Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is honored to present the next chapter of its Boat Tail coachbuilt commission—one of just three that have been, and ever will be, made.
The essence of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is that each commission tells a story entirely unique and personal to its owner, reflecting their own history, tastes and sensibilities. With this in mind, Boat Tail, revealed at Concorso d’Eleganza, Villa d’Este 2022, on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy, is a masterwork of restraint, sophistication, elegance and attention to detail.
Boat Tail is entirely hand-built, with the body panels fashioned from vast, single sheets of aluminum to create the distinctive outline inspired by the racing yachts of the early 20th century. In every respect, this remarkable motor car is entirely unique.
This Boat Tail design was commissioned by a patron whose family business has grown from his father’s origins in the pearling industry. Widely traveled, internationally educated and cosmopolitan in his tastes and influences, the client is an established patron of the arts, who additionally owns a sizable collection of classic and modern cars, housed in a dedicated private museum.
The foundation of the color is a shimmering blend of oyster and soft rose, with large white and bronze mica flakes adding a unique pearlescent quality that changes subtly under different light conditions. The contrasting cognac-colored bonnet, created specifically for this Boat Tail, contains fine bronze and gold colored aluminum mica flakes complete with a layer of crystal and iced matte clear coat, adding significant warmth and depth to the car’s appearance. The technical fiber lower sills of Boat Tail incorporate a rose gold woven thread.
The rear deck, which houses Boat Tail’s unique ‘butterfly-design’ hosting suite, is swathed in Royal Walnut veneer, inlaid with rose gold-plated pinstripes with a satin-brushed finish to ensure a sensitive and sophisticated appearance. The Royal Walnut was specifically selected by the client for its beautiful properties as it matures over time, a material that will gradually transition to the tonal properties of the cognac color. From above, one observes a harmonious balance and satin effect of the iced bonnet and tactile wooden rear deck, in contrast with the high-gloss front and side perspectives.
From the front, the Pantheon Grille, milled from a single, solid billet of aluminum, is graced with a Spirit of Ecstasy fashioned in rose gold.
The interior is a beautifully curated combination of perfectly matched cognac and oyster-colored leathers and Royal Walnut veneer, with rose gold and mother-of-pearl accents throughout. The leathers, complete with a pearlescent finish, accentuate the surfaces and forms of Boat Tail’s seats and interior design. The transmission tunnel is formed from Royal Walnut veneer with rose gold pinstripes, drawing a direct visual reference to the rear deck and adding a glowing warmth to Boat Tail’s interior.
The centerpiece of the dashboard is a timepiece made from mother-of-pearl, chosen and supplied by the client from his own collection; the fascia of which is pure and minimal in its appearance so as not to detract from the precious material. The same prized substance graces the control switches and instrument dials, creating a strong visual and material connection between the car, the owner, and his family heritage.
LA-based production company Valkyr Productions, led by director Jeremy Heslup, has created a short Western film with an automotive twist. For a brand with more than 100 years of history, the filmmaker saw a perfect opportunity to highlight the world’s most modern and luxurious SUV in a setting of more than century ago. As the “all-powerful stagecoach,” the Black Badge Rolls-Royce Cullinan plays a central character in the film, its tremendous presence and peerless luxury juxtaposed with disparity of life in the West. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars saw this as a great opportunity to showcase the Cullinan’s authentic capability in an unexpected setting.
The narrative short film, supported by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America, who provided the 2022 Black Badge Cullinan to the film production, was shot over 4 days at the beautiful Yellowstone Film Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. The film, intended as a narrative and commercial statement piece, grew in scope with the inclusion of the Cullinan. Self-funded by Valkyr with over 30 cast and 30 crew attached to the project, both local and out of town, the nimble production sought to squeeze the most value out of the opportunity as possible.
“From the narrative side, I hope people see a story that is identifiable within the Western genre; from the commercial side, I hope people see a fresher, more purposeful take on motivating how the car is used in the story.” – writer/director Jeremy HeslupThe ensemble cast is led by Claudine Quadrat (Ant Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, Mank) playing Isabel, the true gunslinger masquerading as a saloon girl. The film also features Jarrett Worley (Yellowstone, Daredevil) as the Gunslinger, and Montana natives Joe Wayne (History’s Mysteries) as the Man in Black and Cory Birkenbuel (Two Yellow Lines) as the Second in Command. And of course, Black Badge Cullinan makes it screen debut as, The Stagecoach.
