The Rolls-Royce Corniche you see here came into being after what sounds like a boozy bet made during a boozy French dinner when a Safari rally driver was challenged with competing in the Paris-Dakar with a Rolls-Royce.
But then this makes sense because surely no sober person would come up with such an idea? Shortly after said dinner, Christian Dior (no less) stumped up the necessary cash and the project was underway.
As with the Zakspeed/Whiting RS2000 though, there was actually very little of the original manufacturer’s work left intact by the end of the build. A lightweight mould was made of the majority of the body, which reputedly weighs in at a mere 80kg, and this was mounted on a custom-made frame designed to carry a Land Cruiser four-wheel-drive set-up and gearbox.
To propel the whole lot along the torturous route a small-block Chevy V8 was selected and the final weight of the car was said to be only 1400Kg. However, that must be a ‘dry’ weight because, with a fuel capacity of 330 litres, a full tank would have held 231Kg of fuel, which at current prices would cost in the region of – ahem – £450 to fill.
Despite this the car must have been well built because it actually finished the event, albeit with disqualified status after taking too long to repair after a prang. You’ll need around £170,000 to prise it away from its current owner who, for an extra 25 grand will equip the car with modern axles and brakes. So it’s a bit dear then, even if it is it is both road-legal and eligible for competition.
It’s unlikely, then, that once the snow has fallen we’ll see a video clip of it in an empty car park whirling around like a twenty-foot-long Dervish. Shame.