Archive for the Rolls Royce Category

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom – A Serendipitous Adventure in Paradise

Posted in Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Rolls Royce, Symbol with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2018 by 99MilesPerHour

A New legend is launched…

The iconic “Spirit of Ecstasy” adorns an all-new interpretation of the Rolls-Royce Phantom for the 2018 model year. Introduction of a Rolls-Royce motorcar never comes as the result of a blinding flash of inspiration. Through evolution, each new model is built upon the laurels of its predecessor adding the latest technology available. Only after inexhaustible research and testing, it is further refined to sheer magnificence.

This total redesign is the second completely new edition under BMW management for the 21st Century. Now that’s progressive, the marque has refined a legend while gaining new acclaim in such a short length of time. Phantom is powered by a newly minted 6.8 litre twin-turbo V12 engine. The new saloon is built upon the Rolls-Royce patented “Architecture of Luxury” a new concept making the car lighter, quieter, more rigid and technologically advanced than the previous model. A new legend is launched…

Automobile journalists world-wide whip out the ruler once again. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the standard by which ALL other ultra-luxury cars are judged. Any Rolls-Royce motorcar is one class act…and an extremely tough act – which no other luxury car – can follow. The eighth generation Phantom introduces a Luxury Suite approach redefining comfort and convenience escalating opulence to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy.

Thoughtful amenities such as “The Embrace” of its self-closing doors and “The Gallery” imposed into the elegant newly designed dash fascia of the control center, alerts one to the fact this is no ordinary automobile. Phantom’s new look highlights an impressive new interpretation of Rolls-Royce luxury. However; some things will never change:” The loudest sound one will ever hear inside the cabin of a Rolls-Royce motorcar – is the beating of their heart…”

Rolls-Royce Phantom MK VIII

Phantom is graciously designed with 21st Century virtues. The exquisitely handcrafted architecture has been totally restyled to reflect the distinctive character of Phantom’s tasteful heritage. It is also designed so as not to render the previous models redundant out of owner loyalty and respect.

Rolls-Royce Phantom MK VII

An aluminium space frame design ends the love affair between Rolls-Royce and monocoque construction. The big news for the Phantom VIII is the “Architecture of Luxury.” The integrated network further refines the “Magic Carpet Ride” ride into superlatives. This revolutionary new approach for the automotive industry has been designed and engineered from the ground up to adapt to the size and weight requirements for future Rolls-Royce model logistics.

This platform is 30% more rigid than previous applications. Its lightweight design, increased torsional rigidity, and modular componentry can be adapted to the next generation of Rolls-Royce motorcars that will follow. Suspension dynamics are further optimized by innovative new processes which enhance the sensation of soaring – one of the true hallmarks of a Rolls-Royce motorcar.

The Rolls-Royce relentless pursuit of exemplary coachbuilding and engineering par excellence once again yields “The Best Car in the World.” To say Phantom set new benchmarks in the industry is grossly understated. Its Electronic Architecture is the largest and most sophisticated component produced by the BMW Group.

This highly intelligent system networks together coordinating every function of the entire vehicle from its overall operational dynamics to the latest navigation and entertainment systems. The eighth generation of the formidable Phantom series is the preface to a new breed of Rolls-Royce motorcars. Phantom is the very essence of the brand…

The formidable new look of authority…

The Architecture of Luxury is augmented by exquisite coach crafting. Modular symmetry integrated into Phantom’s engineering DNA is adaptable for future applications. Monocoque construction throughout the Rolls-Royce model range will ultimately be replaced by this new technology. Phantom’s poised dignity is embodied within a totally new yet familiar design completely in character with a flagship of its stature.

Phantom’s aluminium bodyshell is crafted using a precision body pre-joining process. A single stamped body panel takes the place of multiple components. This refinement not only reduces visible seams between body panels, but also aids aerodynamics. The result is a radical contemporization of the illustrious Phantom saloon. The new edition through historic evolution, is a visual composition hinting at the classic Silver Cloud borrowing styling cues from the Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit, as well as the Silver Seraph saloons. The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a tasteful new rendition of a time-honored legend. Its beauty is exceeded only by the prestige of ownership…

The iconic ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ and signature radiator grille have been refined for the new flagship. We cannot forget the flying lady mascot which has adorned Rolls-Royce motorcars since 1911. “Emily” the silver goddess, was created by Charles Sykes to keep the Rolls-Royce motorcar appearance uniform as a thing of beauty. She has undergone many changes during her tenure.  The new Phantom captures the essence of the original in a stunning contemporary form.

Phantom’s classic inspiration is the basis of its timeless beauty, making it the epitome of luxury. The hand polished radiator grille has been integrated into surrounding bodywork. The taller, more upright dominance creates an elegant new look of authority. A new headlamp design gives daylight running lamps a holographic look from a graphic laser light system. Phantom electronically casts light 600 metres down the road to assist driving after dark. This is the most advanced lighting system of any automobile on the road today.

Phantom is synonymous with technology. The entire automobile networks together in electronic harmony and sophistication.  A 4-camera system around the vehicle includes panoramic and helicopter views for optimal all-around visibility and security. Night Vision, Vision Assistant, Active Cruise Control, Collision Warning, and lane departure/lane change notification are just a few of the many features and accessories that contribute to Phantom’s overall operational efficiency. High-resolution head-up display, digital on-board electronics, Wi-Fi hotspots, and state of the art navigation/entertainment systems all aid the car’s interconnectivity into today’s world.

The electronic interface within Phantom is an endless array of technical insight. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), with ABS and driveline traction control systems constantly monitor and calibrate each wheel individually as the transmission scans geographical maps preparing the car for the road ahead.

Phantom’s electronic self-leveling system allows the car to ‘glide’ on a cushion of air enhancing the famous “Magic Carpet Ride.” The system is so sensitive it adjusts the ride height to compensate for fuel used from the tank as well as changes in load. Ingenious 4-wheel steering provides unrivaled steering precision…allowing the car to remain poised minding its manners at all times. A Rolls-Royce does everything a little better than its ultra-luxury competitors. Effortless…totally effortless operation is what one has come to expect from the brand.

Phantom’s highly bespoke nature gives the client limitless possibilities for both comfort and convenience. The all-new Luxury Suite approach redefines the cabin’s exclusivity. Individual lounge-type seating with a fixed center console includes carefully angled seating positions enabling occupants to converse without strain.

An elegant bench-type seat with sofa-like proportions has a wide folding center armrest. A newly designed sleeping-seat arrangement is available for extraordinary comfort on extended journeys. The seats have been refined and handcrafted using the seating ‘bullet’ previously used on the Rolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith models.

In order to fully appreciate today’s Rolls-Royce, one must see how this grand marque evolved…the progression is tasteful, gradual, never outlandish nor shockingly out of sequence.