Shot by Director of Photography Joe Victorine (Netflix’s My Heroes Were Cowboys) on Alexa Mini LF with Cooke Anamorphic SF FF lenses from Adorama Rentals in New York, the 4-day production was divided into 2 days on the narrative Western scenes and 2 days on the car-related scenes. A chase vehicle captured the Cullinan’s pursuit of the gang’s horses, a drone followed for an aerial sequence, and Filmlites Montana provided equipment for picture car rigging.
“Each commission represents a distinct design reflecting an aspect of what Phantom means to its ultimate owner. Many Phantom owners achieve their success through new ideas, unconventional methods, and their own relentless self-belief. The ‘Maverick’ Bespoke persona demonstrates how Phantom adapts to the modern age, asserting a creative, independent character.” Jonathan Simms, Head of Bespoke, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The designers at Rolls-Royce created Phantom to provide the ultimate blank canvas. To demonstrate the power of Bespoke design with Phantom Series II, the unique Bespoke commission showcased at The Quail has been coined ‘Maverick’ by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke designers.
Phantom’s new expression features two unique Bespoke elements, utilising light and extending the impact of the iconic Starlight Headliner to the exterior. The Pantheon Grille is now illuminated, with each metal vane specifically finished to provide a subtle glow. The headlights are graced with 580 intricate laser-cut bezel starlights. Combined, these create a visual connection with the iconic Starlight Headliner inside and add to Phantom’s nighttime presence.
The exterior is finished in a classic Rolls-Royce two-tone colourway with Black over Monteverde green highlighting a bold, hand applied Peony Pink coachline. The coachline set against the darker colours draws inspiration from the interior colour design. Upon opening the coach doors, one encounters an interior suite of Scivaro Grey offset by a vibrant colour pop from large swatches in Peony Pink. The Obsydian Ayous open pore wood and canadel panelling present a contemporary yet warm look and feel. The Gallery in this special commission features a world first with a unique embroidery design finished in Scivaro Grey with a Peony Pink thread.
The Phantom Series II ‘Maverick’ commission is part of the 2022 Pebble Beach Collection and features a personalised treadplate which reads, ‘Pebble Beach 2022’ Special Commission. The Collection is further complemented with the first ever Black Badge Cullinan in Forbidden Pink and a world premier for a new finish, Ghost in Crystal over Sagano Green. These commissions are offered exclusively through authorised Rolls-Royce Motor Cars retailers and will be on display throughout the weekend of festivities for Monterey Car Week 2022.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Beverly Hills announced today that it has signed a lease for approximately 18,000-square-foot ground-floor retail location 9460 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The location will serve as the Beverly Hills flagship showroom for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Beverly Hills, part of O’Gara Coach is perennially one of the world’s largest Rolls-Royce dealers. For the past two years running the operation has been awarded top ‘Provenance’ dealer globally for the world’s premier luxury brand. The new showroom will occupy the high-profile retail space located at the prominent corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive. The mid-century, nine-story, 97,000-square-foot office building is steps from the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills’ retail district referred to as the Golden Triangle.
“The Beverly Hills luxury strip brings to life the young and vibrant culture that defines the Rolls-Royce brand of today. This new showcase location lies at the heart of Beverly Hills where the world of luxury, entertainment, sports and business intersect. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Beverly Hills is an award winning member of the Rolls-Royce Motor Car family, and we look forward to the O’Gara Coach team setting new records in this new illustrious location,” said Martin Fritsches, President and CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas.
For more than 45 years O’Gara Coach has been Southern California’s leading destination for the discerning driver of exotic cars and luxury brands.
Earlier this year, at a bespoke testing facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, Spectre received the first ‘lessons’ in a finishing school that is custom designed to teach the motor car how to behave and react like a Rolls-Royce. Over the past months, the marque’s test and development engineers have shifted their focus from extreme conditions to more formal scrutiny in a location that reflects the motor car’s everyday use: the French Riviera where 625,000 kilometres of Spectre’s 2.5 million kilometre global testing programme will be driven on and around the French Côte d’Azur.
