Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Change News
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory

Bookmark and Share

2006 Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls Royce Phantom
Something you don't see everyday...

by Courtney Caldwell

They ran from the building as if it were on fire, stampeding towards me with cameras and smiles. Barely one foot had hit the ground as I exited the 2006 Rolls Royce Phantom when a voice shouted from the herd, “Now there’s something you don’t see every day!” Cameras flashed, cell phones high in the air grabbing tiny little pictures of the huge, overwhelming taupe machine dwarfing everything around it. One would have thought that they were the paparazzi and I was a superstar. But the truth is that it was I who was the press, testing this magnificent chariot and the rushing fans were a group of desk jockeys escaping from mundane jobs for a glimpse into the world of wealth.

The awe and amazement that this $350,000 ride inspired was an experience in itself. One didn’t even need to drive it to feel the sensation. The looks on their faces said it all.  Driving it down the street, any street, craned necks and dropped jaws. Age didn’t matter. Even the youngest who knew not what it was knew enough to know it was something special. So intense were the stares that at one point I found myself immersed in mixed emotions; smiling at the prestige and elegance this car projected making me feel like a glamour queen in one minute, and then crouching in the next feeling guilty that I was driving something far beyond the reach of most mere mortals. Who knew but me that it wasn’t mine for real? Rolls Royce vehicles are indeed not something you see every day, especially in Michigan, even the wealthiest parts.

In Los Angeles, just weeks later testing a Jeep Liberty Diesel, a far cry from the Rolls, I couldn’t help but notice how many Rolls Royce cars there were on the freeways. What a difference a state makes.

The interior of the Phantom is a diva’s delight; a panoramic view of visual ecstasy that soothed the soul; an aromatic splendor that permeated the cabin's air, supple leather that caressed both hand and thigh. Wood is not merely wood but a lush forest of grain and grandeur. Coach doors (known as suicide doors to most Americans) permit elegant entry and exit. Beautifully crafted fold down picnic tables in the rear quarters provide space to work or simply enjoy a glass of champagne. Even the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot at the top of the outside grill retracts when the car is locked so no one can walk away with the famous icon. Chrome-lined seat tracks and umbrellas hidden in secret door compartments make it clear that Rolls Royce left nothing to chance.

The Phantom resides in a class so far beyond most imaginations that having to explain it means you wouldn’t understand.

While amazing and amusing, most of my two-day test was riddled with worry that a simple smudge might wipe me out of business. In fact, when Rolls Royce sent their driver to pick it up he spent 15 minutes looking in and around every inch to ensure its perfection was still in tact. However, rest assured, for those where money is no object the worry of a smudge is hardly an issue. But know this, the ever-so-slightest scratch could cost thousands of dollars to fix. But, when money is no object, pocket change.

To own a Rolls is not to drive one but to be driven in one. Ownership is about status, a symbol of the ultimate success. It's about being the best as founder Henry Royce intended when he introduced his first car to the world in 1903. Little did he know that a century later, his dream to build the best car in the world would still be a car that is indeed something you don't see every day.