This is the first contemporary redesign…Phantom VII

Silver Seraph is the last new model of the 20th Century…

Silver Spirit and the EWB version Silver Spur

Silver Shadow and the EWB version Silver Wraith II

Silver Cloud I, II, & III. (Phantom V & VI) This iconic presence is the single most immediately identifiable of all Rolls-Royce model series. It’s classic eminence which endures…

Here’s Rolls-Royce refinement during the early 1950s. These automobiles have become cherished collectibles among connoisseurs all over the world. Rolls-Royce pre-eminence ages gracefully. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever – “

1933 Phantom III is among the purveyors of motoring eloquence

A New legend takes shape…

Phantom’s overall exterior design sports a slightly lower silhouette than its predecessor creating its own signature. Elegant forward-opening rear coach doors remain Phantom’s focal point. For added convenience, all four doors may now be closed automatically at the touch of a button. It’s the most exclusive “Embrace” in the industry.

This is a striking example of contemporary abstract automotive art. Phantom exudes a contemporary understated elegance. Restrained use of ornamentation is tasteful. The makers of “The Best Car in the World” have once again created an automotive masterpiece that doesn’t require pomposity to impress with crude assertions of status and wealth. It is satisfying as a fine Chateau Lafite Rothschild or a Cohiba Behike…rich and rare.

A Rolls-Royce is ride-engineered for outstanding comfort and convenience. Phantom’s independent suspension is equipped with double wishbones up front and a 5-link system at the rear. It rides on large 22 X 9.5” forged aluminium wheels. The tires are developed with Continental and are filled with 2kg of “Silent Seal” foam to eliminate even more road noise and vibration. The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom SWB saloon has the luxury length of 226.8” and rides upon a long 140.6” wheelbase. The Phantom EWB has an even longer length at 235.5” riding upon a longer 148.5” wheelbase.

The Silent motorcar returns…

Phantom’s all-new V12 with advanced electronic engine controls produces more low-end output at lower revs to cancel even more noise and vibration than previously achieved. The lightweight aluminium 6.8 litre twin turbocharged engine yields an impressive 563 hp @ 5,000 rpm packing a prolific punch with 900 Nm of peak torque @ 1,700 rpm. The engine is mated to an electronic GPS aided 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The 2018 edition of The Best car in the World is configured as front engine rear-wheel drive. (Whisper…tick…soar)

A Rolls-Royce Phantom is “The Rolls-Royce of Rolls-Royces.” These prestigious flagship saloons have always been hand-built at a highly restricted pace from their inception in 1925. It simply upends the theory of the inability to “have it all.” The new Rolls-Royce Phantom by tradition, is a blank canvas for the client to create their very own unique work of automotive art.

Each and every Phantom is a highly bespoke masterpiece. No other ultra-luxury motorcar garners the respect and admiration afforded this supreme achievement in motoring. The next generation of the ultra-luxury saloon will exceed the parameters of bespoke elegance once again raising the bar of success even higher in this exclusive market niche…

The “Gallery” is an area for personalization. Intricately detailed marquetry may also reflect the requisites of the client. The 2018 Phantom’s new fascia makes an elegant new manner in which to express one’s self. All switch gear is rendered luxuriously in metal, glass, or wrapped in leather. Everything is designed to be beautiful with a jewel-like crystal effect.

All controls and gauges are on display behind an expanse of glass…as if they were in an art gallery or in a display case at Tiffany & Co. Leather and wood appointments will always be totally unique from vehicle to vehicle. Technology is hidden until required…screens, keyboards, and the like are stored away behind hidden panels. No two Rolls-Royce Phantoms will ever be alike because of natural materials and the extensive use of hand-finishing throughout the vehicle.

1915 Silver Ghost

“The Best Car in the World” award is bestowed upon superlative endeavors in the industry. Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is a sparkling example. ‘Autocar’ named it as such in 1907 because of its revolutionary concept…Silver Ghost’s virtual silent operation and its notorious reliability gained world-wide acclaim. Chassis # AX201 is valued at $35,000,000 USD garnering the title of “Most Valuable Car in the World” in 2005.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom was judged “The Best Car in the World” upon its inception in 1925. This eminent automotive series historically is classified as a very, very special automobile reserved for very, very special clientele. The 2018 edition escalates this exclusivity while retaining the poised dignity which is the hallmark of every Rolls-Royce motorcar. Modern day accolades include the prestigious “Luxury Car of the Year” award in the UK  from BBC Top Gear Magazine received just weeks after the Phantom debuted on lovely Lake Lucerne in Vitznau, Switzerland on November 27, 2017.

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Sport Phaeton

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery…

“Monty’s” 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III by Freestone & Webb

“A keen believer in the power of the image, Montgomery used his Rolls-Royce Phantom to communicate permanence, solidity and reliability – a signal to his men that he was there to stay.”

Rolls-Royce Phantom IV chassis #4AF6 scrapped in 1959

1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V coachbuilt by Mulliner Park Ward

1992 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI coachbuilt by HJ Mulliner

Rolls-Royce Phantom VII (Celestial Phantom 1 of only 1)

Phantom’s graciously refined resplendence heralds a dramatic new era in luxury motoring. Its unpretentious opulence doesn’t scream accomplishment it simply whispers success. The 2018 Phantom is the most technologically advanced model in Rolls-Royce history setting new industry benchmarks.

“The Architecture of Luxury” is the basis of an entirely new concept in luxury motorcar manufacturing. This modular platform will be used for future Rolls-Royce models replacing monocoque construction. The revolutionary new approach will adapt to size and weight requirements evolving to meet the corporate mission.

Phantom’s technology includes “Electronic Architecture” rated as the largest and most complex electronic platform ever built by the BMW Group. Advanced electronic intelligence aids Rolls-Royce Phantom’s overall operational logistics, active and passive accident avoidance systems, as well as state of the art navigation and entertainment systems.

This is the company flagship that’s extremely rewarding to own…and fine enough to preclude the restless quest for something finer to replace it. The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB is the one thing missing from me right now to achieve total happiness –

Special thanks to Park Ward Motors Museum, and Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars for classic Rolls-Royce photos. Special thanks to the Rolls-Royce Press Club for press releases, specifications, and photos for the 2018 Phantom.

The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is NotoriousLuxury  © 2018

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Symbol – When The Best Isn’t Good Enough…

Posted in Bentley, Ecstasy, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Historical, Symbol with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…Always completely avant-garde

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…Nil fato relinquemus

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When one seeks exclusivity…

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1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 1

Bentley C

If you are a connoisseur…it’s Imperial Oscietra or Royal Beluga (North of the Caspian) caviar, Château Lafite Rothschild 1957, no…a Château Margaux 2009 or maybe a Vosne-Romanée just for show… and of course a limited edition Cohiba Behike or a Gurkha Black Dragon.

Then… an “out of the box” Rolls Royce or Bentley is not intriguing. When the best just isn’t good enough and exclusivity in a motorcar is sought…only a custom coachbuilt version is the remedy. HJ Mulliner and Park Ward design studios created luxury motorcars of absolute distinction. They are two of the most eminent coachbuilders in automotive history. Every Rolls Royce and Bentley motorcar they have transformed have all become cherished bespoke automotive masterworks.

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1965 SCFS 1

1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Flying Spur

A superb motorcar is desirable…but even more desirable, is a superb motorcar offered in so many exquisite variations. They are precisely matched to the client’s requisites and personal taste. One need not think in terms of “only” a Rolls Royce or Bentley…but think in terms of their “particular” Rolls Royce or Bentley. Each coachbuilt motorcar is an instant collectible. Classic automobiles have become an extremely lucrative investment – a coachcrafted classic is one of a kind automotive art – dealers have experienced a positive surge in demand.

