“What’s this?” Santa Claus said, sitting upright at his breakfast table, scanning the Merry Old Times while munching a big chunk of fruitcake.
He read out loud to Mrs. Claus: “Sleigh, red, slightly tarnished with ashes and soot. 400 years old, give or take, trunk worn but serviceable, runners ok. Txt RudolphRNR w/offer.”
“Oh dear,” Mrs. Claus sighed. “Have a cookie.”
Just then, Rudolph strolled in and took a seat, his shiny brown eyes glued to his phone, his hooves flying over the keyboard.
“Just who I’m looking for,” Santa Claus exclaimed. “What’s this?”
“Dude, where’s the ho-ho-ho?” Rudolph replied. “Hey, an offer from Poland. What’s a zloty?”
“Never mind that,” Santa Claus snapped. “You’re selling my sleigh? Why?”
Rudolph rolled his eyes. “That hooptie is shot. You need a class whip.”
“Um … excuse me?”
“Around the world in one night? You need a better ride. Here ya go.”
He showed Santa Claus his phone and a picture of a brand-new, cherry red 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom. “Cool, if you’ll pardon the North Pole pun.”
Santa’s face turned as red as the car’s exterior. “Don’t be ridiculous. And how’d you get an iPhone X anyway?”
“Old man Drosselmeier hooked me up,” replied Rudolph. “He’s, like, a billionaire, all those crazy nutcrackers. Oh wait, he’s texting. Check your email.”
Lively and quick, Santa Claus went to his laptop and began reading out loud with increasing astonishment.
“My Dear Santa,” he began, “The Rolls-Royce Phantom is more than just a vehicle – it’s conveyed some of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women to the most defining historical moments of the last 92 years.
“That is SO you. And in my humble opinion, given how long you’ve been at it, you more than deserve some luxury and comfort.
“Here it is in a nutshell. Haha, get it? Nutcracker? Oh well. Anyway, the good boys and girls at Goodwood who hand-build these motor cars also love to name things. The new Phantom VIII has an all-new aluminum frame – this is a big deal – and they call it ‘Architecture of Luxury.’ It’s lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced than anything before. Every Rolls from now on will be built this way.
“But that’s just the start. The body looks like it’s carved out of a solid block of aluminum, too. Do you know how hard that is to do? And it sort of looks a bit like the 1955 to 1966 Silver Cloud, which conveys that whole wonderful British stiff-upper-lip thing.
“Then there’s that oh-so-smooth Rolls ride. It has a name, too — Magic Carpet Ride. It’s even better now, since it’s got gigantic air springs, the biggest money can buy. And there’s a stereo camera system that actually reads the road ahead and adjusts spring and damper rates in anticipation. Keeps that ‘bowl full of jelly’ in its place.
“Oh, and did I say quiet? There’s almost 300 pounds of sound-insulating felt and foam packed into it, including foam in the tires to keep down the hubbub. You can hear an elf sneeze. No clatter on the lawn, for sure.
Santa Claus continued reading Drosselmeier’s email aloud. “The engine is ginormous. A new twin-turbo 6.75-liter V-12 good for 563 hp at 5,000 rpm and – get this – 664 lb-ft of torque at just 1,700 rpm. That’s 50 percent more than the old Phantom. Talk about dash away all!
“There’s also acres and acres of buttery leather from only the best hides, and I’m having hand-stitched embroidery added with holly leaves and berries. And you’ll love the color I picked out for the interior – matches Mrs. Claus’s eyes!”
“He’s so thoughtful,” said Mrs. Claus, blushing as she looked at her husband. “Have some cocoa. You look a bit peckish.”
Santa read on, “But here’s the capper. On the dashboard, there’s a giant glass plate to hold artwork. It’s called “The Gallery,” all done in a special clean room – no dust or moisture to besmirch the masterpiece I’m commissioning for you! Flowers, silk, rare woods, ceramics, paintings, whatever. Or maybe you’d prefer sugarplums?
“There’s more, of course. But suffice it to say, it’s the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, only the eighth in the company’s history. Nothing else like it on earth. Nothing even comes close.
“It’s an icon just like you. That’s why I’ve ordered one just for you! Merry Christmas, old boy!
“I’ll work out flight characteristics with your staff later. It’ll be ready to go in a year.
“Love, Uncle D.”
Santa looked up from his laptop.
“Pretty awesome, huh?” asked Rudolph, his red nose shining even more brightly than before.
“But the children … they expect me in the sleigh.” Santa’s merry dimples slumped a bit.
“Oh, gimme a break, they’ll totally dig it,” Rudolph said with a laugh, the sound soft and tinkling. “It’s a ROLLS!”
“Well, I’m keeping my sleigh, but I guess it won’t hurt to take a look.” Santa’s eyes lit up a bit.
“It certainly won’t,” Mrs. Claus chimed in. “I wonder if Dear Drosselmeier would consider his-and-her versions. Eggnog, anyone?”
Brian Melton once spent the weekend with a Phantom Drophead Coupe – he was the hero of the Home Depot parking lot.
Where to shop for Rolls-Royce Phantom VII
5300 Lemmon Avenue
Dallas, TX 75209