This phase is split into two parts, beginning at the historic Autodrome de Miramas proving ground, located in the French department of Bouches-du-Rhône in Provence. This includes irrigation units that create standing water, handling circuits with tight corners and adverse cambers, and a heavily banked 3.1 mile three-lane high-speed bowl, enabling Spectre to be tested at continuous high speeds.
The second phase of testing in the region occurs in the countryside surrounding the Autodrome de Miramas on the roads that many production Spectres will be driven on following first customer deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ In High Definition
A new suspension technology has been approved that ensures Spectre delivers Rolls-Royce’s hallmark ‘magic carpet ride’. This technology is now being refined at Miramas and on the roads of the French Riviera.
New hardware component with electronic roll stabilisation uses data from the Rolls-Royce Flagbearer system, reading the road surface ahead, and Satellite Aided Navigation system, which alerts Spectre to upcoming corners.
On straight roads, the system can automatically decouple Spectre’s anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently to prevent rocking motion.
The configuration improves high-frequency distortions in ride caused by road surface.
Once the data in the Satellite Aided Navigation identifies an upcoming curve the components are recoupled, the suspension dampers stiffen, and the four-wheel steering system prepares for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit.
Under cornering, more than 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted accordingly so that Spectre remains stable.
The new technology paired with the aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury” provides unparalleled control of Spectre. The dedicated Rolls-Royce platform provides Spectre with the most rigid body in the marque’s history.
The architecture is reinforced with steel sections that provide increased torsional rigidity combined with aluminium body sections that represent the largest of any Rolls-Royce yet.
The one-piece side panel, which extends from the front of the A-pillar to behind the rear tail-lights, is the largest ‘deep draw’ part ever produced by Rolls-Royce – extending nearly four metres in length.
Likewise, the pillarless coach doors, which are nearly 1.5 metres in length, are the longest in Rolls-Royce history.
Integration of the rigid battery structure Spectre’s architecture added support to the 30% improvement in structural rigidity.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: A Bespoke Electronic Architecture
Spectre is the most connected Rolls-Royce ever and each of its components are more intelligent than in any previous Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce software engineers developed a decentralised processing technology by sending more sophisticated data packets – that describe a variable input and response
It features 141,200 sender-receiver relations and has more than 1,000 functions and more than 25,000 sub functions.
This is three times more sender-receiver signals than a typical Rolls-Royce.
Over the course of the Riviera Testing Programme, the marque’s engineers are creating a dedicated control for each of Spectre’s 25,000-plus functions.
Responses calculate factors including weather, driver behaviour, vehicle status and road conditions.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: A New Aerodynamic Standard
Initial testing of the redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy mascot yielded an estimated drag coefficient (cd) of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created. Current wind tunnel testing, digital modelling and continuous high-speed testing in Miramas, indicated it has be reduced to just 0.25.
ROLLS-ROYCE SPECTRE: THE EXTRAORDINARY UNDERTAKING CONTINUES
The Spectre global testing programme continues: the Electric Super Coupé will still be tested for a further one million kilometres before the marque’s engineers will consider this undertaking complete. First customer deliveries of Spectre will commence in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“Rolls-Royce Ghost remains one of the most popular members of our family. No name has been more successful for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars over the past century and especially over the past 20 years marking the Goodwood era. It’s fascinating to share how Rolls-Royce has evolved over the past century while at the same time, remaining true to its promise as the premier luxury brand in the world.” — Martin Fritches, President Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas
Rolls-Royce Ghost has been the most successful name for the world’s leading luxury brand for the past century. Ghost has set luxury and motoring standards since Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls revealed Silver Ghost to the world in 1908. This week, as part of the 2022 Annual Meet of Rolls-Royce Owners Club, the brand spans more than 100 years of Ghost with an exclusive meeting of two special Silver Ghost and two spectacular 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost commissions. The family gathering comes 114 years since the debut of Silver Ghost in 1907.
Thevintage Silver Ghosts were introduced to the pair of 2022 Rolls-Royce commissions as Rolls-Royce motor car owners and lovers convened in San Diego for the 2022 Rolls-Royce Owners Club annual gathering. This annual meet features some of the finest examples Rolls-Royce historic commissions from throughout North America. With more than 70 percent of all motor cars created still gracing the world’s roads today,Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commitment to excellence of quality and luxury is borne out in each unique Bespoke creation.
