The Cardinal Jewel

A Story of Cars and Curtseys


3/22/20245 min read

Cardinal Red Rolls Royce Milliner Park Ward parked on the street in the rain
Cardinal Red Rolls Royce Milliner Park Ward parked on the street in the rain

In the hidden corners of Warren Mead's Victoria Park car-yard, where metallic hues met the glint of afternoon sunlight, sat my Mulliner Park Ward coupé—my Rolls Royce, gleaming bright in resplendent Cardinal Red. It wasn't just another car; it was an epitome of beauty and rarity, one of only three in the State, —a sculpted masterpiece amidst a parade of immaculate rides.

Warren Mead's yard in Victoria Park was a showcase of luxury on wheels. Vintage and modern styles were displayed like rare gemstones, each one set with white-walled tyres that shimmered like pearls. This wasn't just any lot; it was a place where dreams of mobility turned into a runway of chic and trendy statements.

When I walked into that lot for the first time, my eyes were funnelled to a raised overlook where Warren stood. He was the man himself—Warren Mead—whose aesthetic choices had turned this humble yard into a spectacle of taste. His attire spoke volumes, effortlessly blending casualness with unmistakable luxury. Every piece he wore was a testament to his refined taste and the considerable wealth behind it. His demeanor radiated a quiet confidence, a natural attribute of someone accustomed to navigating the heights of success. Indeed, his presentation was as polished and distinguished as the elite automobiles he was known for.

"Ah, welcome," he greeted, offering a brief survey of the grand parade below. His voice was like smooth jazz, resonating with decades of wheeling and dealing in high-class circles. "Anything catch your eye?"

My eyes were already captured by my future possession—the Rolls Royce—radiant in Cardinal Red metallic. "Wow, now THAT is beautiful," I sighed audibly, unable to contain my excitement.

Warren’s gaze was elsewhere though. He seemed fixated on a stunning blonde who was strolling past the yard, oblivious to the treasure trove of automobiles surrounding her. "Well, you only need money for that, mate," he grinned, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "And the maintenance costs could be pretty high”, he added.

A comical misunderstanding unfolded before us. I had been talking about the car, the dazzling Rolls Royce; he thought my sigh had been for the woman. We laughed about the mix-up, lightening the air of business dealings. "Ah, I see we were talking about different models!" he chuckled.

Our attention eventually converged back to the object of my affection, the Rolls Royce that seemed to command the day. Its allure was irresistible, a magnetic force that seemed to pull at my very core. "Let’s make this happen," I said firmly, ready to put down any sum for this icon of grandeur.

The question of a test drive didn't even cross my mind. What for? This was the ultimate automobile, and Warren's reputation for quality was impeccable. He was renowned for dealing only in cars that matched his own high standards. In his world, a Rolls Royce was not just a car; it was a commitment to luxury.

A deal was struck, a pact made with relative ease, in those halcyon days in the '80s when a handshake between gentlemen would suffice. Paperwork was a mere formality when hearts and minds had already been won over. Soon enough, I was driving away in my new Rolls Royce, the embodiment of style, luxury, and unmatched elegance; and the car looked pretty nice too! :)

As I cruised down the boulevard, I felt like I was in a moving theatre where every lane change was a scene transition and every glance from a passerby was a standing ovation. True to Warren's initial misunderstanding, the car was indeed a magnet for many. A seductive appeal radiated from its metallic curves, inviting smiles, and occasional waves from strangers—just as Warren knew it would.

And then one fine day, while rolling down St George's Terrace, the heart of Perth's business district, something extraordinary happened. A woman caught sight of the Rolls Royce and did something most unexpected—she curtseyed. Yes, a full, graceful curtsey, as if my Cardinal jewel had transformed the bustling streets into a royal court. I couldn't help but smile; my Rolls Royce wasn't just a car; it was a symbol of timeless elegance, captivating hearts across generations and continents.

With the horizon ahead and the roar of a 6.7 litre engine that sounded more like a purr, my spirit found nourishment in an ultimate trophy. It was a tale of fulfilled desires, a dance between man, machine, and the open road—a joyous experience that transcended the boundaries of simple ownership.

In that Cardinal Red Rolls Royce, one of only three in the State, I found a piece of heaven—a treasure chest of memories, wonderful and untraceable, that I would carry forward into many more open roads ahead.

Peter Pickering and friends in Australia
Peter Pickering and friends in Australia

Whiteman Park with friends Andre and George.

Cardinal Elegance: A Tribute to a Rolls Royce Mulliner Park Ward

In a corner where beauty and rarity unite,

Sat my Mulliner Park Ward, gleaming bright.

A jewel amidst a car-yard of immaculate rides,

An embodiment of elegance, in Cardinal tides.

A stroll into Warren Mead’s yard, stylish cars aplenty,

Their white-walled tyres, like pearls, both chic and trendy.

On a raised overlook, we surveyed the grand parade,

It was there I spied her, a marvel, casting all in shade.

"Wow, that is beautiful," my heart let out a sigh,

Dreaming of the Rolls, under the clear blue sky.

Warren, his gaze fixated on a different prize,

A stunning blonde walking by, under his watchful eyes.

He said, “Well, you only need money," a nominal duty,

Unfolding the cost of maintaining such a beauty.

A misunderstanding, a comic mix-up for sure,

He thought I craved the girl, not the car of my allure.

Back to the Rolls, our attention did sway,

In Cardinal Red metallic, it held the day.

I yearned for its elegance, its grandeur to seize,

At any price, a pact was made with ease.

Driving away in style, in luxury’s pride,

A rare jewel, my joy, it was hard to hide.

A magnet for many, a seduction so grand,

Beauties flocked, just as Warren had planned.

So in my Rolls Royce, stunning and irreplaceable,

I cruised, with memories wonderful and untraceable.

With achieved aspiration, and the open road ahead,

In this ultimate trophy, my spirit was fed.

Technical Specifications

  • Engine:

    • Type: V8, OHV (Overhead Valve)

    • Displacement: 6750 cc (411.8 cu in)

    • Bore x Stroke: 95.25 mm (3.75 in) x 88.9 mm (3.50 in)

    • Compression Ratio: 8.9:1

    • Horsepower: ~220 bhp (164 kW) @ 4750 rpm (net) - Power figures can vary depending on source.

    • Fuel System: Twin SU carburetors

  • Transmission:

    • Type: 3-speed GM Hydramatic automatic

  • Drivetrain:

    • Rear-wheel drive

  • Brakes:

    • Four-wheel servo-assisted disc brakes

  • Suspension:

    • Independent front suspension with coil springs and telescopic dampers

    • Live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and telescopic dampers

  • Steering:

    • Recirculating ball steering with power assistance

  • Wheels:

    • Steel disc wheels with chrome hubcaps (size may vary depending on source)

  • Tyres:

    • Bias-ply (diagonal) tires - Size may vary depending on source

  • Dimensions:

    • Wheelbase: 3090 mm (121.7 in)

    • Length: 5168 mm (203.9 in)

    • Width: 1869 mm (73.6 in)

    • Height: 1503 mm (59.2 in)

    • Weight: Approximately 2400 kg (5291 lb)

Please note:

  • These specifications are based on available information and may vary slightly depending on the source.

  • Performance figures such as top speed and 0-60 mph acceleration are not readily available for this specific model.

  • Due to the bespoke nature of Mulliner Park Ward coachwork, some details like interior materials or specific equipment might differ from car to car.