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1965 SCFS 3

1961 Bentley Park Ward 1

1961 Bentley Park Ward Fixedhead coupe

1961 Bentley Park Ward 3

The custom coachbuilder’s primary focus is to create an automobile of unsurpassed luxury and elegance. This gives the client a refreshing degree of freedom to contrive a one of a kind vehicle to suit their fancy. This type of client isn’t intrigued with the ephemerality of annual styling changes and artificial novelty. They desire a timeless automobile design…like no other. The singular character of a unique, coachbuilt automobile reflects this clarity and intensity of purpose. The vast diversity of the craft is by no means a divergence in standards.

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1961 Bentley Park Ward 6

1961 Bentley Park Ward 5

1961 Bentley Park Ward 2

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 1

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe

When the best isn’t good enough…Mulliner Park Ward studios in London offered distinctive coachbuilding for Rolls Royce and Bentley chassis. An extra special body style for these fine automobiles is the two-door Fixedhead and Drophead coupe. A coupe version had to be specially hand-crafted in a highly bespoke manner. Rolls Royce and Bentley motorcars are usually built in four-door saloon body styles. Mulliner Park Ward created automotive masterpieces for Rolls Royce and Bentley models when the marque was built as body on frame design.

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 2

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 4

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 5

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 3

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 6

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 7

1960 Bentley S2 HJ Mulliner Coupe 8

RR and Bentley Corniche

Bentley and Rolls Royce are chic…not to mention glamorous automobiles. A first time buyer gets a kick out of either – the new owner is excited… just because. After this, something more elaborate is sought. Before monocoque construction began for the two brands in the mid-1960s, coachbuilders could purchase a chassis and create a virtual rolling masterpiece for the client. The artisans with HJ Mulliner and Park Ward are the most revered coachbuilders and purveyors in the art of vehicle personalization. This elite sophistication is among the last of the genuine coachcrafters…they have vanished into a world where this trade no longer exists – 

Park Ward was established in 1919 in the UK and bodied a variety of automobiles in the 1920s. Rolls Royce purchased Park Ward in 1939. The coachbuilder was already in contract with W.O. Bentley in the 1920s supplying bodyshells. After Rolls Royce took over Bentley in 1931, they acquired patents and techniques for coachwork which were firsts to the industry. Park Ward developed a special design for all-steel saloons. The patented technique uses “Silentbloc” rubber bushings to reduce road noise, road shock, and vibration before it intrudes the passenger cell. These bodies were used for Bentley and Rolls Royce models.

HJ Mulliner, also an eminent British coachbuilder in the UK, was established in 1897 building carriages. As the ‘horse-less carriage’ emerged, they hand-crafted bodies for various high-end automobile makers. Mulliner custom bodied a Silver Ghost for the Honorable Charles Stewart Rolls. By the 1930s, Mulliner’s entire production output was fitted to Rolls Royce and Bentley chassis. Rolls Royce acquired HJ Mulliner in 1959.

MPW Coachbuilt  17

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 11

The company was merged with Park Ward in 1961 to form the formidable Mulliner Park Ward (MPW) association. Mulliner is now the in-house personal commissioning department exclusively for Bentley Motors Limited. Mulliner no longer creates bespoke coach-crafting  working with Bentley, they are more of a “trim level” designer.

It is William MacDonald Park, Charles Ward, and Henry Jervis Mulliner that laid the foundation for one of the most prodigious custom coachbuilders in automotive history. Their names will live forever in association with the finest automobiles in the world – These are by no means “ditch and dash” motorcars –

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 14

1961 Bentley Continental MPW aluminium Drophead coupe

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 12

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 5

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 6

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 7

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 10

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 4

1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward 13

Two of Mulliner Park Ward’s investment grade motorcars are based upon the hand-built aluminium-bodied Bentley Continental “S” chassis.  Here’s an interesting fact to consider, up to this period, Rolls Royce motorcars ‘inspired’ Bentley motorcar design…This is the beautiful exception to the rule.

The Rolls Royce variant of this aluminum-bodied design is built upon the Silver Cloud chassis but based upon the Bentley Continental version. Aluminium is a favorite medium among coachbuilders because it is lightweight and extremely versatile with contours as you may see. The lightweight aluminium bodyshells not only makes them faster than their steel-bodied counterparts, but also increases their aerodynamics.

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1965 Rolls Royce MPW aluminium Fixedhead coupe

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MPW Coachbuilt  10

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MPW Coachbuilt  2

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Mulliner Park Ward designed and blue printed many different two-door Fixedhead and Drophead coupe body styles. Bentley badged versions include the aluminium-bodied Continentals and Bentley “T” models. The Rolls Royce variants are bodied as Silver Cloud MPW, Silver Shadow MPW, and…lest we forget, the iconic and unforgettable Corniche models.

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Rolls Royce Corniche Coachbuilt Drophead coupe

Corniche 8

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 5

Bentley Corniche Coachbuilt Drophead coupe

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 6

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 2

1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow MPW Fixedhead coupe

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 3

Mulliner Park Ward is one of the first coachbuilders to modify the Silver Shadow four-door saloon into a two-door configuration. James young built a version of the Shadow as a coupe at a highly restricted pace not exceeding 26 vehicles. It appears a bit strange and austere when placed side by side with the Mulliner Park Ward version.

The MPW version sculpted the waist rail to include a graceful “cupid’s bow’ into the bodywork. The Silver Shadow MPW was renamed Corniche in 1971 and in 1985 Continental for Bentley models. The Corniche is one of the longest running and most prominent production series in the history of the brand. A Corniche remains among the most popular ultra-luxury motorcars on the planet –

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 4

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 7

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 5

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 6

1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 8

Contrast of the MPW with the James Young versions

1966 Silver Shadow James Young 1

1966 Silver Shadow James Young Fixedhead coupe

1966 Silver Shadow James Young 2

1966 Silver Shadow James Young 3

1966 Silver Shadow James Young 4

This James Young version was retro-fitted with Series II bumpers

1966 Silver Shadow James Young 5

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Corniche 16

Corniche 3

Rolls Royce Corniche Coachbuilt Drophead coupe

Corniche 5

Corniche 6

Corniche 12

Corniche 4

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 2

Bentley Corniche Coachbuilt Drophead coupe

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 7

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 8

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 9

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 11

1978 Bentley Corniche convertible 3

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 1

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 2

1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Mulliner Flying Spur

HJ Mulliner created aluminium bodied four-door saloons as Continental Flying Spurs. Rolls Royce and Bentley chassis were used to build bespoke standards of excellence. The Continental Flying Spur saloons were hand-crafted from 1957 until 1966. Coachbuilt vehicles such as these serve as a measure by which all luxury automobiles are judged. These elegant saloons have a near limousine spaciousness and atmosphere. This unique four-door body style uses a different roof style augmented by thinner “C” pillars and a ‘6-window’ design.

