THE TONNEAU COVER
The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke department is an extraordinary collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople, who bring the marque’s discerning and influential patrons’ most ambitious and personal visions to reality.
Today, almost every motor car that leaves the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, is Bespoke. 2017 was the year that Rolls-Royce elevated Bespoke to unprecedented new levels, resulting in one of the most significant years for Bespoke in the 114-year history of the brand. Virtually all Rolls-Royce cars delivered to Australia were bespoke, with customers visiting Goodwood or commissioning their motor cars with a Rolls-Royce bespoke designer flown out to the country. What follows is a snapshot of some of the finest examples of Bespoke design and craftsmanship to be completed by the luxury house over the past 12 months.
Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’, the realisation of one customer’s coachbuilt dream. Premiered in 2017, ‘Sweptail’ is a compelling representation of true luxury, taking Bespoke coachbuild personalisation to new heights. The result of a collaboration between patron and artisan, ‘Sweptail’s’ bold design embraces the marque’s heritage as the world’s leading coachbuilder whilst reaffirming its pinnacle position in Bespoke personalisation.
This automotive equivalent of Haute Couture draws on the lineage of 1920s and 1930s Rolls-Royce motor cars. The client’s vision was for a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof. The result is a contemporary masterpiece.
The grille, milled from solid aluminium, presents a distinct formality. The side profile of ‘Sweptail’ defines its stately character, whilst the rear taper of the motor car pays homage to the world of racing yachts, shaping a completely new perception of a dramatic Rolls-Royce coupé. The elegant and characterising rear culminates in the registration number 08, milled from ingots of aluminium and hand polished to a mirror finish.
‘Sweptail’ is a personal, Bespoke, motor car like no other.
New Phantom and ‘The Gallery’ – An Art Gallery on Wheels
New Rolls-Royce Phantom was unveiled to global critical acclaim in 2017. At the heart of the motor car’s design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel.
An application of glass runs uninterrupted across the fascia providing an unprecedented opportunity to present artwork, within your motor car. ‘The Gallery’ is an innovation that furthers Rolls-Royce’s unparalleled Bespoke vision and mastery of materials and craft.
Dawn and Wraith at Porto Cervo
Two unique motor cars were created in honour of the 2017 Rolls-Royce Summer Studio, Porto Cervo, Sardinia. A Bespoke Dawn Drophead Coupé and a Wraith Black Badge were commissioned to encapsulate the essence of this beguiling island.
Dawn adopted a nautical theme, evoking emotions of a languid Mediterranean sojourn. The Porto Cervo motif, encrusted with genuine Sapphires and Mother of Pearl, is embedded into the front facia of the motor car. The navy blue and arctic white hues complement an expanse of teak, including the decking and floor.
The Porto Cervo Wraith playfully emulates Sardinia’s night time ambience. A two-tone Diamond Black exterior is contrasted with gloss and matt paint applications, while black woven leather door panniers infer Wraith Black Badge’s dark and complex character, under the night sky.
‘Spirit of Calligraphy’ Ghost
A special one-off commission unveiled in Dubai in 2017, the Bespoke ‘Spirit of Calligraphy’ Ghost draws its design inspiration from the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy. Words are harmoniously moulded into shapes, creating a unique effect where texts and images become one. Sir Henry Royce’s resonant words “Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, in their Arabic form are shaped into Rolls-Royce’s flying mascot, the Spirit of Ecstasy. The calligraphy motif, created by renowned artist Khaled Al Saai, features as a silver inlay on the centre panel and as embroidery on the rear centre seat, amidst an eye-catching array of Turchese, Black and Arctic White leathers.
Commissioned for an individual collector, the Ghost ‘Elegance’ raised the bar of Bespoke by becoming the first motor car to be finished in a paint infused with diamonds. Named ‘Diamond Stardust’, the unique paint incorporates 1,000 diamonds crushed to form a very fine powder, giving the finished panels unmatched lustre and sparkle.
The flanks of the motor car are highlighted with Mugello Red and Black twin coachlines, reflected inside with black leather seats and accents in Mugello Red, carried through stitching on the doors and piping on the seats. The detailed fascia of smooth open-pore Tudor Oak veneer is also complemented with a Mugello Red single stitch along the top of the dashboard, and finished with a Bespoke clock.
‘Dawn in Fuxia’
In 2017, US collector Michael Fux was presented with his tenth Bespoke model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Following a visit to Pebble Beach in 2016, where he collected a cluster of eye catching fuchsia petals, he challenged the Bespoke team at Goodwood with a commission to bring a striking new colour to Dawn. Subsequently unveiled during The Quail automotive gathering in California, the vibrant ‘Dawn in Fuxia’ represents the addition of another unique hue to the Rolls-Royce Colour Collection and is reserved exclusively for Mr. Fux to use. His most recent commission is his second Dawn, having collected the first – in one-off ‘Fux Blue’ – in 2016. Reminiscent of that car, the interior of ‘Dawn in Fuxia’ is trimmed in stunning Arctic White leather.
‘Dawn B50’ for Hotel Byblos
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez in 2017, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed the ‘Dawn B50’, a highly Bespoke and unique motor car inspired by the warmth and vibrancy of the Côte d'Azur. Commissioned by the Hotel Byblos as the automotive ‘Jewel of Saint-Tropez’, the Dawn B50 exudes two dominant exterior colours. The lustrous combination was developed exclusively to celebrate the hotel’s anniversary, along with bespoke door treadplates and a unique hand-painted coachline on each side bearing the ‘B50’ logo. The sophisticated interior takes inspiration from the intense Mediterranean sun, with vibrant tangerine tones that accentuate the dashboard and echo the stitching across the seat upholstery and floor mats.
Homage to a special Silver Dawn
Prominently displayed at the Home of Rolls-Royce is a remarkably rare 1952 Silver Dawn, one of very few ever made. It was sold new to a customer in Canada, and in 2017 a commission for a new Dawn from the same country led to a beautiful homage to this particular car in its 65th anniversary year.
Finished in two-tone Midnight Sapphire and Jubilee Silver, the new Dawn closely emulates the original finishes of the 1952 motor car, with a Bespoke painted coachline, broken for the first time on a Rolls-Royce. Inside, Selby Grey and Navy leather are combined with Crossbanded Walnut Burr veneer, closely matched to the original. The finishing touches include a Bespoke clock with ‘1952’ lettering and a Spirit of Ecstasy veneer inlay.
Inspiration from South Korea
The ‘Bespoke Collection for Korea’ unveiled at the British Embassy in Seoul, embraced the aesthetic heritage of South Korea with a contemporary flare. The Ghost Seoul Edition reflects colours that grace the country’s Taegukgi national flag, finished in bright Andalusian White with a twin coachline in Cobalto Blue and Mugello Red – along with a hand-painted Bespoke motif that captures the silhouette of the iconic Namsan Seoul Tower. Inside, the black leather is complemented by contrasting bands in Arctic White, as well as blue and red highlights for stitching and piping.
The ‘Wraith Busan Edition’ is inspired by the hues of the coastal city of the same name, with a two-tone exterior in Royal Blue and Jubilee Silver that conjures up the shimmer of the surrounding sea. The rear pillar motif echoes the delicate latticework of traditional Korean ‘hanok’ screen doors and is also carried inside the car across the dashboard. Emulating the dusk sky across nearby mountain ranges, a single coachline in Blushing Pink draws attention to the shoulder line. The colour is also applied to the seat stitching, instrument panel and ‘RR’ headrest monograms inside, as the final flourish to the Selby Grey and Cobalto Blue upholstery.