1987 Rolls-Royce Camargue Retractable Hardtop by Niko-MichaelOffered without reserve
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 2019 - The Calumet Collection
- Offered from the Calumet Collection
- The only retractable hardtop Camargue ever produced; superior craftsmanship
- Only 927 actual miles at the time of cataloguing; remarkable original condition
- Featured in the July/August 2011 issue of The Flying Lady
- The subject of a professional documentary commissioned by the Collection
- Accompanied by a report from Rolls-Royce historian Diane Brandon
- A truly one-of-a-kind, coachbuilt, hand-crafted automobile
Long Island artisan Niko Sokol’s remarkable craftsmanship won him numerous dedicated clients among collectors who loved his custom convertibles and touring cars, based on Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz models. Having recently completed his last coachbuilt automobile, Sokol has retired and is now devoting his time to exquisite sculptures inspired by automotive design and materials.
The car shown here was built by Niko-Michael Coachworks and is the only retractable hardtop Rolls-Royce Camargue ever produced, at the behest of a client of Carriage House Motor Cars in New York City. Carriage House supplied a new 75th Anniversary Camargue, the second of the last 12 Camargues produced with numerous special and unique options, which Niko professionally engineered into a convertible.
Originally the top was manually operated, as the client grew impatient and took delivery before Sokol could complete the system. After the Calumet Collection acquired the Camargue, it was taken back to Sokol, who after 25 years completed the car by fitting a remote control-operated electric motor to finally complete the installation. The top is truly fascinating to watch in operation; composed of two panels, precision-fit with very tight tolerances, it is unbuckled from the headliner, then telescopes into a ‘stack’ that moves under the rear deck through a narrow hatch in the rear package shelf. The back seat then tips forward, revealing a tonneau that flips up and drops into place to cover the folded top.
In remarkable original condition with just 927 actual miles at the time of cataloguing, the car is accompanied by its complete original tool set, a crystal cocktail set, a collection of build documentation, and a copy of a documentary produced for the Calumet Collection, covering Niko Sokol’s life, engineering, and career. All together it is a fascinating tribute to a world-class coachbuilder and artisan.