Rolls Royce used to promote by saying that, in motion, the only thing you could hear was the clock ticking. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Flying Spur is a prime opportunity to test that claim. That is if nobody howls over the price.
In selling cars, as in life, presentation is everything. In the case of the Factory Five Racing Cobra we looked at yesterday, that presentation was wanting. An engine bay showing obvious signs of past cooling system issues and too-modern wheels were the car’s downfall. Not helping was the $33,900 asking price. That also fell in an 83 percent No Dice loss.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of yesterday’s Cobra was its hand-built nature. Everything about the car save for the drivetrain had been arts and crafted into existence. Few production cars can make that same claim. Today’s 1995 Rolls-Royce Flying Spur is one that can
By the time a mutual friend introduced Charles Rolls to Henry Royce in 1904, the latter had already built four automobiles under his own name. Rolls at the time was importing other people’s automobiles from France and selling them through his dealership, C.S. Rolls & Company. When not asking prospective buyers “what could I do to put you in this car today,” Rolls avidly pursued a hobby as an aviator. It would be that hobby that would prove his downfall as Rolls became notable for being the first Briton to die in an airplane crash. He was only 32 years old at the time, and the year was 1910. Fourteen years Rolls’ senior, Henry Royce outlived his partner by another 23 years, finally succumbing to failing health in 1933.
By then, however, Rolls-Royce Ltd. had established itself as one of the preeminent builders of high-quality, cost-no-object motor vehicles, not just in Great Britain, but in the world. Every car that has followed has strived to live up to the legacy set by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.
This 1995 Rolls-Royce Flying Spur does look to be about as fancy a car as you could imagine. The staid, elegant bodywork is fronted by the marque’s most recognizable styling element, a Parthenon-inspired grille topped with the iconic Flying Lady mascot. Painted in a dignified cream and accented by copious amounts of brightwork along with chrome-plated wheels, it still presents an air of dignity and solemnity.
Of course, that timeless exterior style is intended to impress others. It’s the Connolly Leather, wool carpet, and wood-trimmed interior that seeks to impress those lucky enough to be ensconced in the car’s cabin. Everything in here, from the handsome contrasting upholstery piping to the fold-down picnic tables in the back looks to be in decent shape. Marring the experience somewhat, there is some entry scuffing on the driver’s seat base and some ludicrously fluffy floor mats with which to contend.
The Flying Spur weighs in at a portly 5,452 pounds and that requires a good bit of oomph to move around. That oomph is provided by a 6.75 liter pushrod V8 which in the Flying Spur featured a turbocharger. Famously, Rolls-Royce never published power specifications for the engine, choosing instead to describe it as being “adequate” to the task. Contemporary estimates peg actual output at somewhere around 360 horsepower.
A four-speed automatic transmission sourced from General Motors does shifting duties here. According to the ad, that combo has pushed the car a mere 33,667 miles.
Only 92 Flying Spurs with left-hand drive were ever built, making this a fairly rare automobile. Being a Rolls-Royce, it should also be expected to be fairly dear to maintain. At $10,000, this one is surprisingly affordable to buy, but that price comes with a couple of caveats. The first is an ad that is alarmingly light on the details. The seller says that the car is in “excellent condition” but then claims that they “need it gone.” One person’s excellent is another’s nightmare, so take that with a grain of Grey Poupon. The other issue is a missing title. The seller claims to have proof of ownership, but in many areas buying this car will require some DMV calisthenics and the participation of the selling party to make it right.
What do you think, is $10,000 a fair price to consider an automobile that’s so luxurious and stately but comes with some unknown history, and without a title? Or, is that just too much to take on?
H/T to Bill Lyons for the hookup!
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