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 3

The Flying Spur is further distinguished by a lower overall silhouette. It has a lower waist rail, more sculpted rear quarter panels, a higher rear deck lid, and modified tail lamps. The coachbuilder retained the identities of each brand. The epochal Spirit of Ecstasy and flamboyant Flying “B” atop the signature radiator grilles pronounce each distinctively. Understated, yet exquisite – the Mulliner Continental Flying Spurs are highly sought – they command six figures today and are still appreciating positively. Rolls Royce does not acknowledge its body style as “Continental” with brand nomenclature. It is simply known as the Silver Cloud Flying Spur.

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 4

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 6

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 9

1965 Silver Cloud III Flying Spur 10

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 1

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 2

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 3

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 4

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 5

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 6

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 7

1963 Bentley Continental Flying Spur 8

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1960 Continental S2 1

Mulliner Park Ward could refresh the client’s existing vehicle. Custom coachbuilders not only practiced their trade on a brand new chassis, but also restored or modified an existing vehicle completely to client specification. The Bentley Continental S2 featured is bodied as a 1960 vintage with an S3 face lift. After all…who knows a coachbuilt vehicle better than the artisans themselves that created it…right?

This talented coachbuilder could be commissioned to perform any service a collectible motorcar required. Whether it be a simple re-dye to the leather hides…restoration or custom wood veneer services…new lambswool Wilton hand-tufted carpeting, or a major 100% frame-off restoration – Mulliner Park Ward expedited services second to none. Notable coachbuilders competing in the art as eminent as MPW are Thrupp & Maberly, Hooper & Company, Freestone & Webb, and James Young/Jack Barclay LTD. They all worked magic with Rolls Royce and Bentley motorcars.

1960 Continental S2 2

1960 Continental S2 3

1960 Continental S2 4

1960 Continental S2 5

1960 Continental S2 6

1960 Continental S2 7

Freestone & Web

Rolls Royce “Honeymoon Express” by Freestone & Webb

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MPW Convertible 2

Your lifestyle is unique…your motorcar should be as well. When one drives a Rolls Royce or Bentley, they seek more than a mere luxury automobile. When the best isn’t good enough, there are alternatives. Automobile trends become even more transient as the styles change. A classic coachbuilt motorcar is not only rewarding to own but is also a lucrative investment.

They are distinctive by design and are the absolute epitome of exclusivity and supremacy – these classic motorcars became legends in their own time. HJ Mulliner and Park Ward are illustrious artisans who created automotive history. Every MPW transformation appreciates positively in value and prestige. A coach-crafted motorcar is built painstakingly meticulous, slowly and precisely as required to meet the highly bespoke expectations of the client. A classic custom crafted Rolls Royce or Bentley is rich with character and presence that will always remain unique because each is a one of a kind masterpiece –

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These automotive masterpieces are extremely rare. A Special thanks goes out to the caretakers of the world: Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum, Vantage Motorworks Inc, JD Classics, Daniel Donovan Classics UK, Balmoral UK, and Daniel Schmitt & Co for the use of these lovely photographs from their archives.

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Corniche 13

MPW Convertible

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1967 MPW Fixedhead coupe 1

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The new Bentley Mulsanne saloon

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The new Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupe

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NotoriousLuxury…”Nil fato relinquemus”

2015 Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight Collection “All the World’s A Stage”

Posted in Ecstasy, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce Historical, Signature Series, Symbol with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

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Rolls Royce is the pinnacle of supremacy and exclusivity in ultra-luxury motorcars…each is a highly bespoke masterpiece expressing the individuality of its owner’s good taste. This is why no two Rolls Royce motorcars are ever alike. The word “Phantom” evokes elegance…opulence…decadent luxury. The Phantom epitomizes Rolls Royce in a discreetly notorious manner. It has always been the most luxurious hand-crafted limousine in the Rolls Royce model hierarchy.

So what could be even more exclusive? A Rolls Royce limited edition. It is the ultimate in Rolls Royce individuality; it meets the requirements of the owner who prefers an automobile of particular distinction. One such luxurious limited edition is the Limelight Collection for the 2015 model year. Only 25 of these unique saloons will be built for world-wide distribution. It was introduced at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show.

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“All the world’s a stage…” 

These provocative saloons go the extra mile for the high-profile personas that travel as they work. Personal accoutrements and added conveniences are paramount to an important personality on the go while in between engagements. This is “home” in these hectic circumstances. The designers created the Limelight Collection targeting a select group of people who spend their lives in the public eye. Price is in the $650,000 neighborhood…but then, if one must ask the price, they are evidently not clientele suitable for this masterwork – 

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“Sumptuously elegant…decadently luxurious”

These ultra-exclusive saloons provide comfort as top priority. The Phantom Suite offers a new and unique luxury seating configuration. It seats four…and only four. Rolls Royce engineers and ergonomists worked closely with the medical profession to establish optimum seating positions that relax the body most while traveling. In luxury saloons such as these, it’s the rear passenger compartment that makes the difference.

At the touch of a button, the rear seats recline the body 27″ helping the head to rest upon the head restraint cushion. The lower body is pampered by a new calf rest that raises 68″ for support. The carpeted footrest raises 30″ from the floor allowing the occupant to stretch out in total comfort. These all contribute to a totally relaxed posture while in motion. This is a requisite for the high-profile individual who spends a great deal of time traveling from one engagement to another. The rear compartment of a Rolls Royce Phantom is another world of unparalleled luxury and discretion.

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“Exclusively distinctive…”

Rolls Royce is synonymous with bespoke. Personalized panniers for both genders located in the rear doors open effortlessly at the push of the hand. They may be ordered to suit whatever personal possessions they are required to accommodate. 

rear compartment

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Concealed fragrance holders are available for three individual bottles. The hand-made perfume bottles from the famous Bresle Valley in North West France ensure the passenger has his/her fragrance as required. Another concealed panel holds watches and jewelry. A bottom left pocket houses a universal vanity pouch made of the finest materials to hold credit cards, business cards, make up, etc. Accessory Z-Boxes constructed of carbon fiber milled in aluminium and hand covered in the finest leather complete the door pannier. Sky is the limit when it comes to personalization, as long as it is legal and conforms to the beauty of a Rolls Royce motorcar – 

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“Aesthetically exclusive…”

The Limelight Collection offers a choice of two distinctive interior trims as well as several new bespoke features to further enhance individuality. Complex embroidery in a diamond quilted stitching augments the upholstery seat flutes, door cards, rear console, and folding table backs.

The Light contrast scheme features Seashell and Navy Blue contrast leather with Seashell tone on tone stitching. The Dark contrast scheme offers Navy Blue and Seashell contrast leather with Navy Blue tone on tone stitching.

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A Limelight Collection signature feature is a two-veneer wood treatment. These unique veneers demonstrate the prowess of the wood workers at Rolls Royce. Piano Seashell is used on the door garnish rails blending with the leather color schemes. Smoked Chestnut completes the color scheme; this is the first time this veneer has been used in a Rolls Royce Phantom.

A specifically crafted timepiece for the Limelight Collection is color coordinated to the rich Gala Blue exterior and the diamond quilted design from the interior.

