It takes a $79,000 service bill on a 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom listed at $70,000 to illustrate the painful cost of ultra-luxury car ownership, with over half the bill in labor charges alone

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The 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a landmark car in more ways than one. It represents the seventh generation of the historied Phantom badge but more importantly, it was the first all-new Rolls-Royce under BMW ownership. The Rolls-Royce Phantom was called the most luxurious car in the world (and cheekily, the ultimate BMW) when it debuted with a sticker price starting at $320,000 for a V12-powered luxury statement on wheels.

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And now possibly the most mint 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom has come up for sale at a bargain price of $70,000, with the clincher being the $79,000 in repairs and maintenance the previous owner put into it before listing it.

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For some, that may seem like a bad idea — why put in so much money into a 20-year-old ultra-luxury car? To answer this, one only has to look at hip-hop sensation 50 Cent, proud owner of a Rolls-Royce Phantom VII from new, who famously wanted to make his a convertible before Rolls-Royce even offered one — because some people can.

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The service bill that has been displayed in the sale listing in the interests of transparency, also shows that ultra-luxury car ownership is not for the faint of heart and light of wallet, even two decades down the line. Rolls-Royce parts are marked up at a premium, even if sometimes the equivalent BMW part will work just fine, considering the Phantom is loosely based on a BMW 7 Series.

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The real criminal part of the listing appears to be the inordinately high labor charges associated with the work performed on the car to bring it back to as close to showroom condition as possible. For example, the customer was charged over $3,000 just to remove and reinstall the front passenger door handle, and boot handle.

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Sure, the work was carried out by Rolls-Royce specialists, Runolfson Restoration in California, but that still seems excessive. If one can learn anything from this listing it’s that the old adage of making sure you can afford to buy an old luxury car twice, is the best piece of advice out there.

Image – Beverly Hills car club
Image – Beverly Hills car club
Image – Beverly Hills car club
Image – Beverly Hills car club
Image – Beverly Hills car club

[Beverly Hills Car club via Carscoops]

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From crafting advertising copy to road testing the latest cars for leading automobile publications, Simran's passions haven taken him all over the world, over the last decade-and-a-half. He's now besotted with the irresistible charm of older cars, and can often be found polishing them to shiny perfection.