Rolls unfazed by imitation model
Saturday 02 March 1996
The battle of the Rollers has begun. Representing Britain is the hand-built 1973 Silver Shadow with a walnut veneer dashboard and a 6.7-litre engine. Flying the flag for Japan is the 1996 Mitsuoka Galue, a 2-litre dead ringer for the English classic, minus the Spirit of Ecstasy statuette. The brand new Japanese version, which translates literally as "doing it my way", costs slightly less than the second-hand original.
Rolls-Royce, due to launch three new models at next week's Geneva Motor Show, is unruffled by the competition. The car, the ultimate choice for Lady Penelope in the Seventies television show Thunderbirds, is just as popular in the Nineties with young celebrity owners ranging from Noel Gallagher of Oasis to the boys in Take That.
"All we would be concerned about was if someone was using our trademarks," said a spokeswoman for Rolls-Royce. "Bodywork is not a trademark and they have not used the Spirit of Ecstasy as far as we are aware, so although we are looking into the matter we are not too worried."
The company's cool confidence is borne out by the loyalty of its customers. The novelist Dame Barbara Cartland, who owned the very first white Silver Shadow, built especially for her in the 1960s, was horrified to hear the Japanese had dared launch a rival. "This is very worrying," she said yesterday. "I am very concerned about British cars - you just don't see them on the roads nowadays. I would never buy a Japanese car and certainly not a cheap imitation of a Rolls-Royce. It's disgraceful."
Jim Bowen, the comedian, found there was nothing funny about a foreign imitation of his beloved Silver Shadow. "You've only got to sit in a Rolls- Royce to know it can't be copied cheaply. It must be made of tin, with an MFI interior.
"It's a ludicrous idea. You can buy an original from 1975 for less than the price of the imitation, so what's the point?"
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 4 Jozef Wesołowski: Former Catholic archbishop found dead ahead of child sexual abuse trial
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...