My personal belief that the absolute pinnacle of luxury in any car—the ability to take a comfortable and enjoyable bowel movement while inside the vehicle—is a view that is not shared by many. It’s also what justifies my strange love for RVs, and also why I think this strangely overstyled one-off 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith is so fascinating: because you can shit in it.
I mean, yes, we’ve proven you can shit in pretty much any car, but shitting in an appropriate, deliberate way while in a car, that is something rare and beautiful. That sentiment was likely something that American businessman Joseph Maschuch completely understood, because when he commissioned this custom-bodied Rolls-Royce from legendary Italian designer Alfredo Vignale, one of the requirements was that the car have a toilet under the rear seat.
The restyled Silver Wraith is a striking-looking car, if perhaps not such a lovely one. The proportions are genuinely odd, with the entire greenhouse looking like it had been accidentally slid backwards about a foot.
The front end is also somewhat strangely handled, with Rolls-Royce’s signature grille recessed into its own little compartment, and flanked on either side, like the back of a wing chair, by a pair of headlamps, the inner set of which had massive oversized bezels.
It’s also interesting to note that the 4.8-liter inline-six that powers this beast only makes about 125 horsepower, a touch less than a modern Honda Fit.
I don’t actually dislike the look of the car, but it’s not exactly attractive. It’s more like someone who is notably homely, but in such an interesting way that it actually makes them more compelling than if they were blandly attractive.
The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament here is unique in that the winged lady is kneeling, ostensibly to provide a better view of the road.
Of course, the kneeling chrome fairy may just have been a special request by the owner, since he had no shortage of other requests. For example, the engine block, cylinder head, generator, starter, air cleaner, carburetor, and intake manifold were all painted green, by request, for some deeply idiosyncratic reason.
The car is incredibly well-appointed, especially for the 1950s, including air-conditioning, a radio-telephone, a full bar, power seats, and, in one of the first installations of its kind, a television.
Then, of course, there’s the toilet.
Under the right rear seat cushion lurks the signature feature of this car, a specially-designed receptacle, complete with a golden flattened torus for a seat, that a determined human can void their bodily wastes into: a toilet.
There’s no fancy water-pump or flushing system here, just a mechanism to dump the wastes out the bottom of the car and onto the road, perhaps allowing the feature to function as a sort of anti-tailing deterrent, in a pinch.
It should be noted that all the auction listings for this car make note that the toilet was “only used as a champagne cooler,” though, let’s be real here, I’m not buying that for a second.
If you’re a wealthy captain of industry in the mid-1950s and you specially order a car to be built for you with a toilet, there’s no way in hell a bigshot like Joseph Maschuch didn’t take the opportunity to craft a dense, powerful dump in that thing and eject it, likely with glee, onto the road in front of some rival businessman’s estate.
He just had to, probably while smoking a Cuban cigar, grunting and straining like a gorilla trying to open a jar of olives.