FREDERICK, Md. – I’m sitting at a table at a Bob Evans restaurant in Frederick, waiting to call my boss about the story I planned to do for the day. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a purple Rolls Royce drive toward the front of the restaurant and park.
But this was no ordinary Rolls. No, no, no. It had the old, classic look and was well put together, but this Rolls Royce was designed to have a chauffeur. The driver’s side had no roof and the cabin in the back was enclosed.
I asked the hostess if she knew the owner, and she did. The whole restaurant knew.
The owner is named Jay. He and a business partner bought the Rolls back in 1993 for $30,000.
There was a catch: It came in boxes and had to be put together.
I can’t even put the lawn mower from Sears together, much less a 1936 Rolls Royce.
It took two years to put together and refurbish. Jay’s wife doesn’t mind. After all, the kids love riding to events in a custom, vintage Rolls Royce. (I decided against asking Jay for a ride to work. It would have killed my chances of a raise at work for the next 10 years.)
Take a tour of the Rolls Royce:
Jay and his car have won several awards and they’ve even given Alexandria’s mayor a ride — for a parade. I imagine Jay and his car are in a lot of parades.
Jay gave me a tour, inside and out. The Rolls gets 18 mpg and currently costs $85 to fill up. (Supreme? You better believe it.)
My mother always taught me it’s rude to ask, “How much?” But a reporter has to do his job.
In today’s market, Jay’s vintage 1936 Rolls Royce is worth $85,000. Put your wallets away, it won’t be for sale anytime soon.
For some reason, as I walked around the car, I felt the presence of Hollywood greats Clark Gable and Lana Turner. This was their kind of car. Mine too, if I could only find my wallet — with $85,000 in it.