PCH, Fuel Prices Don't Mean A Damn Thing Edition: Rolls-Royce Or Bentley?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Fuel Prices Don't Mean A Damn Thing Edition: Rolls-Royce Or Bentley?

The Smokey & The Bandit II cachet, coupled with the challenges inherent in a compu-Q-Jet-ized turbocharged Pontiac 301, handed the Indy 500 Pace Car Turbo Trans Am a solid 60/40 win over the Saab 99 Turbo in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, giving Detroit bragging rights- if that's the right term- over Järfälla for the day. Today, we're going to look at the price on the gas pump and laugh! You see, if you want to flaunt your success to the world, you need to light your Cuban cigars with $100 bills (since Tricky Dick pulled all the higher-denomination bills from circulation in 1969, the C-note is the best you can do) and drive a vintage British luxury machine that drinks high-octane gazoline the way Winston Churchill chug-a-lugged fine brandy!


Hasn't every true car geek toyed with the idea of buying a genuine Roller? You'd be able to contemplate the insect-like scurrying of the proles from the leather-and-hardwood comfort of your own living room on wheels, chuckling indulgently at the lesser beings in their above-their-station Benzes and nouveau-riche Acuras. It's a fine dream, all right, but even a project Rolls-Royce costs at least 15 grand. Right? Welcome to the recession, folks- you can now buy this 1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur for only $6,950 (and maybe a lot less, as the seller has unwisely disclosed "I am in the car about $5000 and want to make a profit," which isn't the best bargaining position during tough economic times). Just look at this beauty- why, there's no evidence of fire or high-speed collision, and we're sure you'll have no problem fixing the rust. Even the hood ornament is still there! The interior might be something of a challenge, since the seller says it's "blue leather and not in good shape" (in car-seller-ese, that translates to "a pack of coyotes was storing roadkill raccoon carcasses inside, until chased off by all the yellowjacket nests in the A/C vents") and the condition of the wood doesn't sound much better. As for mechanicals, the car had been sitting for "over four years" (probable translation: 15 years), but the seller "put a new battery in it, fresh gas and it started right up." What could go wrong? This car sold for $116,000 new!

What are you, some crass insta-tycoon who struck it rich selling travel stomach pumps that plug into a car's lighter outlet? The forgotten third cousin of a Qatari oilman? You wouldn't be caught dead in a Rolls-Royce from the Malaise Era! No, what you need is a genuine postwar Bentley, from a beat-to-hell Britain that was still digging itself out from the wreckage of the Blitz. They still had wartime-style food rationing in the UK in 1950, so you have to figure an ostentatious luxury car back then made a statement about your rightful place in the social order. Why, you could toss a few shillings out the window as you pass the wretches gnawing their stale breadcrusts at the roadside and bask in the warm glow of your munificence! Thing is, fast-forward to 2008 and- while it's no sweat finding wretches to receive your shillings- it's tough to find a postwar Bentley that's still a project; all you get is those damn concours machines, and where's the hell fun there? Fortunately, Jalopnik is on the case, and we've found this 1950 Bentley Mark VI for you. The seller says it's an "SS1," whatever that is, but there's no arguing with that crazy price: 8,500 bucks! Much like the Silver Spur, it's been sitting for years, yet- miracle of miracles!- started right up. You'll have that big F-head six purring in no time! Then you'll be able to start on the body, which we admit needs some TLC. It appears that the interior isn't so bad, though the blurry photographs make it tough to be sure (where do car sellers get these terrible cameras?), and you should be able to find any missing component on eBay.uk for next to nothing. We're making this too easy!

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My guess is the guy found the Rolls after he evicted the previous owner/tenant. That would explain the "Found in a back yard" The $5000 that he is "into it" is the back rent the previous owner/tenant owed. You could probably find 2 or 3 more sub $10k Rolls to put together to get one that is 75% complete. With the Bentley, get used to an 8 hour+ time difference to talk to your parts supplier, if you are lucky.