The seemingly impossible has happened. Gordon Brown hasn't been voted GQ Man of the Year and no Nick Griffin hasn't had a cameo in a P-Diddy video: I have found a 1980s used Rolls-Royce I find absolutely fantastic Autel MaxiTPMS PAD. It is Rolls-Royce Corniche 6.8 Convertible Series 2 from '81 and it is a classic. It begs to be driven down sunny British country lanes, with the summer breeze rolling through the floppy hair of its perfect driver, Hugh Grant. The seats beg for the feel of crème trousers and the pedals long to be pushed down by boating shoes - probably worn without socks.
It is (like its ideal driver Mr Grant) a glorious stereotype of all things a Rolls-Royce is. It comes in a colour known as ‘light peacock blue' - truly, truly a Rolls-Royce description. The seats are wrapped in blue savoy velvet and the walnut veneer comes straight from the drawing rooms of stately homes.
There are some interior flaws - the roof when up looks like the underside of a damp canvas and I can imagine with rain hammering down, it could possibly drive Hugh Grant to insanity. Mr Grant may also flap about in his usual bumbling English voice about the automatic transmission too. As for the exterior I can really see nothing wrong. Unlike most of the used Rolls-Royce models I have witnessed from the 80s, the Corniche has a sweeping quality. It seems more suited to the decades before, alongside the Silver Shadows of the ‘60s.
The question is why would Mr Grant drive this car instead of the newer models of the noughties? The answer is rather simple. Would Four Weddings have its stuffy British romantic charm if Andie McDowell had been married on an exotic beach, bedecked in a beach gown and being whisked off to the hotel in a helicopter on the arm of some diamond encrusted footballer? No, of course not. To preserve a sense of Britishness and history and identity is the reason why people still drive these old models. They are harder to come by, less slick and efficient as the modern takes but they are linked to a rather idyllic sense of country life - as are canal boat holidays and village fetes. They aren't trans-Atlantic cruises or huge music festivals, but we still cherish them because they are ours.
So, at long last I am pleased to announce that I have finally discovered a Rolls-Royce from the 1980s that doesn't make me want to hurl out of embarrassment Autel Maxisys MS908CV. Who knows, maybe one time in the future you may see me driving around in a sleek Phantom with a bottle of magnum on the backseat. Only if I have the money, and the loss of self. Until then, I will happily settle for a Corniche convertible and being whisked down rural lanes and put up in fine hotels by that loveable nit Mr Hugh Grant. I don't think there could be anything more archetypically British - except maybe a bulldog in a union jack hat and bowtie combination. But you won't see them in the films.
Pete J Ridgard is a writer and a car enthusiast. He currently writes for the automotive industry. Here he discusses Used Rolls Royce cars.