Bargains come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in the second hand car market these days but I wonder if there are many bigger – both literally and figuratively – than the one I spent yesterday swanning around in.
It looks like a new Rolls-Royce Phantom, it goes like a new Rolls-Royce Phantom and it feels like a new Rolls-Royce Phantom. But it’s not: it’s actually a six-year-old Rolls-Royce Phantom with 47,000 miles on its oh-so-elegant clock. That’s why it’s being advertised for £105,000 instead of the £264,000 you’d need to stump for a new one.
The vendor is adamant that the price is non-negotiable, but rare is the dealer who is not swayed into at least a small reduction by the sight of briefcase full of readies, so given that there are even older Phantoms than this in existence in much less pleasant colour schemes, the prospect of securing one for a five-figure sum seems real.
Is it worth it? That’s an answer I’ll save for the story that will shortly be appearing in the magazine, but suffice to say for now that however much I might last week have admired the men and women of Goodwood who created the Phantom’s interior, it’s nothing compared to the regard I have for them today.
And if you are one of the lucky few who actually own one of these machines and you think your leather looks good now, wait until it’s been lived on for six years. Like a fine claret, it only improves with age.