09 August 2007

Royal Rolling in a Rolls Royce

The world luxury is synonym to the erstwhile rulers of Indian sub-continent and the perfect specimen of wordily pleasures for luxurious living by Indian Rajas and Maharajas included the temptation and procession of Rolls Royce. Acquisition of one couldn’t gratify their lust, so they had hundreds of Rolls Royces. After Indian Independence, number of people who indulged in such lavish interests came down drastically. But half a century down the line, people who could afford the luxury has again cropped up.

Being an auto enthusiast and known to some pretty influential fellows of auto industry, I had a chance of turning my dream into a reality. The day came when one of my friends offered me a test drive of a brand new magnificence called Phantom, the Rolls Royce Phantom. And to my luck, it was right in the heart of royalty, Rajasthan. Having driven the Phantom I of 1927 and a 1934 Continental, I was there to compare the earlier Phantoms to the present beauty. My first view of the 6.75 litre, V12, an all black beast made me go weak at my knees. The elegance of Phantom perfectly complimented the brilliance of the Rajasthani Palace.

The moment I stepped into the cabin of the Phantom and started my drive out of the palace, my calculation all started going wrong. Throughout the week, I was looking forward to drive the dream on wheels; but never did I think that the ride of Phantom would ever get secondary to something. I had a long test drive up to the royal regime of Rajasthan, we drove out into the crowded streets, inside the pink city of Jaipur and through the desert terrain of Thar. It was only on the highway that we could put at least 20 percent of the power available to us to work. The 435 bhp motor took us to 60 mph in flat 5.7 seconds. The hand crafted leather interiors, ash wood dashboard, and starlight headlining, all added to the luxury feel of the car, if one can call ‘IT’ that. The computer controlled air suspension made sure that we cruise through the rough Indian roads. The engines are unimaginably silent and while driving through the deserted roads, our hearing senses crave for some noise. The interiors o Passing by the Jaisalmer Fort, again I slip back into years, a feel of royalty kept creeping in me as if a royal prince driving his passion Rolls Royce to his home, Jaisalmer Fort.

The magical days came to an end and I have to give a verdict on the Phantom test drive. The quality of the ride was nothing like I ever had; it was pure, brilliant and unmatched. But for me it was half hearted. I was more intrigued by the looks of Rajasthan forts and getting the real hang of them. Someday again I hope to get my hands on the sculpted masterpiece of engineering but will make sure I am away from the original epitomes of royalty, luxury and power.

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