1954 Rolls-Royce: Conspicuous Absence of Taste

Whenever I do get a chance to sneak back across the fence and put together an article for Hooniverse, I usually try and write about a car I like. I try and restrict my selections to vehicles that are particularly beautiful, or somehow strangely awesome, or have somehow captured my imagination.

This particular vehicle has definitely captured my imagination. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing.

Believe it or not, this is a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, available for sale in Etobicoke, Ontario. Or, rather, it was a Silver Wraith. According to the seller, who claims to be listing it for a friend, the body modifications were done in the 1970’s, at a cost of $250,000. Let’s be totally clear here; if someone paid that much in, say, 1973, that sum of money would be roughly equivalent to $1.2 – 1.4 million today. And, it bears pointing out, the resulting mess looks like it was fuelled by a combination of cocaine, carnival and dekotora.

Seriously. This is a dekotora truck. Tell me you don’t see the similarities.

This may be the most awful bastardization of a Rolls-Royce I have ever seen. The fact that someone could hate cars enough to bring themselves to do this to something as beautiful as a Rolls-Royce just hurts my heart. I don’t often advocate the destruction of a car, but this one comes close.

And yet, at the same time, I’m having a dilemma there as well. Because somehow, this gargoyle, this monstrosity, this… thing is just so bloody awful, I’m starting to like it. It is horrible. It is awful. And there’s something that’s kind of awesome about that.

Because while it’s a thumb in the eye to those of us who love the beauty and artistry inherent in a fine car’s curves, it’s also a huge running-wind-up kick-in-the-junk to those purists who strut around car shows, puffed up on their own self-importance, clucking and tut-tutting if the white-wall on a car’s tire is 27mm, rather than the correct 27.138mm that would have shipped from the factory.

This car is like being the guest of honour at a black-tie event in the heart of Manhattan, and showing up in a mullet and tuxedo t-shirt. And let’s face it, there’s something awesome about caring SO little about what other people think that you’d rock a style in spite – or because – of its complete absence of taste.

I’m still not buying this thing though.

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