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“A true Rolls Royce Flagship in every respect”

This exquisite motorcar is finished in Gala Blue, another signature feature of the Limelight Collection. The Seashell and Navy Blue hand-painted diamond motive coachlines simulates a three-dimensional illusion of a diamond bracelet draped over the surface of the car. The finishing touch is the unique nine-spoke aluminium alloy wheels. 

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The chauffeur gets a secret thrill driving this luxury barouche. The Phantom saloon from the Limelight Collection is powered by the Rolls Royce 6.8 litre 48-valve DOHC V12 engine with variable valve control. The engine produces 453 hp @ 5,350 rpm with 719 Nm of peak torque @ 3,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. It is mated to an 8-speed ZF electronic automatic transmission.

The Phantom is a large front engine rear drive saloon built using monocoque construction of integral steel with aluminium doors, bonnet, boot, and front wings. It is fitted with an independent 4-wheel suspension. The front suspension is equipped with double wishbones. The rear uses a multi-link set up.

Its technology includes 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS. A sophisticated automatic leveling system keeps the Phantom at optimum height regardless of load or road conditions. Speed sensitive power steering aids the Phantom’s effortless overall operation.

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RR Limelight Collection Treadplate

A Rolls Royce is designed to defend itself. Its security system includes a panic alarm, immobilizer, and a Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament that retracts into the radiator grille when the system is activated or when it is tampered with.

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“Epilogue”

Only 25 Phantoms will be available world-wide for the Limelight Collection. Authentic luxury is only achieved through ultimately understanding the needs and desires of the world’s most discerning patrons. These highly bespoke masterpieces express the individuality of their owner’s good taste. Comfort and convenience meets the requirements of the owner who prefers an automobile of particular distinction. Rolls Royce continues to be the pinnacle of exclusivity and supremacy in the world of ultra-luxury motorcars. Limited editions such as the Limelight Collection exemplifies this exclusivity to an even higher degree and are available only to a successful few…

Limelight Collection

Photos courtesy of the Rolls Royce Media Club

Grille

Rolls Royce Phantom Showcase

1928 Phantom I 1

1928 Phantom I

1928 Phantom I 2

Daniel Schmitt & Co Classic Cars

1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II 1

1933 ROLLS ROYCE PHANTOM II

1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II 2 1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II 3

1936 Phantom III Sedanca deVille 1

1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III Sedanca deVille

1936 Phantom III Sedanca deVille 2

1936 Phantom III Sedanca deVille 3

Rolls Royce Phantom IVRolls Royce Phantom IV (1950-1956) only 18 built

1959 Phantom V with Park Ward Coachwork 1

1959  Rolls Royce Phantom V with Park Ward coachwork

1959 Phantom V with Park Ward Coachwork 2

1959 Phantom V with Park Ward Coachwork 3

1959 Rolls-Royce Phantom V  1

1959 Rolls Royce Phantom V 

1959 Rolls-Royce Phantom V  2

1959 Rolls-Royce Phantom V  3

Phantom V with James Young Coachwork

Rolls Royce Phantom V with James Young Coachwork

1964 Phantom V 1

1964 Rolls Royce Phantom V

1964 Phantom V 2

1964 Phantom V 3

1964 Phantom V 4

1964 Phantom V 5

1964 Phantom V 6

1964 Phantom V 7

1964 Phantom V 8

Restored by Jack Barclay London in 1997

 1964 Phantom V restored by Jack Barclay, London UK in 1997

Phantom VI

Phantom VI (1968-1990) 374 built photo courtesy Conceptcarz

2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom by Junction Produce 1

A slammed 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom by Junction Produce

2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom by Junction Produce 2

Park Ward Touring Saloon

Rolls Royce Park Ward Touring Saloon

Celestial Phantom 1

Rolls Royce Celestial Phantom

Celestial Phantom 2

Louis XIII Hotels Phantom Fleet

From the Louis XIII Hotels Rolls Royce Phantom Fleet in Macau

Pinnacle Travel Phantom

Rolls Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

Spirit of Ecstasy 1

Silver Wraith II

The incomparable Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II

Spirit of Ecstasy 2

The Black Bison from Wald International

The Black Bison from Wald International

Silver Seraph

Rolls Royce Silver Seraph

Phantom Series I top Phantom V bottom

Phantom Series I top… Phantom V bottom

Greg is CARazy as you can see…but I love it!

I am CARazy as you can see…but I love it!

Today’s Rolls Royce: Ghost Series II

Posted in Extreme Luxury, Luxury Sedans, Rolls Royce with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

hyper-luxury at its finest

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The Rolls Royce Ghost is the contemporary manifestation of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Ghost Series II was unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show for North American customers. It is the most popular automobile in the $250,000+ hyper-luxury class. Classic simplicity, exquisite refinement, and prodigious power has attracted a new generation of Rolls Royce buyers.

This dynamic new expression of contemporary luxury is winning media and customer acclaim. Ghost is leading a new, younger clientele to the joys of Rolls Royce ownership. Available in Standard and Extended Wheelbase, Ghost Series II is the ultimate contemporary combination of luxury, technology, and connectivity.

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Rolls Royce has a relentless pursuit for perfection through technology. The man/machine interface is foremost with the brand. Ghost Series II presents a full suite of the latest technological advancements. The Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller is the key to the car’s technological functions. A one-touch call button accesses on-board Wi-Fi connectivity. This sophisticated network facilitates email, file sharing, telephony, and video-conferencing.

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A comprehensive network coordinates the environment. The Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller and the one-touch call button also enables the occupants to watch televised business news and provide navigation assistance. It can be programmed for verbal commands. The significantly updated Multimedia Interface and Navigation System is displayed on a new 10.25” high definition screen.

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The Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller uses a touch-pad instead of a touch-screen to avoid unsightly finger prints. This system gives the ability to write characters by finger as well as scrolling through function menus by turning a chrome dial to select functions. The system recognizes English, Latin, Arabic characters, and mandarin to assist drivers in China. The Rotary Controller’s touch-pad allows “pull & pinch” features replicating intuitive smart phone functionality. This helps to pinpoint chosen areas on the screen or to enlarge them.

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Ghost Series II technology includes Bespoke Audio, which is the most extensively engineered automotive stereo system ever developed. The cabin is acoustically balanced and designed into its architecture. Engineers were consulted throughout the design process of the Ghost Series II for optimum audio performance.

Eighteen individually tuned speakers has “Theatre” and “Studio” settings to deliver a live sensation. Two bass speakers are located in the boot to compliment seven strategically placed speakers in the cabin. Two “exciter” speakers are mounted into the headlining which brings the sound closer to occupants’ ear level to create a unique listening sensation.

The audio system incorporates a highly sensitive microphone that monitors exterior noise while subtly adjusting the volume and tone settings to deliver consistent perfection. This technology utilizes frequency and phase correction for individual speakers to eliminate potential loud and dead spots caused by exterior noise levels.

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Ghost Series II is equipped with a 20.5 GB hard drive mounted in the boot. It can hold approximately 5,700 items of music downloaded via USB port located in the center console or glove compartment. iPod and iPad connections allow the importation of music, podcasts, and audio book downloads. Bluetooth audio streaming is an option. Music searches may be selected via the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. The superb sound quality is astoundingly realistic, it rivals home audio sound systems. Bespoke Audio is the pinnacle of in-car entertainment systems.

