Normally this isn’t something I’d list here, as it’s more of an engine swap project, but the story is funny so I thought I’d tell Charles Dinger’s story. If you want to make him an offer, you can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the type of person who appreciates this level of madness is interested, this prime vehicle is for sale. Family legend has that it was built by a movie studio as a movie prop car, and used in The Last of Sheila, among others. I don’t know. (Please see review, below) My late father always said that James Mason fell out of the aluminium trunk and dented it. Again, I cannot confirm any of this. The prop department, I’m told, repowered it by a Chevrolet engine (no doubt to the delight of those who consider British engines to be leaky and in the same category as unexploded ordnance). Some of their work was good, some mediocre. Other than that there’s not much to say. Windows are soon to be back in, they were taken out recently for the addition of power lifts. Sony C D player to be in dash, speakers in doors. Seats are original Rolls Royce and come in factory plum velvet, which matches the rest of the interior. Very rare coachbuilt option and very creepy, like being in a coffin. Parts alone (bumpers, hood, trunk, chrome, hubcaps, windshield, dash etc are worth $10,000. I had considered having the body used as a mold for a kit business but manufacturing really isn’t my forte. I’m a Certified Public Accountant. Not the kind of car you take to clients… If anyone is interested, people go insane when they see me parading around in it. Perfect for a kit business. It out draws Ferraris for attention. It’s really the perfect car for exhibitionists. If you’re too shy to take your clothes off but still want to streak — just jump in this car and go! Just remember one thing: this is not a Pebble Beach car. It’s just a very basic, simple Rolls-Royce with an unbreakable American engine.
EDIT: Oops, typo! Let me include the full correction note:
James Mason fell out ON the trunk (since repaired by Warner Brothers). He was riding on the top of the rear seat for effect, so that when James Coburn drives the car up, in a head-on shot, loaded with friends (Raquel Welch, James Mason, Ian McShane, Dyan Cannon), those in the back seat could be seen. Originally, they couldn’t be seen in the shot. So they reshot it with James Mason and Dyan Cannon ridin’ high. Coburn hit the gas (he owned Ferraris and liked thing to go fast). James Mason tumbled out backwards. AAAAHHHHHHH !! Gahd Dammmm! was all he was reported to have said. Now, forty years later, if something like that happened, the lawsuits would bankrupt the studio.
“The Last of Sheila is one of the great underrated films of the ’70s: a bitchy Hollywood whodunit and a clever parlor game (cowritten by Anthony Perkins and Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim). Several celebrity chums are invited aboard prankster James Coburn’s yacht for a cruel game of “guess the deep, dark secret.” Everyone has one; but naturally some are more wicked than others. Richard Benjamin, James Mason, Dyan Cannon, Joan Hackett, Raquel Welch, and Ian McShane are the odd cast of participants. However, the stakes are unexpectedly raised when murder gets added to the not-so-fun agenda. Plenty of inside jokes and red herrings in this nasty and unforgettable film. It’s just what you’d expect from the twisted minds of Perkins and Sondheim.”
— Bill Desowitz