The vintage beauties were greeted by a 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost, the execution of the brand’s concept of ‘post-opulence’ first seen in 2021. Today’s Ghost is a more restrained and refined. Constructed on the brand’s dedicated ‘Architecture of Luxury,’ Ghost has refined the Rolls-Royce driving experience to perfection. The interior free of unnecessary adornments with wide simple leatherwork and the longest straightest stitch lines ever seen in a motor car. Every piece has also been engineered to make Ghost the quietest ever and the most intriguing design features resulting from the use of light. Designers extended the effect of the brands Starlight Headliner inside and out with a fascia is illuminated with 850 shimmering stars surrounding the mark “Ghost.” On the exterior, a subtle ‘light touch’ includes a new feature with an illuminate iconic Rolls-Royce grill.
Black Badge Ghost joined the reunion as the darker, edgier alter ego for the family. The distinct model features both design and engineering enhancements that make it the choice for a more aggressive Rolls-Royce collector. With darkened chrome including the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy, Black Badge highlights the passion for nightlife. Black Badge Ghost doesn’t just bring a darker beauty, engineering enhancements give it more brawn. Goodwood engineers have tuned the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 to deliver more torque and horsepower than the ‘post-opulent’ Ghost and the acclaimed ‘Architecture of Luxury’ has been engineered to be more aggressive.
The event comes just following the announcement by Rolls-Royce of the second iteration of “Boat Tail’ the premier program for the Rolls-Royce Coachbuild division and the reveal of the new interpretation of Phantom VIII, the ability of Rolls-Royce Motors to continue delivering commissions are becoming instant classics is undisputed.
1921 Rolls-Royce Springfield Silver Ghost
151JG Mayfair RRCCW Body # RR-1822 Engine # 20-172
A stunning car with all its original appointments and finishing’s this 1921 has complete restoration including beautiful paint, metal finish, wood, leather & broadcloth upholstery. One of the first cars to be produced at Rolls-Royce’s Springfield, Massachusetts production facility, it was originally bodied with a Smith Sedan RRCCW #SS-149 and sold in Ohio and it was rebodied with a new Mayfair body appointed with a sliding partition window. In 1926 the chassis was converted to left hand drive (steering, pedals, shifter & brake lever, instrument panel) and running board boxes were removed as was in fashion. Doug and Carole gates of Poway, California became the fourth owners of this Silver Ghost in 2016.
1923 ROLLS-ROYCE Silver Ghost
Barker-style tourer Chassis #29LK
This 1923 British Build commission is a beautiful open top example of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer. With an exterior Claret paint finish, it boasts beautiful paint, metal finish, wood, leather & upholstery. The Silver Ghost was initially bodied and sold as a limousine in the UK market and then imported into the US in the early 1960’s for a Massachusetts owner. An award-winning Silver Ghost from the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, this Silver Ghost has traveled more than 10,000 road miles in past year and has journeyed the 12,000 miles from its home in North Carolina to Alaska in recent years. Current owners Doug and Mary White revel in adding miles to this tourer. They have toured the UK, Europe, South Africa. The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost has even visited Singapore in the past decade.
The very first iteration of the Rolls-Royce Starlight Headliner was developed in 2006. Equipped with 800 stars, the innovation was in response to who requested a sift dispersed lighting environment in his Rolls-Royce Phantom due to a sensitivity to light. The Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers, and craftspeople worked relentlessly to develop this technology, extending it to the entire length of the roof and varying the intensity of light emitted by each star to reflect the night sky.
First, the leather is perforated with 1,400 to 1,600 holes, each carefully counted. Fiber optic threads, which are hand-trimmed at different angles to achieve a twinkling effect, are set into these holes by hand. The craftsperson then ensures that the fibers are perfectly seated on the visible leather surface.
The Bespoke designers were once posed with the query: ‘Could all this be accomplished by a robot? Probably, but it’s not. Instead, Rolls-Royce hires detail-obsessed individuals from specialty areas, including textile and technology. The result is a different take on heavenly creationism that’s always unique and personal.”
