|Designer||Paolo Martin for Pininfarina|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door saloon |
|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 2-door luxury saloon manufactured and marketed by Rolls-Royce Motors from 1975-1986. Designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina, the Camargue was the first post-war production Rolls Royce not designed in-house.
The Camargue derives its name from the coastal region in southern France.
Debut and design
At launch, the Camargue was the Rolls-Royce's flagship and the most expensive production car in the world. At its official U.S. launch, the Camargue had already been on sale in the UK for over a year. The New York Times noted that the U.S. price at this stage was approximately $5,000 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.
At its 1975 press debut, Rolls-Royce highlighted automatic split-level climate control system, the first of its kind. According to Rolls Royce, the system's development took eight years. 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.
The Camargue shared its platform with the Rolls-Royce Corniche and Silver Shadow. It was powered by the same 6.75 L V8 engine as the Silver Shadow, although the Camargue was 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.
With a 3048 mm (120 in) wheelbase, the Camargue was the first Rolls-Royce automobile to be designed to metric dimensions, and was the first Rolls-Royce to feature an inclined rather than perfectly vertical grille; the Camargue's grille was slanted at an inclined angle of seven degrees.
The Camargue received a varied reception, having ranked as one of the "10 Worst Cars"'as chosen in 2010 by readers of The Globe and Mail; having ranked 38 in the 2005 book Crap Cars by Richard Porter (the author saying the car "looked utterly terrible)" and having ranked 92 in a 2008 poll of the 100 ugliest cars of all time by readers of The Daily Telegraph. Autoblog said the Camargue had been ranked "conspicuously low on the list," adding the Camargue "really was horrid, no matter how well it sold."
- "Rolls-Royce Camargue 1975".
- Chapman, Giles (15 March 2005). "Italian style for the many and the few". The Independent.
- "Rolls-Royce Camargue". Archived from the original on 28 May 2008.
- Martin Lewis, A-Z of Cars of the 1980s, Bay View Books Ltd, 1998, page 121
- "News: Biggest ever price rise?". Autocar. 144. Vol. (nbr 4147). 1 May 1976. p. 27.
- "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. Vol. (nbr 4089). 8 March 1975. pp. 48–49.
- Cheney, Peter (22 February 2010). "In Pictures: 10 worst cars chosen by our readers". The Globe and Mail.
- Crap Cars, Richard Porter, p.32. Bloomsbury USA, 2005.
- "The 100 ugliest cars". The Daily Telegraph. 25 August 2008.
- "Tie a pork chop around its neck - Telegraph counts down 100 ugliest cars". Autoblog.com. 30 August 2008.
- "James May's greatest hits: the ugliest cars of all time". The Telegraph.co.uk, James May, 26 May 2011. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012.
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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars timeline
|Ownership||Independent||Vickers plc||VW Group||BMW|
|Luxury car||10 hp
|Twenty||20/25||25/30||Wraith||World War II||Silver Dawn||Silver Cloud||Silver Shadow||Silver Spirit/Dawn||Ghost|
|Ultra-luxury car||30 hp||40/50 hp (Silver Ghost)||Phantom I/II/III||Silver Wraith||Silver Wraith II||Silver Spur||Silver Seraph||Ghost Extended Wheelbase|
|Phantom IV||Phantom V||Phantom VI||Touring Limousine||Park Ward||Phantom VII/VIII|
|Corniche/II/III/IV||Corniche V||Phantom Drophead|
|Coupé||Corniche & Camargue||Silver Spirit Hooper 2 Door||Wraith|