AMHERST – If you ever need to carry four adults down the highway in complete comfort at 140 miles per hour, you may want to look into purchasing a Continental Flying Spur.
“I love cars,” said Paul Calder, who drives a Ford Fusion. He was one of a small crowd of spectators and car owners at the Cumberland County Museum and Archives Tuesday morning – launching point for a one-week tour of Nova Scotia and PEI by the Rolls Royce Owners Club (from the U.S.).
Calder stood near the Spur, owned by Sneed Adams. The 12-cylinder Bentley generates 550 horsepower. The one on display was a 2006, but the 2012 version retails for about $185,000.
A person in attendance guessed a three-liter Supersports Red Label Bentley in the parking lot might be worth half a million.
“That’s an incredible car,” said Calder of the three-liter.
Andrew Peck was one of the organizers of the tour. His 1947 Silver Wraith Rolls Royce was on display in the sun-dappled, gravel lot. He knew most of his car’s history, including a stint it had as the centerpiece of a retail haberdashery store. His other Rolls is an 87 Drophead.
Peck has had a cottage at Heather’s Beach for 22 years.
“It’s beautiful country,” he said.
The group’s itinerary includes PEI, Pictou and Cape Breton, finishing up back at Fox Harbour.
Peck said whenever he drives his car, friendly people come up and chat.
“It makes a drive anywhere special.”
David Howe of Parrsboro was another one of the organizers, but his car couldn’t make the comparatively short trip from his home. The 1926 Bentley was running recently but is having trouble starting.
“A work in progress,” he called it.
Howe said he likes the handmade, skilled craftsmanship that went into his Bentley.
“My car is repairable forever,” said Howe.
He said today’s cars are made as well as they need to be, while cars like his were made as well as they could be.
Diane Shaw, the curator at the museum, was contacted by Peck in July.
“We’re delighted (that) they came,” said Shaw.
She made the observation that the logo of the museum includes an antique car – similar, she said, to the McKay car, the first automobile manufactured in Nova Scotia.
A local car club enthusiast, Jim Murray, rounded up some volunteers to help with the event.
“I’m feeling great – it’s a good day when I can park Rolls Royces.”
Murray doesn’t own a Rolls, or a Bentley – which were made by Rolls until recently – but he was still a ‘proud parent’ at the event: his 1913 Model T Ford was parked in the museum’s driveway.