1967 Rolls-Royce state landaulet originally built for the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu – but considered too extravagant even by him – and later used by Her Majesty The Queen to be auctioned
Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu was a dictator whose extravagance was a bit like that of Barbara Amiel: It knew no bounds. In 1966, ignoring the wishes of his Russian handlers, Ceaușescu decided to order what became the most costly Rolls-Royce Phantom V state landaulet by Mulliner Park Ward ever produced and spent £20,000 in 1966 (the equivalent of £652,000, $824,000, €726,000 or درهم3 million today) creating a truly luxurious vehicle.
Featuring nearly every available option possible, including a rear seat that could be raised or lowered to suit the height of passengers, this luxurious limousine also came with a combination cocktail bar and entertainment cabinet with a television. It had dual air conditioners for both the front and rear compartments, fluorescent lighting for parades at night and a refrigerated wine cooler. So over-the-top was it that, though Ceaușescu allegedly “probably could not have cared less” himself, Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party, complained about the lavishness of the vehicle, had it stored for one year and then shipped back to England.
Replaced with a “more suitable Silver Shadow,” Ceaușescu’s Phantom V state landaulet was sold on to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based Dr. Erle M. Heath and his wife Bonnie. They used it on a daily basis for three decades and racked up 117,000 miles in it but also loaned it to dignitaries and personalities on occasions. Used to chauffeur Her Majesty The Queen on her state visit to Bermuda in 1975, the car was also her transportation during her visit to the Grand Cayman Islands in 1983.
Subsequently, in 1978, the vehicle also was used by Princess Grace of Monaco in Pittsburgh in 1978 and then after the death of Dr. Heath in 1992, it eventually became part of the Calumet Collection. Exhibited at various concours d’elegance, the Phantom V state landaulet also transported the American astronaut Buzz Aldrin and now has 161,795 miles on its clock.
RM Sotheby’s will sell this “rich in history” car at their Arizona 2019 auction on Friday 18th January 2019. They offer it with no reserve and an estimate of £791,000 to £1.2 million ($1 million to $1.5 million, €880,000 to €1.3 million or درهم3.7 million to درهم5.5 million).
It is wonderful but I’d put an icebox where the telly box currently is.
I will have to have it converted to Right Hand Drive before I use it on a daily basis.
Beautiful. And such a heritage.
I could see myself sitting in the back with a glass of fizz in hand. Lovely.