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Fri., Nov. 1, 2013, 1:35 p.m.

On meeting a Wraith in the desert for Halloween


What I learned yesterday driving the all-new, 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in Phoenix:

  • Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a damn fine car.
  • Rolls-Royce sells about 3,500 cars a year around the globe.
  • A quarter-mill will get you into the “most affordable” Rolls, the four-door Ghost.
  • No one buys a Rolls-Royce as a basic transportation choice. Apparently, they’re bought because their owners a) want to own the best car money can buy, and b) to reward themselves.
  • The unspoken reason: To impress the neighbors.
  • For many owners, buying a Rolls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • 80 percent of all Rolls-Royces ever built are still on the road.
  • 80 percent of North American owners do their own driving.
  • As many as 95 percent of the cars Rolls sells are made to order. It could be the color of the hand-sewn dashboard stitching or a trunk-mounted picnic hamper -- with crystal -- or a pair of matching door-mounted, self-ejecting flasks, one for hot and one for cold. Most outrageous? The guy from California who commissioned Rolls to formulate candy-apple red carbon fiber for the interior of his Drophead Coupe (video).

I’ll post more in coming days, but I’ll leave you with this: the all-new 5,300-lb, 624-horsepower, two-door Wraith ($295,000) accelerates from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and from there to unmentionable speeds in a similarly rapid fashion. It’s way too easy to drive way too fast. 

Did I mention that its 8-speed automatic transmission is GPS-aided? It knows where the corners are before you do.

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Don Adair
Don Adair is a Spokane-based freelance writer.