To own a Rolls Royce has been one of my dreams since I was 10 years old and first saw one at the Royal Adelaide Show on a visit to Adelaide during the September school holidays. That meant travelling in a steam train from Mt Gambier, a small country town at the bottom of South Australia, and changing from narrow gauge to broad gauge during the trip.
I was very impressionable in those days when anything looked wonderful and classy to me. That included steam trains, Adelaide with buildings 10 storeys tall, trams and trolley buses, and the Royal Show and the Rolls Royce and Bentley.
These days I’m more cynical. “Handsome is a handsome does.” is something I’ve always remembered from my 20’s at work, when I mentioned to a lady that one of the young women there was beautiful looking. The lady was much wiser than me and she didn’t see a beautiful young woman. She saw a married woman who flirted at the office parties, and as I learned later, cheated on her husband. (For the record, they are now long ago divorced.)
Anyway, handsome is as handsome does, and some 20 years ago I pulled into a service station to top my car up with petrol, and I found my doctor of the day at another pump, with a Rolls Royce.
During my next visit to that doctor I asked him about the Rolls. He told me that he’d bought it for $40,000 as a used car, and it was the biggest mistake of his life as the cost of maintaining it was bleeding him dry.
The good news is that Jeremy Clarkson, in a recent Top Gear episode, rated the latest Rolls Royce Phantom as truly “The Best Car in the World.”