Having just read the April edition of your magazine, showing the exploits of B. M. Russ-Turner’s Bentley Corniche in the VSCC Pomeroy Trophy, I would like to mention the exploits of a Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible, that I have just been a passenger in, on a continental tour.
On the return journey from Spain to England using the Paris-Lyon autoroute, we did the journey from the Spanish/French border near Perpignon to Le Havre starting at 12.45 p.m. and reaching Le Havre at 9.25 p.m. in time for dinner. During the journey on the autoroute we were cruising at 115-120 m.p.h. with bursts up to 126 m.p.h., and I am told by the driver that he thought that 126 m.p.h. was well under its maximum speed, which he guesses to be 130 m.p.h. We had an interesting duel on a long straight almost deserted autoroute, with a Mercedes Benz 350 SL Automatic driven by a passionate (if that is the correct word) Italian driver, with a wide range of signs and expressions. We finally edged past him at 126 m.p.h., and from the look of disgust on his face I feel a M-B 350 SL Auto will shortly be for sale. A BMW 3.0 (automatic?) received similar treatment. One felt proud to be British, a pride that soon stopped when one was changing sterling for Pesetas at 140 to the £. During the whole journey through France, I was so comfortable in my front seat that I did not leave it until we reached Le Havre.
We had a couple of interesting incidents on our journey. An official at the Spanish border called us “feelthy capitalists,” in a good natured way, he then explained that a Corniche costs something ridiculous like £30,000 in Spain. Also in Gandia a friendly policeman held up the town traffic for us while we loaded various purchases into the boot. On return to the car a large Spanish lady was found to be hugging and kissing “the Spirit of Ecstasy”, the reason for this is unknown, perhaps she thought it was the Virgin Mary?
As a Rolls-Royce fanatic I would like to know why every motoring journal one reads has test reports of the latest “souped up, GT striped, lightened”, blasted BMW. I forget if Motor Sport has published a road test of a Corniche, but I know that neither of the two best known weekly journals have tested a Corniche, yet between them they have tested 14 BMW’s! Are their editors biased or just Germans? I admit BMWs are good cars, but so is the Corniche a superlative car. So what about a present of a nice long road test of a Corniche in Rolls-Royces’ hour of need. I must sign off so I can meditate how exactly I will commit suicide if a certain foreign company buys Rolls-Royce. Throw myself under a Mercedes-Benz perhaps?
M.J.S. Eades – Guernsey.
[Over to Rolls-Royce Motors’ Publicity Dept.—Ed.]