From a communist leader to a queen
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TOPIC: From a communist leader to a queen

From a communist leader to a queen 4 years, 11 months ago #1

Platinum Boarder
In 1966 coach builders Mulliner Park Ward received an order  from the Romanian government to build a Rolls Royce State Landaulette, for their communist leader, the horrid dictator Nicolai Ceaușescu.


This car, based on the Phantom V chassis # 5LVF113, was the utmost expensive and luxury car available anywhere in the world. The price tag in 1966: GBP 20.000,--; the equivalent of GBP 260.000,-- in present day value, a lot of money in them days.


When the car was finished and ready to be shipped to Bucharest, the Romanian government suddenly tried to cancel the order, which was already paid in full. It appeared that Soviet communist leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev got word of the purchase of this capitalism's most potent symbol, and might have spoken out in disgust. However Rolls Royce was not willing to co-operate and the car was delivered to Bucharest nonetheless.


The car was kept in hiding and hardly used, not even when French president Charles de Gaulle paid a state visit to Ceaușescu. Having only 1500 miles on the clock the car was sold back to Rolls Royce and exchanged for a lesser opulent model, which was used by the Romanian embassy in London.


The next owner of this car was an American, Dr. Erle M. Heath who had this car for 30 years, until his death. During that period, the car was borrowed twice by HM Queen Elisabeth II to use it during her visits to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. This car has quite a legacy, from proletarian to royalty, which I think is quite the same, they both live from other people's pockets.


TSM has made a fine 1/43 scale model of this car, which resides in my collection:











Here a pic of the car in present day and footage of the visit to Bermuda.








 


Footnote: although Soviet leader Brezhnev was against capitalism, he did not shy from owning and driving a Rolls Royce himself, a black Silver Shadow which he crashed......


Last Edit: 4 years, 11 months ago by Ecclesley.
The following user(s) said Thank You: blackstone, Andy66, Tick, CollectorandrestorerMark

Re: From a communist leader to a queen 4 years, 11 months ago #2

Moderator
That is a great story Gerrit, thanks for sharing.
TSM did well on the model, only I noticed that the color of the roofcover is black on the real car and red on the model. Was that deliberate?

Re: From a communist leader to a queen 4 years, 11 months ago #3

Platinum Boarder
RoutemasterNL wrote:
That is a great story Gerrit, thanks for sharing.
TSM did well on the model, only I noticed that the color of the roofcover is black on the real car and red on the model. Was that deliberate?
   


 


 


Initially the envelop for the folding roof matches the upholstery. My guess is that the black one is not original.

As the next picture shows, the car is presented with an envelop in the correct color.

Last Edit: 4 years, 11 months ago by Ecclesley.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RoutemasterNL

Re: From a communist leader to a queen 4 years, 11 months ago #4

Platinum Boarder
great info, thanks for sharing!
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