Driven: 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost

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A car review is a car review is a car review. Like me, you're probably tired of reading the endless inside-baseball chatter concerning brake-disc size, 50-70 mph passing times, even plug-in driving ranges. If you drive the right car, it's...well...academic, isn't it?

Thank goodness the Rolls-Royce Ghost needn't worry about any of it.

Neither will you after the first dozen or so miles at the wheel of the new "small" Rolls that's a warning shot aimed over the heads of the Bentley boys and their Mulsanne aspirations. Wait, warning shot? That sounds a bit too impolite. The dapper, impeccably damped Ghost will have none of that.

Let's say...a curt dismissal.

I'd barely acclimated myself to the Ghost, figured out its chromed switches and knobs and pull vents, and hardly had glided out of its parking space when that particular ultra-luxury zen descended on me.

It had been a haggard day of airplanes and airport shuttles, and knowing I'd have the $240,000 Ghost at my disposal gave me ample excuse to set its navigation system southward, to the most relaxing outpost I know within an easy two-hour drive of LAX. It's a place far removed from the insanity of Delta terminals and narrow seats and the existential horror of coach travel. Far enough to completely erase those recent memories, without adding more wear and tear to the equation.

La Jolla can seem even closer if you're driving very quickly, something the Ghost proves itself amply able to do despite its hulking steel-billet stance. I settled on a brisk pace, enough speed to make it to the Lodge at Torrey Pines in plenty of time for a late dinner on a patio outside my timber-beamed room, with an hour to spare to catch a late Law & Order and to digest it all.

I mean the food too, of course, but more so, the rich aftertaste the Rolls itself leaves behind.

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