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The Series II refinements freshened the 2009 design. Front end styling is augmented by redesigned LED headlamps framed by daytime running lights. Adaptive headlamp technology uses electronically controlled reflectors that are designed to move in the direction of travel in response to steering wheel activity. This illuminates with greater depth while cornering. They produce a whiter, brighter light on dark roads to ensure safety.

The automatic dipping of full-beam headlamps has been replaced with a new glare-free technology. When an on-coming car approaches, light is deflected so as not to dazzle the on-coming driver. Ghost Series II has the safety benefit of constant full-beam visibility at all times.

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Ghost Series II has a provocative silhouette highlighted by a new bumper design which makes the car appear larger than it is. New front intakes with chrome accents provide more cooling air to the brakes. The long bonnet and short rear over-hang projects a dynamic profile for Ghost Series II.

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Its subtle refinement and understatement retains the poised dignity that is the hallmark of every Rolls Royce. The iconic radiator grille is re-imaged for Ghost to reflect its modern dynamism…it is softer and less formal yet immediately identifiable. The Spirit of Ecstasy – in all her majesty – adds the crowning touch as a Rolls Royce signature. Flowing ‘yacht-lines’ and powerful rear flanks express a timeless yet modern attribute. Ghost Series II remains at the cutting edge of an ever-changing world…it is the contemporary expression of Rolls Royce luxury.

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Ghost Series II is available in standard and extended wheelbase configurations. The standard Ghost measures 212.6” in length, has a 76.7” width, and rides upon a 129.7” wheelbase. The Extended Wheelbase saloon measures 219.3” in length, has the same 76.7” width, but rides upon a long 136.4” wheelbase. The EWB saloon affords more rear passenger room which provides extra space for the addition of various multimedia equipment to be installed for the owner who must work while traveling.

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Ghost Series II EWB saloon

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Ghost Series II is a bold new generation of Rolls Royce motorcars. The interior enhancements are perfectly in tune with this contemporary expression of the brand. Comfort has been escalated to new heights with Ghost Series II’s redesigned seating. The front seats have electrically adjustable thigh supports with a new seat structure. The rear passenger compartment uses a “lounge seat” configuration, where the seats are slightly angled towards each other creating a more intimate setting. The seats are available with three-level heating as standard with an optional massage function. They may also be reclined for comfort.

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The dash has been re-styled with new instrumentation with individually applied polished metal chaplets around the dials and matt chrome centers have a “floating” effect in the middle of each gauge. Two new exquisitely crafted veneers called Paldao and Walnut Burr Crossband are available to further personalize even further. The dash features a new “soft-feel.” Leather trim may be optionally extended to the “A” & “C” pillars. The Ghost Series II is a highly bespoke saloon limited only by its owner’s imagination.

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Ghost Series II is built as a steel monocoque bodyshell with aluminium bonnet, doors, and boot lid. The bodyshell is constructed with double front bulkheads to absorb and cancel engine noise and vibration before it reaches the cabin. Safety is paramount with Ghost Series II. It incorporates side impact beams in the doors. The contemporary architecture has energy-absorbing crumple zones front and rear that accordion at a controlled rate upon impact. The doors will neither burst open nor jam shut in an accident.

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The sophisticated Advanced Crash and Safety Management (ACSM) system monitors vehicle parameters through sensors located around the car. It works in conjunction with engine and chassis management systems to judge which safety features to deploy in the event of an impact. The ACSM will activate seat belt pre-tensioners and all-encompassing air bags inside the cabin to create a safe environment for all occupants.

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Ghost Series II uses a sophisticated air suspension that is so sensitive it detects the smallest change and compensates accordingly. It has a “lift and kneel” function to raise or lower it as required. The ride height is maintained by a complex computer system that reads multiple inputs from strategically placed sensors throughout the vehicle. The dampers make load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds.

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The four-wheel independent suspension has a double wishbone front and multi-link rear set-up. The intuitive air suspension and electronic variable damping delivers refinement that has been long associated with the brand for over 100 years. Ghost Series II is electronically augmented by sub-systems to keep the Rolls Royce magic carpet ride on any road surface. Boulevard travel intrusion is negligible.

Anti-Roll Stabilization, Dynamic Brake Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Dynamic Traction Control are just a few of the many sub-systems that enhance overall vehicle operation. These technologies work together under dual Integrated Chassis Management systems to keep Ghost Series II well poised under any driving situation. Rolls Royce is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of perfection through evolutionary refinement.

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Ghost Series II moves with aplomb. It is powered by the Rolls Royce alloy 6.6 litre 48-valve twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Power output is rated as 563 hp @ 5,250 rpm with 780 Nm of peak torque @ 1,500 rpm. It is a highly spirited performer. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph (governed). It can do the ¼ mile in 13.3 seconds. The electronic engine management system uses direct injection. The engine is mated to a ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic shift-by-wire transmission.

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The showcase of technology continues with the addition of a Satellite Aided Transmission. This feature was introduced on the Rolls Royce Wraith in 2013. The Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS mapping data for its intuition, allowing the vehicle to predict the driver’s next move based upon location and driving style. It uses this information to select the appropriate gear from the 8-speed ZF gearbox to maximize power from its 6.6 litre V12 engine to ensure a seamless and effortless driving experience.

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Ghost Series II is available with an optional Dynamic Driving Package. Suspension enhancements provides the perfect blending of driving dynamics and legendary Rolls Royce comfort. New rear hydraulic axle bearings enhance ride quality and rear stability. Re-designed front and rear struts, new steering geometry, and adjusted dampers significantly increase Ghost Series II’s cornering ability. The assurance of effortless fade-free stopping is due in no small part to its power four-wheel ventilated disc braking system. This car is one class act –

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For a bird’s eye view completely around the car, Ghost Series II is equipped with rear, front, side, and top view cameras. The cameras provide ground images with obstacle recognition and reverse path prediction for parking. A Night Vision camera when activated, detects and displays images on the central screen in the dash. The car’s control system receives infrared heat images from the camera. It then considers the speed and direction classifying them to assess imminent danger, deploying the appropriate action to warn the driver.

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The heads-up display relays crucial information such as speed or navigation directions onto the windscreen in front of the driver. The driver programs the details and position suitable for the display.

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Ghost Series II is a car complete. Myriad comfort and convenience features and accessories are standard, everything from automatic temperature control, and speed control to power assisted steering, power door locks with central locking feature and security system. It would be easier to tell you what it doesn’t have as standard equipment.

And…if your taste goes beyond status-quo…Ghost Series II is a highly bespoke saloon where its detail can be as exquisitely individual as its owner’s signature. It is a new breed of Rolls Royce for the 21st century…hyper-luxury is the provocative new niche in the automobile industry. Both, Rolls Royce Ghost Series II and Rolls Royce Wraith are the epitome of hyper-luxury – this is another superlative in the continuing saga of Rolls Royce evolution.

