Rolls Royce cars have probably enjoyed
the most successful advertising campaign of all time.
The expression 'the Rolls Royce of XXXX' is enshrined in
the English language, despite the fact that the marque
was by no means ever the best car in the world. The
distinctive radiator grill was copied from another car,
the Sizaire Berwick, and indeed Rolls lost a civil
action against this company. Rolls was flamboyant and an
aviator. If he had lived longer I believe that the
marque would have taken a very different direction and
we would have seen beautiful 1930s aerodynamic models
which would have been really worth owning instead, for
the larger part, large garden sheds on wheels. He
certainly would not have continued with the monstrous
frontal area of the Rolls radiator grill!
Probably the prewar V12 model is the most
sought after, although maintenance is a problem. The
engine enjoyed some of the aviation experience of the
Post war cars have in my mind also been
universally ugly. The sole purpose of the car seeming to
be to isolate the owner from the rest of the ugly world.
I have never driven a Rolls that was even a pleasure to
drive, yet alone fun, and frankly every time that I
have, I have just experienced an over-riding feeling of
As for quality, the cars were certainly
not in a league of their own. During the post war years,
many car body repair shops would not undertake work on
these cars, as the period in the shop resulted in too
many 'bugs' developing before delivery to the owner.
I can only hope that VW, the new owners
will do something to redress the styling issues.