jeudi 12 mai 2016

Market Finds – A Royal Flush

‘Fit for a King’ – be it for ceremonial duties or personal use, there’s no denying that, regardless of the kingdoms they rein, Royals love their cars. There are a great number of ex-Royal cars in the Classic Driver Market. We’ve chosen our five favourites…

The Queen’s Bentley Mulsanne

If you’re from the UK, you might have seen this Bentley Mulsanne before. Used by the Royal Household over a two-year period, it ferried the Queen to various high-profile events during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, including her first meeting with David Cameron’s cabinet at Number 10 Downing Street. Though some of the gadgets fitted to the car for its Royal duties have been removed, such as the police lights, communication system and coats of arms, the car still boasts a direct connection to Her Majesty the Queen – Britain’s longest reigning monarch. 

Prince Moulay Rachid’s Ferrari 275 GTS

Just last week we were proclaiming how great classic Ferraris look in green. Arguably one of the prettiest cars to ever emerge from the factory in Modena, the 275 GTS is no exception to the rule.This 1965 Pino Verde example was delivered new to Prince Moulay Rachid, the brother of King Hassan II of Morocco. After a subsequent spell in the USA during which it was painted red, the car returned to Europe in the late 1980s. Today, it’s presented back in its original shade of green with a burgundy interior that, though not original, complements the exterior colour wonderfully. 

The German State-visit Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet

Who’d have thought that after the First and Second World Wars, Queen Elizabeth II would one day opt for a German car in which to carry out her ceremonial duties. Sure enough, in 1965 Her Majesty enjoyed the use of this imposing Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman – believed to be the first of the ultra-exclusive ‘Landaulet’ models ever built – during a state visit to Germany in 1965. The choice of heads of state, Royalty and dictators alike, the Pullman is the perfect car for those wishing to make a statement, whatever it might be.

Prince Salman Bin Samad Abdulaziz Al Saud’s Lamborghini Countach

We wouldn’t ordinarily associate the Lamborghini Countach with Royalty, though we can think of few better cars for a playboy prince to make his presence felt. This 1992 Countach LP5000 S was supplied new via Lamborghini London to Prince Salman Bin Samad Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, specified in red with black leather – not ideal for use in the blistering Arabian sun, especially given the well-known hopelessness of the car’s air-conditioning system. It’s ironic that, after returning to England, the Countach was restored, repainted in white and fitted with white leather upholstery. The perfect desert spec, then, in a country that rarely enjoys perfect weather…

King Baudouin’s Vignale-bodied Aston Martin DB2/4

For the discerning Royal, only a unique coachbuilt vehicle will cut it. Kind Baudouin of Belgium chose Vignale to craft a body for his new Aston Martin DB2/4 chassis, and the result was nothing short of spectacular. Incorporating a number of the coachbuilder’s signature design cues (such as the egg-crate grille and the high chrome waistline) yet retaining the overall elegance and tastefulness of the DB2, the finished car was a job well done. Having just been restored to its former glory, the car presents an opportunity to own a one-off 1950s Aston Martin, just as suitable for the concours lawn as it is for historic road rallies. 
Numerous classic and modern cars are added to the Classic Driver Market every week. You can find them all listed here

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