Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Worst

My final contender for the worst car ever may be a surprise to many of you. It's a car I own and adore. It was built during the heyday of British labor troubles. It's from the era which demanded Maggie Thatcher's rise from obscurity. My contender, the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and its kissing cousin, the Bentley T.

To my eye the Bentley T is beautiful. It's iconic. It's driving your den. 19 cows died to provide the leather interior. A tree was felled to book match the wood. An engine virtually unchanged since the war wafts you through traffic. Let the proles worry about the 8 miles per gallon. You are above the masses in your Rolls Royce.

So what's not to love? Unlike many old cars the RR/B demands your respect. You ignore this car at your peril. IT WILL KILL YOU IF IGNORED TOO LONG.

Most cars, you roll to the back of the garage, shine it up and pull it out on a sunny day, drive for a couple of hours, put it back into the garage unthought of for several months, and then do it again. Do that in a Shadow and your friends will read about your grieving family.

Several super secret RR safety features will bite the unwary so hard they will never come unloose. For instance, if the engine is turned off, the car HAS NO BRAKES. Should you push a Rolls out of the way, it may not stop.

Put her in neutral, give her a push, not only will the brakes not work, you won't be able to force it into gear to stop. Won't go. A bad alternator can get you killed.

There are at least 5 other hidden yet instant killers on these cars. Uninitiated shoppers can find old Shadows pretty cheap. It's a false economy. I love mine, but I respect it more.

So why do I keep mine? I'm looking forward to the day our children take away our keys. In my fantasy world, I plan to become a sorority service project. We'll sellect a sorority, and each pledge will become our chauffeur for a week.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, about 12:30, a young lady will come over, fire up Camilla, help Mrs. T and I into the car, drive us to the library and then off to lunch. On the way home we can stop at the grocery or post office. Old people love that.

I'd do it today but it would be a real tough sell. At home and the sorority house.



Kathy said...

Beautiful car. Had no idea of the dangers, other than needing independent wealth.

Gladys said...

My next door neighbor had one for years. He offered to drive me from my first wedding to my reception in it. Only problem...I didn't have a reception :)

ADG said...

Toad...who works on that thing for you?

Toad said...

I live a mile or so from a dealer, but prefer a shop that has worked on these for 30 years.

Sartre said...

"Sorority service project" -- sounds like a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. On another point, you surely would not say, "...a young lady will come over, fire up Camilla, help I into the car..." so why do you say "...a young lady will come over, fire up Camilla, help Mrs. T and I into the car..."? Anyone of your standing should know the difference between the subjective and objective.