The 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue coupe, part of the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue series
1975-1982 Rolls-Royce Camargue coupe

In its day, the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue was the costliest "Roller" in history. Born in 1969 as project "Delta," the Camargue aimed for a sportier Rolls-Royce than the Silver Shadow-based two-doors, then evolving into the Corniche series. Sergio Pininfarina, scion of the great Italian carrozzeria (and destined to supervise the shape of Cadillac's late-1980’s Allante), penned the styling, which borrowed much from PF's Fiat 130 design but wasn't nearly so chiseled or elegant.

The Camargue had a steel body (with aluminum hood, doors, and decklid), which was welded to a modified Shadow platform. The production Shadow powertrain comprised an all-aluminum 6.7-liter V-8 and three-speed GM Turbo Hydra-Matic with Crewe's own electric shift control; switching from twin SU carbs to a single four-barrel Solex boosted power an undisclosed amount (as usual, Rolls-Royce didn't quote engine outputs).

The Camargue introduced the complex two-level climate control system adopted for the later Shadow II/Silver Wraith sedans and their Silver Spirit/Spur successors; it also previewed the latter's general facial look. Lavish equipment with power everything, traditional wood-and-leather cabin, and rear self-leveling were in line with a price more than twice a Shadow's.

Camargue's role was the "ultimate" Rolls. It was built without regard to sales: slowly and to cost-no-object quality standards. It evolved only in details over 11 years. The final 12, all built for U.S. sale, came with silver-inlay dash veneers, compact-disc player, cellular telephone, and unique personal accessories including a silver vanity set and leather attaché.

Pluses of the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue:

  • As smooth and silent as that name implies
  • Opulent trim and equipment
  • Parts/service backup still good
  • Rare, distinctive modern Rolls-Royce
  • Surprisingly competent in corners

Minuses of the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue:

  • Costly to buy, run, and maintain
  • Debatable looks
  • Electricals give frequent trouble
  • Weak appreciator now (but holds value very well, like most Rolls-Royces)

Production of the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue:
534

Specifications of the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.1
Length, inches: 206.2

Weight, pounds: 5,175

Price, new
: $90,000-$175,000 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1975-1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-8
6,750 cc (412 cid)
220-250*
1975-1986

* Estimate (not quoted by factory)

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