The Spirit Of Ecstasy

 

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The Spirit of Ecstasy is, as car afficionados know, the name for the radiator cap mascot of the Rolls Royce motor cars. They have been affixed to many different models in their time atop the square chrome radiator grille just above the RR badge. They would be prime targets for vandals to steal except for the fact that they are on a spring and the owners take care not to park their Rollers out the back of the Langford Arms on Prawn and Fight Night.

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This example of the make was purchased by a mining magnate for his wife, made the rounds of a least two continents, and has finished up back here in Perth in kind hands. A short ride in it was instructive and fun.

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The seats are overstuffed in the fine furniture manner with multi-adjustable arm rests. They are comfortable but surprisingly are smaller than expected. I’ve seen a few mining magnates and their wives in my time and some of the ones observed would have been squeezing…I was fine, however, as was the present owner of the car. Still, it is a smaller vehicle inside than common conjecture might suggest. Smaller outside as well, and a point that will have to be remembered if I ever add a Rolls Royce to the 1:18th scale car collection – it may not look as impressive as it is in the scale.

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Never mind – what it does not have in giant interior space it makes up for in either luxury or quirk. Perhaps that is a strong term – as this make is always referred to as the Rolls Royce of cars…perhaps its designs should be taken as the standard and everything else measured accordingly. If that is to be the case some modern designers had better start re-drawing the controls on their dashboards. Indeed they had better start specifying wood instead of plastic, metal, or other materials for the construction of the interiror. Start planting trees now!

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It would be unthinkable for a Rolls Royce intended for use in a hot climate to leave its passengers at the mercy of the sun, so there is a strong air conditioner and a vent in the usual place. It worked strongly at 12:30. It is also pretty much a given that a sedan of this nature would use an automatic transmission to shift gears and in this case it is back in the traditional location around the steering column. If I understood correctly there is an electromechanical system that takes the heavy work out of shifting the indicator arm from D to N or R so anyone can drive it with ease.

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One surprise about the interior is the plain nature of the wheel and horn. I sort of expected more flash there or at least some internal advertising of the maker. Perhaps Detroit has spoiled us with plastic spinners wood rims, and chrome wheels. Or perhaps the chap at Rolls who made the wood wheels died of old age.

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At any rate the car apparently gives no trouble at all and as I found out does indeed ride smoothly. The A/C was on so the famous quiet interior was a little noisy but the luxury was still there. One hopes that it will continue for a long time.

 

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The engine bay was an extra treat – though routine maintenance and spark plug changes would require layered operations. Thank goodness there was enough power in the 6.8 Litres to turn that A/C compressor.

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