Celebrity Cars: Chumlee Russell (Rolls Royce Phantom)

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Net Worth: $5 Million
Famous For: Pawn Stars
Car MSRP: $450,000
Top Speed: 155 Miles Per Hour
Miles to The Gallon: 12 City/20 Highway



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Austin Lee “Chumlee” Russell has been on the tv show Pawn Stars for years. He’s also a businessman and has an interest in cars. While he gets made fun of on the show and is often portrayed as not being very smart, he also appraises items well and can handle the shop duties properly. It’s likely that the “dumb” personality is just for show. One thing’s for certain, in that Chumlee was smart about the choice of car he purchased: a Rolls Royce Phantom. He got his nickname when he was 12 years old, after a cartoon walrus in a kid’s TV show. The name stuck, and now most people only know him by that name instead of his legal name of Austin. He started working for the pawn shop featured on the show when he was 21, five years before filming started.

He quickly became a fan favorite on the reality show, and that prompted him to start his own company selling novelty items and other merchandise that he designs. He eventually sold half of the company to Rick Harrison, the owner of the pawn shop, so the shop could handle his merchandise more efficiently. He still designs things for the company, though, including t-shirts and other items. He also makes money from personal appearances, allowing him to travel, enjoy life, and continue creating merchandise for others, along with working at the pawn shop. When he’s not at work, he could be spotted driving around town in one of his numerous vehicles. While he owns several great cars, one of his favorites is his Rolls Royce Phantom.

As a full-sized luxury car, the Rolls Royce Phantom was first produced for the 2003 model year. It was made, in one form or another, through 2017. The car has the distinction of being the first one made after BMW purchased the Rolls Royce name and its logo, back in 1998. Since that time, BMW has managed to bring the Rolls Royce name back, and show that the company is continually successful at making great luxury vehicles. Before the purchase, Rolls Royce was flagging in sales and struggling with a consumer base that was uncertain as to whether they wanted to continue to purchase from the company. Had BMW not made the purchase, it’s possible that the Rolls Royce name would have become only a part of history.

Luckily for people like Chumlee, though, the brand continues and offers excellent vehicles with quality and reliability. Two-door versions of the Phantom were made during its production run, along with a four-door version. From 2003 until 2009, the Phantom was the only car being produced under the Rolls Royce name. The Ghost changed that in 2009, with two models then being produced. As a flagship model there weren’t that many Phantoms produced in 2009, but it wasn’t limited to the exclusivity of the previous years, during which only 600 Phantoms or less were offered for production annually. The aluminum body and custom chassis is unique to the Phantom, and there are 44,000 paint colors to choose from, along with requesting any color of leather.

Customers who buy these cars can be very specific about what they want, making the Phantom an important car for people looking for unique features and benefits they won’t be able to find with just any vehicle. Everything on the car is completed to customer specifications, and much of the finish work is done by hand instead of by robots or other machines. The rear-hinged rear doors are called “coach doors” by the company, and a special mechanism prevents them from being opened when the car is moving. That was necessary due to the location of the door handles. As of 2009, there were significant luxury and technological innovations in the Phantom, as well, including voice recognition navigation and a power sunroof.

Rolls Royce also has a “Bespoke” program, through which it will create any reasonable option that a customer wants in their car. An extended wheelbase version of the Phantom has been made, along with an armored model and two different coupes. For the 2009 model year, the car had some modifications made. These included adjustments to the grille and wheels, along with technological and convenience updates in the car’s interior. No matter where you look in a Rolls Royce Phantom, you see the quality and value that went into creating such a vehicle. It’s no doubt that quality and sophistication that Chumlee sees in the Phantom he drives, and that other Rolls Royce owners enjoy, as well. While Chumlee has other vehicles, they don’t compare to everything that the Phantom can offer when it comes to a unique and luxurious driving experience.



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