Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games

Marmite Cars

May 17, 2013

We're driving back to London from Oxfordshire one Sunday evening, and suddenly we're playing tic-tac with a dark blue Rolls-Royce Camargue. On the M40. There's an interesting looking blonde dolly-bird in the back, shielded by half-drawn sun curtains; propped up on silk cushons, reading The Sunday Telegraph, and her chauffeur looks like a swarthy Italian gigilo: unshaven, 80's sun-glasses, unbuttoned shirt.

The Camargue is one of those cars. Marmite Cars, I call them. You either love the design, or loathe it. Personally, I happen to like it. If there ever was going to be a Lady Penelope car, this one has to be it. The Camargue was first introduced in 1975; designed for Rolls-Royce by Pininfarina, with coachwork by the famous old firm of Mulliner Park Ward. In its day it was the most expensive car in the world. It was produced in a very limited edition. Only 530 cars were made.

In 2010 it was voted one of the "ten worst cars in the world" by the readers of the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail. There's no accounting for taste, is there?

If the front is, perhaps, to the modern eye, a trifle clumsy, the side profile and rear is all sweeping elegance and svelte lines: this is a seriously grown-up machine. They're also still relatively affordable. But how long is that going to last? I'm currently saving up for one.



It’s a splendid car. I admit to childish envy pangs as you glided past our tinny little Alfa. Certainly cut a dash in the salburious envions of High Wycombe- I think it was. Would love to hear about the car’s history. If you can bothered, please do take time to email me. I’m now intrigued.


Posted by Luke Honey on February 01, 2015

The royal blue camargue is my car and that picture was taken in St emill ion in 2011. Very amused by the write up…very long story and amusing history with that car…I’m flattered by my m40 description…unfortunately I have to make a living in a rather more conventional manner…

Posted by HH on January 30, 2015

Nice post making some interesting points …

Posted by cd on August 04, 2013

Yes, that very dark blue- almost black- paint colour is terribly smart, isn’t it?

Posted by Luke Honey on June 18, 2013

I think it’s one very good-looking car, but what I might like almost as much as the design itself is that sublime midnight blue metallic finish in the top photo.

Dolly-bird might be my new favorite word.

Posted by The Peak of Chic on June 14, 2013

Post Comment