CC15 The Rolls-Royce Camargue

CC15 Rolls-Royce Camargue – Crewe Saviour by Bernard L. King

Complete Classics, June 2019. 224 pages, illustrated by 81 monochrome and 67 colour images, hardcover. ISBN 9780956567130. Signed copies if required available directly from the author/publisher. Also stocked by specialist motoring bookshops.

Printed as always in quite small numbers this latest instalment (no. 15) in the series covers the model people love to hate, from its radical angular exterior to the aircraft-style dashboard. Never mind that it was the most expensive car of its day and produced in miniscule numbers  – just 534 produced during the 12 years of production 1975-1987, with the majority delivered to customers in the United States and Middle East.

Importantly, the book is the first to introduce into the record the recollections of Paolo Martin who styled the exterior, with minimal instructions from Rolls-Royce, from first draft to a final design “set in stone” in just three months. Also, there is a detailed account of the role James Hanson played in commissioning a one-off Bentley chassis number CBH4033 from Pininfarina (the sainted John Blatchley liked what he saw, so there!), all of which finally rounding out our knowledge of how the unique Camargue came to see the light of day.

The Camargue was built differently from the mostly coachbuilt models previous CCs covered, the format of this work is less list-driven than previous books in the Complete Classics series and warrants much more narrative.