Displayed on the Festival’s Laundry Green, adjacent to Goodwood House, will be a selection of highly Bespoke commissions – Black Badge Wraith, Black Badge Dawn, Black Badge Cullinan and the purest expression of a Rolls-Royce Black Badge to date, Black Badge Ghost. Each commission reveals an owner’s aesthetic sensibilities and the marque’s peerless craftsmanship.
Launched in 2016, Black Badge is Rolls-Royce’s response to a new type of client. A permanent Bespoke treatment to its motor cars, these products are darker in aesthetic, more urgent in personality and dramatic in material. Designed with more torque, control and power, Rolls-Royce Black Badge is for those who reject conformity and live on their own terms. It is for the innovators, trailblazers, rule-breakers — and above all — those who dare. Since its introduction, more dynamic patrons of luxury have responded by pushing the boundaries of the marque’s bold alter-ego through their own Bespoke commissions.
Black Badge, the highly successful alter ego of Rolls-Royce, now represents 27% of commissions worldwide and is codified by the mathematical symbol that represents a potential infinity. This graphic, also known as a Leminscate, was applied to Sir Malcom Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane and the marque’s designers nominated this hallmark for Black Badge motor cars to reflect their own unrelenting pursuit of power and the infinite possibilities that darkness provides. Today it can be found within the Black Badge motor car’s interior.
For this year’s Festival of Speed, Rolls-Royce presents five new powerful creations, inspired by its clients’ desires.
BLACK BADGE GHOST
Launched in late 2021, Black Badge Ghost is the marque’s purest and most technologically advanced Black Badge motor car yet.
A Galileo Blue and Black exterior finish was selected to signify the dramatic intent of this Black Badge Ghost commission. Striking Red brake callipers and a single wheel centre pinstripe in Galileo Blue confidently resolve the aesthetic exterior. The blue theme is carried through to the interior, with the seat piping and Bespoke interior leather in Galileo Blue.
BLACK BADGE CULLINAN
Named after the world’s largest rough Diamond, Cullinan is a super-luxury SUV, designed to make luxury travel effortless everywhere. Since its launch, Black Badge Cullinan has embarked on a remarkable Bespoke journey, and a unique Black Badge Cullinan has been created for the event. The commission reconciles the notions of utility, power and effortlessness that Black Badge Cullinan embodies. Presented in Dark Olive with a single Mandarin coachline and Mandarin brake callipers, the signature Black Badge design flourishes, including a milled carbon fibre Spirit of Ecstasy, and 22-inch Black Badge wheels embolden the exterior aesthetic.
BLACK BADGE DAWN
Black Badge Dawn is the most uncompromising expression of open-top luxury in the world. Presented in a striking two-tone, Jasmine with Black, this commission embodies the notions of adventure and freedom. This bold and powerful two-tone treatment is also applied to the steering wheel, and the flanks of its bold coachwork are underscored by 21-inch Black Badge wheels.
BLACK BADGE WRAITH
Black Badge Wraith presents an intoxicating manifestation of the world’s most powerful Rolls-Royce. The athletic prowess of the luxury Grand Tourer meets an irresistible dynamism, sculpted for those who dare to defy convention. Black Badge Wraith is presented in Tucana Purple, with the upper body in Black. A Mandarin coachline showcases the marque’s surface finish capabilities. Inside, a Mandarin and Black theme creates a dramatic and powerful aesthetic.
In addition to the four cars presented on the stand, a Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost will take to the hill climb up to four times a day in the exclusive ‘First Glance’ showcase. Further demonstrating Black Badge’s agility, a Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith will join the cars in the ‘Michelin Supercar Run’. Both motor cars can be viewed in their Paddocks between their scheduled high-speed outings.
Other Rolls-Royce motor cars attending the Festival of Speed include a Black Badge Dawn as a Courtesy Car and a Black Badge Cullinan as a Safety Car.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrates the 118th anniversary of the historic first meeting between Henry Royce and The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls – which took place on 4 May 1904
The company they founded together created ‘the best car in the world’, a position still occupied today by the marque’s products
Phantom, Rolls-Royce’s pinnacle product, has continued to evolve technically, aesthetically and dynamically to maintain its pre-eminence in the Rolls-Royce offering, and in the world of luxury
The eighth generation of Phantom reflects Royce’s held conviction that “small things make perfection, but perfection is no small thing”.