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Today's Rolls Royce

Photos courtesy Rolls Royce Media Club

Wraith 1

Wraith 2

Rolls Royce Wraith

Wraith 3

Wraith 4

NotoriousLuxury

Rolls Royce is NotoriousLuxury

Retrospect: Rolls Royce Camargue

Posted in Classic Exotic Luxury, Exotic Exotics, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Rolls Royce with tags , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

This is the rarest Rolls Royce

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A Rolls Royce Camargue is a coupé of understated elegance. Styled by Pininfarina of Turin, Italy, and hand-built by Mulliner Park Ward, the Rolls Royce Camargue owner has the pleasure of being among the fortunate few to own a completely individualized motorcar. Apart from the pleasure of owning and driving a Rolls Royce Camargue, there is the added attraction of long-term value. It is the rarest Rolls Royce. The Camargue was the most expensive automobile in the world during its production. The traditionally luxurious interior appointments combined with the finest automotive engineering makes the Rolls Royce Camargue the ultimate personal luxury coupé.

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A fast, sporting machine built in the classic European tradition, the Camargue was the quintessential Flagship. Performance, impeccable road manners, silence, and comfort come together to complete a remarkable motoring experience. Everything about the Rolls Royce Camargue is designed and engineered to appeal to the most discriminating owner who appreciates the very finest in British hand-craftsmanship. As a symbol of prestige, there is no more impressive acquisition to your lifestyle.

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The Camargue is a coupé with the spaciousness of a four-door saloon. Open the extra-wide doors to enter a different world. The cabin offers exceptional comfort. The seats rival the luxury of fine home furnishings. The Rolls Royce Camargue is the first Rolls Royce model to use the automatic bi-level air conditioning system. Each system has its own thermostat to control upper and lower temperatures. Once set, no further intervention is needed. This Rolls Royce exclusive took eight years to develop. In subsequent years it was added to the entire Rolls Royce range.

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Italian burl walnut veneers accent the carefully tailored hand-stitched Connolly leather. Deep hand-crafted 100% wool carpet lines the floor of the cabin and the boot. Everything is designed for pure luxury. The wide front seats are electrically operated; the head restraints are manually adjustable. Folding center armrests are standard for the front and rear seats. Power windows and power door locks with centralized locking feature adds to Camargue’s security. Automatic speed control maintains a predetermined speed.

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The Camargue is the rarest of all Rolls Royce models. Its styling set new standards of elegance, sophistication, and refinement. It took five months to build. Only 530 were built during its tenure from 1975 until 1986. It was designed by Pininfarina of Italy and sold for $147,000 USD. This Flagship coupé is built on the Silver Shadow platform, Mulliner Park Ward hand-crafted the Camargue to perfection. It shared no other exterior features with any other Rolls Royce. The Camargue is the ultimate personal luxury coupé.

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The architecture is the pinnacle of British craftsmanship. This large four-seat two-door saloon is constructed of stressed steel. The bonnet, boot lid, and doors are fashioned from aluminium alloy. It is equipped with energy absorbing impact-resistant front and rear wrap-around bumpers fitted with hard polyurethane inserts. The Camargue is built as Sir Henry built his cars; one at a time and mostly by hand. Every Rolls Royce is constructed slowly, patiently, and meticulously.

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The Camargue is a coastal region in the south of France. The automobile is just as mysterious as its namesake. This is the first post-war production Rolls Royce that wasn’t designed in-house. Paolo Martin is the designer that created this mystique. Pininfarina of Italy is renowned for their exotic Ferrari designs. This is a Rolls Royce like no other. Its dramatic design also created controversy…automobile journalists and enthusiasts world-wide either liked it or they didn’t.

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There has been an avant-garde Rolls Royce in every generation

Exotic 1

Silver Cloud III with aluminium coachcrafting by HJ Mulliner

Exotic 2

Exotic 3

Exotic 4

Exotic 5

Forza

Wraith…the contemporary manifestation of Rolls Royce hyper-luxury

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The avant-garde design notoriously marked the Camargue as a one-of-a-kind. Its architecture is one sweep from nose to tail. It is the first Rolls Royce to sport a slightly inclined radiator grille; it slants at a seven degree angle. The Rolls Royce Camargue was designed during the neo-classic era; it’s as classic as it is contemporary. The design clearly looked to the future. It is a very, very, special Rolls Royce.

The Camargue’s imposing stature is 206.5” in length, 75.5” in width, and rides upon a 120” wheelbase. It is fitted with a four-wheel independent suspension. The front uses lower wishbones with compliant controlled upper levers, helical coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is fitted with trailing arms, helical coil springs, suspension struts, gas springs, and an anti-roll bar.

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Automatic height control maintains the Camargue’s poise regardless of load or road conditions. This sophisticated system is so sensitive that it compensates for fuel used from the gas tank. The hydraulic system is operated by engine-driven pumps. The leveling system is set-up at the rear suspension. The height control feature guarantees the correct posture under changing load/road conditions. It ensures handling characteristics are constant and the Rolls Royce magic carpet ride is consistent. This system is obscenely expensive to maintain. Parts and service for the Camargue is outrageous.

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The Camargue is equipped with the Rolls Royce dual hydraulic braking system. The master cylinder has dual pistons with two dedicated brake lines to facilitate independent front and rear brake systems. It uses mineral oil as the fluid medium to increase the life of the braking system. The engine supplies the pressure. It comes standard with four-wheel disc brakes with the front set ventilated for rapid heat dissipation.

The Camargue is powered by the Rolls Royce 6.75 litre 412 CID 16-valve V8 engine. It is tuned to be more spirited than the other Rolls Royce models. It produces 247 hp @ 4,500 rpm with 540 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm. A refined version of the GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission is mated to the engine. The transmission has a torque converter and a Rolls Royce Motors electric gear selector.

Refinements through its production life include power rack & pinion steering new for the 1977 model year, rear independent suspension for the 1979 model year, and Solex carburetors replaced the old SU carburetors.

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The Rolls Royce Camargue brought new standards of comfort & convenience in tune with contemporary motoring and carried on the Rolls Royce tradition of building the best car in the world. It is the rarest Rolls Royce model with only 530 being built. Its exotic appearance is designed by Pininfarina of Italy and hand-crafted by Mulliner Park Ward in the UK. It is for the most discerning owner who appreciates the finest in British coachcrafting. The Rolls Royce Camargue in all its majesty is a spirit of excellence from the Spirit of Ecstasy. Power, performance, and presence in an understated personal luxury coupé are available to a chosen few…with the Rolls Royce Camargue.

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Special thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum

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Park Ward

Spirit of Ecstasy

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Rolls Royce Camargue

Symbol

NotoriousLuxury

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit: The Spirit of Excellence

Posted in Classic Exotic Luxury, Ecstasy, Extreme Luxury, Luxury Sedans, Rolls Royce with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

The Silver Spirit was the next generation of the Rolls Royce

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The Rolls Royce Silver Spirit replaced the highly successful Silver Shadow series. This is the first use of aerodynamics by the brand. It is designed for the contemporary world in a trim, new style. The Silver Spirit heralds a new era in the history of Rolls Royce. A modern motorcar with enhanced comfort and convenience; is immediately recognized as a classic design in the Rolls Royce tradition.

