Rolls-Royce Rally Car Listed at €200,000, It Finished the 1981 Dakar Rally

The best name in the luxury automaking biz was officially founded 98 years ago, but who would have thought the Flying Lady would eventually adorn the hood of a rally car? This isn’t a joke, nor the fact this vehicle was raced in the bone shattering 1981 Paris-Dakar rally.
Rolls-Royce Rally Car 11 photos
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Taxtherich reintroduced the concept of a mud-loving Rolls-Royce two years ago, flogging an example of the Phantom breed on the grounds surrounding a British mansion. But that wasn’t an original idea despite the multiple millions of views the outlandish feat amassed on YouTube.

Back in 1981, a French guy named Thierry de Montcorgé entered the 10.000-kilometer long Paris-Dakar rally with a highly-modified Rolls-Royce Corniche I Coupe, the same vehicle you can admire in the unfortunately low-resolution photo gallery below.

See that polyester body shell that weighs only 80 kilos (176 lbs)?

It’s a carbon copy of the original metal body. In addition to this modification, the Jules stickers on the sides represent, as a matter of fact, a fragrance from French fashion house Christian Dior, the main sponsor of Montcorgé's rally efforts. Furthermore, under the hood you won’t find an original 6.75-liter V8 motor.

The motor was swapped for a 5.7-liter vee eight from Chevrolet, pushing 350 horsepower and a lot of torque to all four wheels. Regarding the latter detail, the Corniche’s original axles were replaced by two Toyota Land Cruiser axles, while the four-speed automatic transmission is also sourced from Toyota.

Although this Roller didn’t win the Dakar rally, we want to point out that out of 170 vehicles to enter the grueling endurance race, this car was one of only 40 to actually cross the finish line, despite being disqualification after the steering axle broke. The best thing about it? It only costs €200,000 ($250,000).
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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