“As we reflect on Phantom’s remarkable heritage, I am struck by the unique place it occupies in the hearts and minds of our most demanding Rolls-Royce clients. Phantom is the beneficiary of the most ambitious forms of Rolls-Royce Bespoke, transforming into whatever our clients want it to be. Indeed, Phantom is not only the ‘best car in the world’, but the best car for them in their world.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks the 118th anniversary of the first meeting between its founders, Henry Royce and The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, England in 1904.
Through the combination of Royce’s engineering genius and Rolls’ talent for promotion, their company soon became recognised as the maker of ‘the best car in the world’ – a title that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly retains more than a century later.
Today, the marque’s pinnacle product – Phantom – is the ultimate expression of Bespoke luxury designed and handmade at the Home of Rolls-Royce, Goodwood. As part of its annual reflections on its origins and unique heritage, Rolls-Royce looks back through Phantom’s lineage, exploring how its namesakes evolved over the years to remain consistently at the apex of the Rolls-Royce offering.
THE ORIGINS OF EXCELLENCE
In the automotive industry’s earliest days, luxury car makers produced only the mechanical components (engine, transmission, chassis and so on) known as a rolling chassis, which underpinned the car. The bodies were designed and constructed by independent coachbuilders to the customer’s specification.
For manufacturers, including Rolls-Royce, improvements in design and engineering were directed almost entirely towards technical aspects of the car’s performance. These included reliability, hill-climbing capability, ease of control and a set of ride quality attributes still known collectively as noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
From the outset, Phantom earned the title ‘the best car in the world’ through the superior quality and designs of the rolling chassis – the finest platform on which coachbuilders could reach the very apex of their craft.
REDRAWING TECHNICAL BOUNDARIES
The Phantom family was born in 1925 when Rolls-Royce launched Phantom I. With its massive low-range torque, cutting-edge technology and ‘Magic Carpet Ride’, the new model immediately established the fundamental traits that would define the family for the next 100 years. Then, as now, Rolls-Royce declined to rest on its laurels, and by 1929, its successor was ready for the market.
Phantom II represented another step-change in engineering and technology. In 1930, the company unveiled the Phantom II Continental, which gave customers a choice of a more performance-orientated model for those who preferred to drive themselves. The ‘standard’ longer-wheelbase car was retained for chauffeur-driven use. This practice set the precedent for today’s Phantom and Phantom Extended.
THE NEED FOR SPEED
While the new Continental could attain speeds up to 95mph, it was still not as fast as some of its rivals. The company decided to resolve the matter once and for all. In 1934, applying its proven experience with aero engines, it developed a new 7.3-litre V12 engine, mounted on a new chassis. The resulting Phantom III, when fitted with lightweight coachwork, was capable of exceeding 100mph.
In 1939, Rolls-Royce produced an experimental car, nicknamed ‘The Scalded Cat’. In later years, this car was often loaned to influential individuals, including HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke was so impressed that he persuaded Rolls-Royce to build him a more formal version; the marque obliged with the first Phantom IV, delivered in July 1950. The car remains on front-line (albeit reduced) duty at The Royal Mews, under its pre-delivery codename, Maharajah. Though originally intended as a one-off, 18 Phantom IV cars were completed: 17 were sumptuously appointed commissions for other royalty and heads of state; the other, somewhat bizarrely, was built as a pick-up truck for use by Rolls-Royce as transport and on-the-road component testing.
A FINAL FLOURISH
In 1959, the marque launched Phantom V, equipped with its most up-to-date V8 engine. In 1967, the car underwent subtle technical changes that were deemed, at the very last minute, sufficient to justify its redesignation as Phantom VI.
By 1968 the only true coachbuilder left in Britain was Rolls-Royce’s own in-house company, Mulliner Park Ward. These magnificent cars soldiered on through the mid-1980s, until production dwindled to a mere two or three cars a year, and finally ceased altogether in 1992.
BRINGING VISIONS TO LIFE
Every generation up to Phantom VI was essentially a rolling chassis. The bodies were built to the owner’s individual requirements by some of the most famous and prestigious names in British and European coachbuilding.
While this was normal practice in the luxury automotive world, Phantom stood apart through its ability – thanks to Royce’s engineering genius and the excellence of the chassis’ components and construction – to carry coachwork of the very finest quality, weight and complexity.
