In retrospect, it might not have been the wisest decision to pull into a Texas scrapyard in a half-million dollar 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. But we were a bit lost, needed directions, and the place just looked so damned… interesting.
Let it be known, Texas junkyards are way cooler than ours.
I turned the big, thin-rimmed wheel of the big, fat-tired Roller to the right and followed the Spirit of Ecstasy as she so gracefully led us into this wonderland of faded paint and glories past.
We stopped just past the entrance and I hopped out.
“Let me run in first and ask if it’s okay to take pictures.”
That was probably a semi-wise decision. I’ve seen too many movies where gap-tooth mouth-breathers from Texas backwaters do weird things to city slickers. And by gawd, this scenario had potential.
Cue the banjo music.
A couple of well-dressed dudes from Toronto (older musician and young bearded hipster) arrive amid this vehicular decay in a Phantom Drophead Coupe – the most expensive Rolls-Royce on offer. But wait. This bespoke creation is all white. The Drophead’s usual brushed aluminum hood, A-pillars and teak rear deck have all-white substitutes.
The seats, trimmed in the perfect hides of very large bulls raised in the high altitudes of Germany are white. The door panels are white. The pasty complexions of our two sun-starved Canucks are white.
The sporadically arranged teeth of the greasy yard workers are not white. They eye this ghostly apparition with a mixture curiosity and… hunger? A couple of mangy dogs sniff the tires and one pees on a the 21-inch chromed alloy wheel. That’s a $4,025 upgrade, dontcha’ know.
“Hey fellas. We’re, like, lost, eh. Where’s highway 183? Can we take some pictures? Wow, that’s a ‘57 Ford Skyliner convertible hardtop, eh!”
A few moments of silence is followed by a horrible metallic scraping as the entrance gate closes behind the Roller’s boot.
“You boys drive your fancy convertible up there on the scales. We got some business to attend to.”
Whoah. Cut! Reset.
It went nothing like that. That was the C movie pitch.
I walked up to a fellow leaning into the engine bay of a ’63 Impala wagon with the most spectacular patina. Fifty years of Texas sun had turned it into a work of art. It had a 283 V8 with a two-speed Power Glide tranny, and it was his pride and joy. I wanted to drive it home.
After he kindly gave me directions, I explained who we were and what we were doing. He invited us in to take all the photos we wanted.
“Yeah, I saw that Bentley pull in a thought, what the…”
“It’s actually a Rolls-Royce.”
Soon the yard workers were gathering around, eyeing this gobsmacking piece of British craftsmanship with shy grins, like they were in the presence of royalty and didn’t quite know how to conduct themselves. The boss man showed up, all smiles.
“Guess how much it’s worth?” I said….