miles

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? Here is an un­ri­valled driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, which even the most out­ra­geous over-use of the words ‘cos­set­ing’ and ‘re­fine­ment’ would fail to de­scribe. Imag­ine a Sil­ver Shadow taken apart and fit­ted with ex­tra damp­ing, sound­proof­ing and thicker steel, and you might be there. Ev­ery el­e­ment, from the light yet pre­cise steer­ing to the V8 en­gine’s un­flap­pable na­ture, are in­tended to of­fer the most re­lax­ing driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence imag­in­able. The big­gest shock, though, is how well this car han­dles and how solid it feels on the road. This ex­am­ple has ob­vi­ously been so well main­tained. The power steer­ing is very good and per­for­mance from the 6750cc en­gine is su­perb. This 6ft 3in wide car seems to shrink in size as you make spir­ited progress.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The Ca­mar­gue shines in its high­qual­ity metal­lic green re­spray, which we un­der­stand was its orig­i­nal colour, though the car was painted gold at some stage. Some body re­pairs have been car­ried out, but there is no no­table ev­i­dence of this. The sills are painted black but we could find no sign of weld­ing or other re­pairs. The chrome is in ex­cel­lent or­der too – even a bumper would cost a for­tune to re­fur­bish.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

We are deeply im­mersed in the best leather 1970s money could buy and it is in ut­terly pris­tine con­di­tion. The same goes for the wood trim, the door trims and the bizarre ribbed head­lin­ing. We even found that the split-level air con­di­tion­ing/ heat­ing sys­tem pi­o­neered on this car works. There are many elec­tri­cally-op­er­ated/as­sisted items on this car, in­clud­ing the gearchange, but all seems well. And fi­nally, the car­pets are so plush it’s al­most as if they’re reach­ing up to your an­kles!

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The un­der­bon­net scene is beau­ti­fully pre­sented. The en­gine springs into life with ease and runs beau­ti­fully. There are no signs of over­heat­ing, even in stop-start traf­fic. A com­plete ab­sence of leaks and squeaks sug­gest that all the an­cil­lar­ies are do­ing their jobs prop­erly and there are no signs of rust or con­tam­i­na­tion on the in­ner wings or the bits of the bulk­head that we could see. The Ca­mar­gue was the world’s most ex­pen­sive pro­duc­tion car (£29,250 in Bri­tain) when new in 1975 and only 531 were built. Its styling finds more favour now than when it was new. The only down­side is that although there are some HR Owen ser­vice stamps from the early days, its re­cent his­tory has been mis­laid. How­ever, the pre­vi­ous owner, from whose es­tate the car comes, was renowned for be­ing a per­fec­tion­ist and the Ca­mar­gue has just gone straight through an MoT with­out is­sues.

The best leather money could buy in the 1970s…

The V8 en­gine, too, is in glo­ri­ous con­di­tion.

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