At every stage in Phantom’s development, owners exploited its potential to the full, creating some of the most magnificent, eye-catching and radical motor cars ever to grace the road. And since the chassis and body were separate, it was possible for a subsequent owner to change the car’s appearance to suit their own taste and requirements.
Many Phantoms took on more than one guise over their long, often globe-trotting lives: in some cases, they were merely repainted; in others, the whole car was rebuilt from the chassis upwards, taking on an entirely new form and character. And for all their extraordinary diversity, every one of the examples shown below is a true Rolls-Royce in terms of its underlying engineering, materials and construction, performance, ride quality and comfort – and, above all, in being exactly as the owner wanted it.
1930 Phantom II (62GY)
This handsome Phantom II was coachbuilt by Hooper of London with a Dual Cowl Tourer body. At the request of the owner, a wealthy timber merchant from Texas, 50 additions were specified with touring intentions. These include a larger fuel tank, louvered bonnet and radiator two inches taller than standard. The car was originally purchased for the owner’s honeymoon and went on to tour the Continent extensively until 1939. The present custodian acquired the car in 1998 and has since won prestigious awards including the Louis Vuitton Classic Parfums Givenchy Trophy pre-war tourers and Most Sporting Tourer in the Biarritz Concours.
1933 Phantom II Continental (55MW)
This ‘concealed-head boat body’ was a speciality of coachbuilder Park Ward. Its main feature was the compact folding hood that, when fully retracted, was entirely concealed under the rear deck, giving the coachwork its distinctive uninterrupted line. The original upholstery was textured pigskin.
Source: ‘Park Ward The Innovative Coachbuilder’ by Malcolm Tucker.
1933 Phantom Ill (3BT103)
This rare two-door sedanca coupé was coachbuilt by HJ Mulliner for Apsley Cherry-Garrard, one of the surviving members of Captain Scott’s last, fateful expedition to the South Pole in 1912. The car was originally finished in Primrose Yellow with a dyed Vaulmol leather interior; in the late 1940s it was repainted in black. The car was briefly owned by the legendary actor Sir Ralph Richardson; it then spent time in Wales and the USA before returning to the UK in the late 70s / early 80s. It sat neglected in a barn until 2018 when it was bought by its present owner, and has now been painstakingly restored using many authentic components, including original numbered engine parts.
Source: Alpine Eagle Ltd.
1937 Phantom III (3BT85)
London coachbuilder Hooper & Co built several bodies in this striking saloon-with-division style, which looks fast even when standing still thanks to its semi-razor edge styling and swooping curves. The art-deco chrome-plated flashes to the body and wings simply enhance the sense of kinetic energy.
Source: ‘The Spectre Arises’ by Steve Stuckey.
1965 Phantom V (5VD63)
This Phantom was originally owned by Wing Commander Patrick Barthropp. In 1968, John Lennon purchased the car from Barthropp coinciding with the launch of The Beatles’ White Album. In September 1969 he sold the car to Allen Klein, an American businessman.
The car appeared in the Oscar-winning film Georgy Girl (1966), the classic Let It Be (1970), starring The Beatles, Performance (1970), featuring Mick Jagger, and then prominently featured in The Greek Tycoon (1978) starring Anthony Quinn.
In 2016 after extensive restoration, Jody Klein, a longtime Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club member brought the car to the Concurs d’Elegance, Lincolnshire, where it was awarded first place for Best In Class.
James Young, established in 1863, is renowned for creating some of the most elegant coachwork to ever grace a motor car chassis. Perhaps the pinnacle of their achievements was realised in their PV23 design, developed especially for the Rolls-Royce Phantom V chassis, with 22 such bodies being built.
This model was usually finished in black, but for 5LVF65 the lighter shade of Ivory further enhances the classic elegance of every curve and line from the pen of its acclaimed designer, A. F. McNeil.
The interior contains a remarkably spacious rear compartment, with the finest cabinetry work below the division glass. Champagne cloth to the rear compartment is chosen for greater comfort than the similarly coloured and more resilient leather that the chauffeur would enjoy.
Source: P&A Wood.
