Nothing to do with Ann Benson’s year or in reality except somewhat tenuously the Ward Club. But a great story and pictures.
The Pink Rolls Royce (known as “Harrison” after the first owner, Henry Harrison Stuttard) is a 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Sports Saloon owned by (Sir) John Stuttard, Lime Street Ward Alderman, and Lord Mayor in 2006/7 says,
“The story behind this RR being painted FT pink is an amusing one.
My wife (Lesley) and I were living in Beijing at that time, as I was Executive Chairman of Coopers & Lybrand China (from 1994 to 1999).
We knew the Beijing-based FT correspondent well and when he heard that I was entering the challenge of driving this car from Beijing to Paris, he wanted to come too. I had already lined up my team (four men) who, together with camping gear, personal possessions and spares for the car, took up the entire space, even including a roof rack.
When he knew he couldn’t come with us, the FT correspondent asked if he could cover the motor challenge in the FT’s weekend paper by following the exploits of our car. He suggested that I met the FT Weekend editor when next in London, which I did.
The editor asked if we would paint the car FT pink, to which I agreed if they paid for it being painted pink and then back to its earlier colour.
The FT doesn’t really provide sponsorship but arranged that some well-known organisations should provide funds.
So, sponsorship came from: Jardine Fleming, Eagle Star Insurance, HR Owen, Coopers & Lybrand as well as the FT.
It was known as the FT car and I wrote each week, for six weeks, an account of the previous week’s journey which appeared in the FT’s Weekend edition either under my name or the Beijing correspondent’s name or the Travel correspondent’s name.
During the six week ordeal, which was a real challenge but a great experience and fun, the coachwork suffered from the rough roads, an encounter with a Beijing jeep (where we came off best) and being reversed into in Greece by a delivery lorry.
So, when we got home, the dents had to be knocked out and the body repainted. We decided to keep it FT pink, as it is the only pink car, so far as I am aware, that has been driven from Beijing (Peking) to Paris (and then onto London) plus the pink and chocolate brown (the wings) are Winston Churchill’s racing colours and I am a graduate, and was a By-Fellow, of Churchill College, Cambridge.
The car near the village (Khomein, Iran) where the Ayatollah Khomeini was born 5,656 feet, it is one the highest roads in the world.
The car with Mount Ararat in the distance, in Turkey
The car at the finish in Place de la Concorde, Paris, with champagne sourced en route near Epernay