Friday, September 19, 2014

Not your average back seat driver . . .

I came across an article at Jalopnik titled 'The Ten Most Vulgar Cars Ever Made'.  Vulgar they most certainly are . . . particularly what's described as 'A 1954 Rolls-Royce Toilet Car'.  Externally, it looks intriguing - the only Rolls-Royce ever to have bodywork styled by Vignale of Italy.

Intrigued, I flipped over to the Bonham's auction listing for the vehicle.  Sure enough, they comment:

When Joseph J. Maschuch, Esq. of Maplewood, New Jersey (incorrectly noted as New York on the build sheets) placed his order for a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith he was definitely not looking to glide quietly through life unnoticed.

Starting with a long wheelbase Silver Wraith, Maschuch enlisted the Italian futurists at Vignale to craft a one-off body like nothing else to clothe his special limousine. The classic Rolls grill is hugged by a pair of sealed beam P100s while a smaller set of hooded foglights capped the front fenders. The rear window and C-pillar were swept back and — much like a 1959 Lincoln Continental Sedan that seemingly cherry-picked from this car's design—the rear window was retractable. Even with the long wheelbase, the finely appointed cabin necessitated a long rear overhang to accommodate a full sized trunk. It was no doubt as matchless in mid-1955 when it was delivered as it is today.

If the look of the car wasn't enough to draw one's attention, the list of special features certainly would. Under the bonnet, the block, head, dynamo, starter, air cleaner, carburetor, and inlet manifold were all painted green. In addition to that the build sheets indicate that the "customer requires all visible pipes under the bonnet [to be] chrome plated." Inside, air conditioning kept the cabin cool while fine cabinetry in the rear compartment hid a full bar and a center mounted television. A Becker Mexico radio in the dash provided music to fit the occasion. All of the windows were of course power operated, as was the front seat. The chauffeur's compartment was trimmed in black leather, while Mr. Maschuch enjoyed grey broadcloth. Most distinctively, under the right rear passenger seat is a toilet with a gold painted toilet seat — although it is understood this was only used as a champagne cooler (at least one hopes it was not used interchangeably).

There's more at the link.  Underlined text is my emphasis.

A toilet under the rear seat???  Sure enough, there it is:

And he wanted it for use "as a champagne cooler"?  Couldn't he have specified a more conventional design?  According to the Jalopnik article, the toilet "would empty right out on to the road under the car".  Was it ever used for that purpose?  Was it, perhaps, the owner's way of expressing his opinion of those he was passing?

I suppose we'll never know . . .



JMD said...

I needed that vehicle when traveling with my children, they could find a rest stop within 30 feet of each stop.

Old NFO said...

Strange people with WAY too much money... sigh

DoninSacto said...

When you gotta gotta go. And he could.

Tim Moore said...

That "champagne cooler" would be handy if you're being tailgated