1954 Rolls Royce Vignale has unique touches

Luxury car features toilet to keep champagne chilled and fitted TV

While Pininfarina displayed their one-off Special Coachbuilt Rolls-Royce Hyperion at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Lodge, another unique “Anglo-Italo” Rolls-Royce was displayed a few hundred yards up the hill at the Peter Hay Golf Course.

This malformed automobile has the roof line of a Nash/Rambler and has to be the ugliest Rolls-Royce I have seen during my lifelong love affair with anything displaying the twin “R” emblem.

Rolls-Royces do not break down, they cease to function; so perhaps I’ll rephrase the statement that the pictured Vignale example is ugly and say that it is not very attractive.

A caption that I read in a ’50s Vignale advertisement translated into this statement: “In 10 years’ time hundreds of models will be available;” it might have seemed a bit of an exaggeration at the time, but it turned out to be true, with well over 150 Vignale models being built.

Only one Rolls-Royce was ever built by Vignale. This custom-built one-off example was ordered by Joseph Maschuch of New York. A 1954 long-wheel-base Silver

Wraith chassis was sent to the Alfredo Vignale Coachworks in Italy and was finished in the spring of 1955.

There were many unique special features ordered by Maschuch; the engine block, cylinder head, generator, starter motor, air cleaner, carburetor, and inlet manifold were specifically ordered in a green paint finish.

The aluminum valve covers were highly polished and all of the visible pipes under the hood were chrome plated.

The front seats were electrically operated, (very advanced for the time) but the most astonishing item was a toilet that dumps onto the ground located under the back seat.

The owner told those that had heard about his famous toilet car that it was only used to keep the champagne chilled.

Another very modern feature was a fitted television. The Blackhawk Collection owns the car and is willing to sell it for $550,000, not including toilet paper.

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