2015 Phantom VII (Serenity Phantom)
Rolls-Royce created this magnificent Bespoke Phantom VII Extended for its display at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Inspired by opulent motor cars made for international royalty in the early 1900s, the rear passenger cabin is finished in a unique Smoke Green raw silk, specially handwoven and decorated with hand-embroidered and hand-painted Chinoiserie blossom motifs that took up to 600 hours to complete. The design also appears in the fascia and marquetry inlays in the rear doors; smoked cherrywood and bamboo elements, and details echoing the raked gravel in Japanese gardens complete the interior’s calm, natural ambiance. At the time, the Mother of Pearl exterior paint finish was the most complex – and expensive – the marque had ever produced.
2021 Phantom VIII (Phantom Oribe)
A unique collaboration saw the House of Rolls-Royce and the House of Hermès co-create a Bespoke Phantom for Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. Named Phantom Oribe, the motor car features a Bespoke two-tone exterior finish, inspired by the client’s world-class collection of ancient Japanese ceramics, Oribe ware. In an unusual move, the Rolls-Royce paint was made available for use on the client’s private jet that the Phantom is paired with.
The interior is finished predominantly in Hermès Enea Green leather. The Gallery features an artwork based on a design by the celebrated French artist and illustrator Pierre Péron (1905–1988), who created many of Hermès’ iconic scarves.
AN ICON REBORN
At one minute past midnight, on 1 January 2003, the first Phantom VII was handed over to its new owner – the first motor car to be produced at the brand-new Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, West Sussex, England. A thoroughly modern interpretation of the marque’s signature lines and proportions, as first set down by Sir Henry Royce himself, it was built entirely in-house by Rolls-Royce, with monocoque bodywork to a standard design rather than coachbuilt. In one important sense, however, it retained a link with its heritage, in that every car was hand-built by a team of skilled craftspeople. Furthermore, the marque’s Bespoke programme meant Phantom was effectively a canvas upon which patrons could realise their own visions and desires.
Over its 13-year lifespan, Phantom VII cemented Rolls-Royce as the world’s pre-eminent superluxury motor manufacturer, and its own place as the marque’s pinnacle product. But just like their predecessors, Rolls-Royce’s designers and engineers understood that perfection is a moving target: that Phantom was never ‘done.’
In 2016, Rolls-Royce presented Phantom VIII. This was the first Rolls-Royce to be built on the marque’s proprietary Architecture of Luxury, an all-aluminium spaceframe designed to underpin every future motor car produced at Goodwood.
Phantom VIII was specifically designed to be the ultimate platform for Bespoke commissions. This has resulted in some of the most technically ambitious and challenging projects ever undertaken by the marque’s designers, engineers and specialist craftspeople. It is also the only Rolls-Royce model to feature the Gallery – an uninterrupted swathe of glass that runs the full width of the fascia, behind which the client can display a commissioned work of art or design.
March 21st marked the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere with day and night almost equally divided in half. Before the introduction of the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ with Cullinan, that was the day Rolls-Royce owners began to unfurl garage covers and prepare to ship their commissions back North. You can enjoy your Rolls-Royce motor car 365 days a year, 24/7!
But before we put the Winter of 2021-22 behind us, we wanted to share some highlights of Rolls-Royce in the snow
During the daytime, Rolls Royce Ghost is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce and reflects ‘Post Opulent’ design philosophy in rain, sunshine, or snow. At night, the alter ego Black Badge Ghost offers the same luxury with All-wheel drive and all-wheel steering for unprecedented poise and surefootedness.
The Ghost sports the world’s first Planar suspension system, significantly increasing agility and effortlessness. Equipped with hallmark 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine, the car delivers 563hp and 627 lbf/ft. The Down-lit Pantheon grille discreetly illuminates Rolls-Royce iconography.
The Illuminated Fascia debuted featuring Ghost nameplates surrounded by more than 850 stars. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan was the first to introduce an All-Wheel drive into the range, allowing effortless travel. With the touch of a button, the ‘off road’ Cullinan raises 40mm allowing better clearance and more prowess. With the extraordinarily capable all-wheel drive system, and all wheel steering, the Cullinan is nimble and luxurious. The Black Badge Cullinan brings the darker, edgier image for exploring the nighttime. The “Shooting Starlight” headliner carries the nighttime into the cabin regardless of the weather.
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