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Lot 177: Rolls-Royce Carmague

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

Before the introduction of the Silver Shadow in October 1965, Rolls-Royce motor cars had traditionally employed a separate chassis, which allowed a variety of coachwork designs. The brief for the Shadow, however, had demanded a modern design, alower and more compact successor to the Silver Cloud III, which dictated unitary construction, a monocoque bodyshell. But while this could logically have reduced the individual coachwork styles available from Crewe, it proved to be far from the case. Mechanically, the Shadow was similar to the Cloud III bar the adoption of independent rear suspension - notably improving road holding and ride comfort, and also allowing greater interior space - while the V8 engine was enlarged from 6,230cc to 6,750cc in July 1970. Eight months later the 125 mph Corniche was introduced, the fastest Rolls-Royce yet with 10% more power; it also benefited from air conditioning, central locking and rack and pinion steering.

The chauffeur was becoming an increasingly rare breed during the 1960s and 70s, so the market was turning to expensive personal, or owner-driver, cars, regardless of price  in some ways and for certain markets, the more expensive the better. Consequently the Corniche was ousted as the Rolls-Royce flagship, however, by the arrival in March 1975 of the opulent Camargue. Its mechanical specification was similar but the coachwork, for the first time on a production Rolls-Royce, bore the unmistakable signature of Sergio Pininfarina. Sporting and angular with sharp lines in the idiom then current, it was wider and lower than the Corniche. The interior was spacious and opulent, with more than a hint of the private jet about the instruments and the elaborate seats, and the huge doors made entry and exit astonishingly easy for a car with just two of them. This most luxurious of Rolls-Royces was intended to be highly distinctive and aimed at the wealthy owner driver - it scored on both counts, costing no less than �10,000 more than the Corniche when launched, and the air conditioning system alone was said to cost more than a new Mini! Production finally ceased in 1986, just 530 of these stylish Rolls-Royces having been built during an eleven year run.

This is a truly astonishing example, which certainly warrants that frequently abused term 'irreplaceable'. It must be without doubt the lowest mileage Carmargue in existence, having covered only 832 miles in the hands of one owner from new.

The car is offered by the late owner's son who recounts how his father accepted the Camargue as resolution of a dispute with the Rolls-Royce company, but then discovered that it was pretty difficult to use on the narrow roads of the Channel Islands and as a consequence hardly ever used it. The car remains totally original in every respect, with metallic bronze coachwork and a brown vinyl roof; the interior is tan hide with brown piping.

It was last serviced 10 years ago, when a new exhaust and new tyres were fitted. This is a rare, not to say unique opportunity to acquire a virtually delivery mieage example of one of the rarest post-war Rolls-Royce cars in totally original condition.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
TypeCar
Lot Number177
Estimate£30000-£40000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£46600
Year1982
Condition rating0
Registration number68148
Mileage-
Chassis numberH03364/SCAY
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2