|Designer||Paolo Martin for Pininfarina|
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
|Engine||6.75 L (412 cid) Rolls-Royce V8|
|Transmission||3-sp TH400 automatic|
|Wheelbase||120 in (3,048 mm)|
|Length||203.5 in (5,169 mm)|
|Width||75.5 in (1,918 mm)|
|Height||58 in (1,473 mm)|
|Curb weight||5,135 lb (2,329 kg)|
The Rolls-Royce Camargue is a two-door coupé introduced by Rolls-Royce Motors in March 1975. The Camargue's body, built in London by their coachbuilding division Mulliner Park Ward, was designed by automotive designer Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. The Camargue was Rolls-Royce's first post-war production model not to be designed in-house.
Debut and design
When it was launched, the Camargue, which was the flagship of the Rolls-Royce lineup, was the most expensive production car in the world, eventually selling in North America for approximately US$147,000 ($588,000 in 2008 dollars). By the time of its official U.S. launch, the Camargue had already been on sale in the UK for over a year. The New York Times made much of the fact that the U.S. price at this stage was approximately $15,000 higher than the UK price. In the 1970s, many European models retailed for significantly less in the U.S. than they did in Europe in order to compete with prices set aggressively by Detroit's Big Three and Japanese importers. The manufacturer rejected this approach with the Camargue, referencing the high cost of safety and pollution engineering needed to adapt the few cars (approximately 30 per year) it expected to send to North America in 1976.
The recommended price of a new Camargue at launch on the UK market in March 1975 was £29,250, including sales taxes. Rapid currency depreciation would greatly raise the price of the Camargue in the late 1970s, both in the UK and North America.
When presenting their new car to the press in 1975, Rolls-Royce placed emphasis on the sophistication of the completely automatic split-level climate control system, the first of its kind in the world. It was developed, it was stated, during the eight years preceding the car's introduction, and according to Rolls-Royce, "superior to anything else in the field."
The Camargue shares a platform with the Rolls-Royce Corniche and Silver Shadow. It is powered by the same 6.75 L V8 engine as the Silver Shadow, though the Camargue is slightly more powerful. The transmission was also carried over — a General Motors Turbo-Hydramatic 3-speed automatic. The first 65 Camargues produced used SU carburettors, while the remaining 471 used Solex units. The Camargue was fitted with the Silver Shadow II's power rack and pinion steering rack in February 1977. In 1979, it received the rear independent suspension of the Silver Spirit.
The car sits on a 3048 mm (120 in) wheelbase. It was the first Rolls-Royce automobile to be designed to metric dimensions, and was the first Rolls-Royce to feature a slanted grille; the Camargue's grille slants at an inclined angle of seven degrees.
Production of the Rolls-Royce Camargue ended in 1986. During the car's 11-year production run, 530 Rolls-Royce Camargues were built, as well as one specially-ordered Bentley Camargue. Several of the cars have since been modified into convertibles by after-market companies.
- "Rolls-Royce Camargue 1975".
- Chapman, Giles (2005-03-15). "Italian style for the many and the few". The Independent.
- "Rolls-Royce Camargue".
- "News: Biggest ever price rise?". Autocar. 144. (nbr 4147): 27. 1 May 1976.
- "New Rolls-Royce: The Delta becomes Camargue: "New two-door model, styled by Pininfarina, is the most expensive Rolls-Royce saloon yet. Few mechanical changes, but very advanced automatic air-conditioning system"". Autocar. 142. (nbr 4089): pages 48–49. date 8 March 1975.
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|Rolls-Royce Motor Cars timeline|
|Ownership||Independent||Vickers plc||VW Group||BMW|
|Twenty||20/25||25/30||Wraith||WWII||Silver Dawn||Silver Cloud||Silver Shadow||Silver Spirit/Dawn||Silver Seraph||Ghost|
|Premium||30 hp||40/50 hp (Silver Ghost)||Phantom I/II/III||Silver Wraith||Silver Wraith II||Silver Spur||Ghost Extended Wheelbase|
|Phantom IV||Phantom V/VI||Touring Limousine||Park Ward||Phantom|
|Convertible||Corniche/II/III/IV||Corniche V||Phantom Drophead|
|Coupé||Camargue||Silver Spirit Hooper 2 Door||Phantom Coupé|