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Sportiness is no Ghostly Apparition with the Wraith
Rolls-Royce is one of the most famous automakers in the world. This storied British brand is best known for building obscenely lavish cars, motoring vehicles that scream “expensive,” but in a well-mannered, genteel way.
Models like the Ghost sedan and Phantom flagship practically define the luxury segment. They’re decked out with features and materials not found in lesser vehicles, even from premium brands. But traditionally Rollers are all about comfort; “waftability” is something engineered right into these models from day one. They’re designed to transport passengers in total comfort and serenity.
In the past if you wanted a sporty luxury car you’d have to shop somewhere else. The folks at Mercedes-Benz would happily sell you an AMG-amplified model, or BMW would gladly entice you with their M cars. But sporty and Rolls-Royce were mutually exclusive, until now.
Each August, the classic car world gears up for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, near Monterey, California, where some of the finest automobiles in the world are exhibited. Given the value and condition of most of the vehicles invited each year, many are transported by enclosed carrier or even flown to the event. However, a sizeable number are actually driven. This year, one of the latter will be the car shown above – a 1902 Mercedes-Benz Simplex; a machine that also bears the title of the oldest car currently in road worthy condition.
Powered by a 28 horsepower engine, the Simplex was built from 1902-09 and in many respects was one of the most advanced motor cars of its day, especially in terms of performance and hill climbing ability. This particular car, restored back in 1993 under the supervision of noted collector car specialist John Bentley, will be driven approximately 1,500 miles by Bentley, along with Arturo and Deborah Keller, as part of the annual Pebble Beach Motoring Classic. This road rally, now in its sixth year; starts in Seattle on August 3 (nine days before the Concours) taking in sights such as Mount St. Helens and the Columbia River Gorge, before arriving at the Pebble Beach Golf Course in time for the Concours event. Given that the trip includes numerous inclines and twisting roads, it’s quite a feat to be undertaking it in a 108 year-old car with no roof.
[Source: Pebble Beach Concours]