The Ugly Roller

BY JAMES CAMPBELL

The Rolls-Royce Camargue is a 2-door luxury saloon manufactured and marketed by Rolls-Royce Motors from 1975-1986. Designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina, the Camargue was the first post-war production Rolls Royce not designed in-house.

The Camargue received a varied reception, having ranked as one of the “10 Worst Cars” as chosen in 2010 by readers of the Globe and Mail; having ranked 38 in the 2005 book Crap Cars by Richard Porter (the author saying the car “looked utterly terrible)” and having ranked 92 in a 2008 poll of the 100 ugliest cars of all time by readers of The Daily Telegraph. Autoblog said the Camargue had been ranked “conspicuously low on the list,” adding the Camargue “really was horrid, no matter how well it sold.”

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Let’s face it, this is the ugliest Rolls Royce by a distance. Rolls Royce have produced a mixed bag over the years but the Camargue was the one that fell out of the bag and got deformed on the floor. So bad was the Camargue that several of the cars have since been modified into convertibles by after-market customizers – rich men who had to wince at the Camargue in their car collections decided that they couldn’t bear to do so any longer and chopped its roof off.

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The fact that so many were unloved or altered means that even a poor second-hand version will set you back £40,000 to £50,000 and, oddly, they are good investments for car collectors. A total of 534 cars were produced between 1973 and 1986 – it’s a small and collectable market.

Personally, I’d rather buy two decent Silver Shadows for the same price. At least then you’d not have to look at it.

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