At ten minutes to midnight this Halloween, the stormy night gave way to an uneasy silence, through which a far-off rumble began to echo through Dartmoor’s spooky darkness. Growing louder, the rumble became a primeval growl, accompanied by a crunch of gravel which hinted that something outrageous was approaching. Flashes of light flickered through spindly trees as the guttural noise grew ever louder, and the acrid smell of tortured oil flooded the still air. And then, the behemoth appeared. All 5 metres and 2.1 tonnes of it.
Our second V8Nam car had arrived. And boy, was it a sight to behold.
‘So it made it all he way from Southampton then,’ I offered to Brummy as he sat in the drivers seat of his latest acquisition.
‘Of course it did. It’s a Rolls Royce, the best car on the planet,’ he replied with a smug grin.
I joined Brummy in the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 2’s spacious cabin and poured us each an Ardbeg whisky, as he showed me around it’s over-engineered controls and tried not to think about fuel economy. Having never been in a Rolls Royce before, the bespoke, over-engineered feeling which every component seemed to exude was as novel as it was impressive, and even through the darkness, the spaciousness and comfort was so apparent I almost regretted opting for the ‘Vette as my V8Nam car. Brummy told me about the drive home as we sipped our drams:
‘It never missed a beat. The gauges all stayed where they’re meant to and it drives brilliantly. You can hear the engine, but the ticking clock is definitely louder, and the ride is great. Maybe not quite as smooth as the Jag you took to the Baltic, but still really smooth and comfortable. And it goes pretty well when you put your foot down too. I love it.’
So that’s the convoy we’ll be driving to Vietnam next spring – a Rolls Royce and a Corvette. Chalk and cheese. In the meantime, I imagine we’ll be wafting around the South West in a Rolls Royce quite a lot, quaffing champers, listening to ‘Rule Britannia’ and looking completely out of place…