One More Off the Bucket List
It’s the car you never knew you wanted, mostly because nobody did. I only knew this car existed because Car and Driver listed it in their annual buyers guide. It is the Rolls-Royce Camargue [kaˈmaʁɡ]. Richard Porter has it as #38 of his all time Crap Cars.
Still, i wanted to see it. Is it ugly? Yes, quite. The body looks like a plug of billet aluminum, which is actually kind of cool. That’s where things start veering off course.
The grille is too large. It looks tacked on, Like Pininfarina said, “how can we recycle this old Alfa coupe concept that nobody wanted to build? We’ll slap a grill on it and call it a Rolls!”.
To be fair, it was a thing automakers did to make their cars seem more regal (Lincoln Continental 1977-79, 1982-85, Mark III, V, VII) or as branding to make some underpowered bloatmoobiles have a common design language (Continental/Town Car 1980-1997, Mark IV, VI)
There’s also this, in case the point is not crystal clear
The thin jutting bumpers are terrible, like furniture pads stuck under the overhangs. The car needs a bit of body underneath them, or more height that accentuates the overall lines. At a minimum, paint the metal body color instead of black
We also have to talk about those front signals. Yes, they evoke the wraparound front bumper. that is not a plus. An ugly seamless rectangle, like the front and fenders are duct-taped together.
I don’t hate this treatment, but style should not turn on paint and lens color. Part of the appeal is the lighter lens doesn’t interrupt the flow of that hard corner.
And yeah, we have to talk about the lights. The rear is boring, like just another Italian saloon. Fiat? Alfa? Whatever.
The front though…Again, the grey and black on the Wiki example works for me. The one at the RM Auction not so much. Body-colored bezels? What’s the point? It could be worse. Chrome almost seems worse. It did get worse. Somebody (see the Crap Cars link above) thought modernizing the front with rectangular lights was a good idea. They were terribly, terribly wrong. Rolls evidently thought homogenizing the froint end with the rest of the model range was a better idea. Almost.
So there you have it: The Camargue. A car I always wanted to see. A car I don’t like all that much, now that I have studied it in person.