The Silver Spirit MK I was built from 1980 to 1989 with only 8,129 built. MK II was built from 1989 until 1993 with 1,152 built, MK III was built from 1994 until 1995 with a mere 234 built, and the MK IV was built from 1996 until 1997 with only 145 built. The more popular Silver Spur, was the long wheelbase variant and was built until 2000. The 1997 model year was the finale for the Silver Spirit. The clean new look is meant to attract younger buyers. The legend becomes a lifestyle… 

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All-new production facilities and assembly methods were introduced for the Silver Spirit. A great deal of money was invested into its introduction. More planning and preparation was devoted to this model than any of the previous models. The Silver Spirit represents a tremendous achievement in overall design. It was also a major success in automotive engineering, design, construction of the production theatre, jigs, tooling, and dies that enabled components to be made and assembled accurately and efficiently. The total Silver Spirit experience was geared towards the 21st century evolution. 

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The Silver Spirit is lower and wider than its predecessor. The iconic radiator grille is also lower and wider. The lower front valence is designed to increase downforce. The rake of the larger windscreen and beveled front wings reduces the drag coefficient. This design increases stability at high speeds by keeping the nose of the car down and moving the center of pressure to the rear. 

Deflectors at the “A” posts keep the front side windows clear of rain/slush. A channel across the top of the bonnet carries water away that is channeled downward by the wipers. The channel in the “A” posts handle water removed during the wiper’s upstroke. The aerodynamics provides a means of draining away water that collects after it has been swept away by the wipers. 

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Research for the Silver Spirit began in 1973. No Rolls Royce model stems from a blinding flash of inspiration. Features which create drag at high speeds are rejected. Computer aided design and wind tunnel testing were used to improve the Silver Spirit’s aerodynamic efficiency. This also yields significant advances in directional stability. Styling is more than just a means of giving shape to an automobile. Form and function, serviceability, and long-life are important to the designer as well. It is the responsibility of the design team to ensure that the unique features that give a Rolls Royce its identity are recreated with great subtlety in each new model. 

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The Silver Spirit’s form & function follows through its design. The bumpers conform to USA regulations; the position, shape, and strength of them are acceptable all over the world. Few other countries enforce such strict bumper laws. The headlamps and taillamps can be modified to be driven in any country. Universal lamp housings permit interchangeability allowing fittings to comply with any country’s regulations regarding the disposition, shape, size, and brightness of the rear lamps, fog lamps, and reflectors. 

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Every Rolls Royce radiator grille is made by one of a team of craftsmen. After it is meticulously constructed, it is then hand-polished for up to five hours. The crowning touch is the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy Flying Goddess; the symbol of motoring excellence. The Silver Spirit is the first Rolls Royce to feature a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy grille ornament. She sinks into the radiator shell should she become dislodged from her position. 

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Balmoral UK is the pride of the UK

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The Silver Spirit – as with all Royce models – presents a sumptuously luxurious interior. Wilton 100% wool hand-tufted carpet luxuriously lines the interior and the floor of the boot.  The aromatic scent of leather augments the air-conditioned atmosphere. The Comfortable contoured power seats are just as comfortable as your favorite arm-chair. Up to 260 square feet of the finest leather is hand-sewn and tailored in the Rolls Royce tradition by Connolly Brothers. The hides are carefully matched for color and texture. The very best portions are cut for the seating surfaces. The door panels, dash, and other non-wearing surfaces are trimmed with the rest. 

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The woodwork requires days to complete, all cut and matched by hand and eye. Each pattern is unique to each car. Three coats of lacquer are applied to the veneers and air-dried for three days. The veneer is so durable; a Cohiba Esplendido may be stubbed out in the finish without leaving a trace. As driver or passenger, the Silver Spirit will enable you to travel with more comfort and less fatigue. 

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The Silver Spirit is built on the Silver Shadow platform using the same engine & transmission. Since performance specifications aren’t available for earlier Rolls Royce models, I am using the specs from the 1984 Bentley Mulsanne since it is a badge-engineered Rolls Royce anyway, for this example which is a 1984 Silver Spirit. The engine is lightweight and more efficient. Its block is made from aluminium-silicon alloy while the cylinder heads are made from aluminium-silicon magnesium alloy.

The crankshaft runs in five main bearings. It has 16-valves in the overhead configuration. The Bosch fuel injection system and two fuel pumps make up the fuel delivery system. The engine uses self-adjusting hydraulic tappets and cast iron wet cylinder liners. The smoothness, silence, and refinement of the Rolls Royce engine are legendary. Every possible source of noise and vibration has been reduced to an absolute minimum. 

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The 6.75 litre V8 produces 256 hp @ 4,500 rpm with 550 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm. The engine is mated to the GM Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 26.1 seconds, 0-110 mph in 37.3 seconds with a top speed of 120 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.5 seconds. 

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The Silver Spirit, like its predecessor was built as monocoque construction. It is a large saloon with the luxury length of 207.4”, riding upon a long 120.5” wheelbase, and 74.3” in width. It has two subframes. The front suspension is independent with lower wishbones, upper stabilized lever, and an anti-roll bar. Coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers are fitted to both front and rear. The rear suspension uses independent semi-trailing arms; anti-roll bar, auxiliary gas springs, and struts. The gas springs further refine the ride. The rear suspension is also set-up for the automatic ride height control. 

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With the Silver Spirit’s new suspension system, there was a major change in the medium of lubrication. The hydraulic circuits for the front and rear suspension systems and braking systems now use mineral oil. Hydraulic System Mineral Oil (HSMO) has many benefits; it reduces friction between moving parts in the leveling and braking systems. It also prolongs component life with better vibration and damping properties resulting in better shock absorption. 

Mineral oil isn’t corrosive such as brake fluid, and is less liable to damage hydraulic components. Unlike conventional brake fluid, it doesn’t encourage water to seep into hydraulic systems via hoses and seals. Ingress of water can create “vapor lock” brake fade. Another benefit of HSMO’s non-hygroscopic properties is that by reducing the possibility of water seeping into the hydraulic system, thus, it reduces the possibility of water-induced corrosion and contamination. 

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 The Silver Spirit’s handling and secondary ride are further enhanced by placing the suspension dampers in a lower position on the trailing arms. The dampers are part of the suspension struts. The springs were modified to allow the new “Girling” self-leveling system to be installed. This uses each rear damper as a strut by connecting it via column of hydraulic oil to gas springs. Two valves keep the car level by adjusting the level of oil in the dampers when the body of the car is not within proper ride height. 

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Eleven inch diameter ventilated discs are fitted to all four wheels. The patented Rolls Royce dual braking system facilitates independent operation of front and rear braking systems. Should one system fail, the other system will still halt each wheel independently.

The power assisted braking system uses a foot pedal that is ergonomically designed for the most comfortable application; it follows the natural motion of the leg and foot downward towards the floor. The parking brake is foot operated with a vacuum release when the transmission is shifted to a drive gear. It doubles as an emergency brake since it will not lock with the engine running and car in gear. 

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The Silver Spur is the long wheelbase variant of the Silver Spirit. The 124.5″ wheelbase is 4″ longer providing added rear passenger room. Subtle signature exterior features are the luxurious roof covering in Everflex with “RR” badges affixed to each rear sail panel, upgraded wheel covers, and “Silver Spur” badging on the bootlid.

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Special thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum

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The Silver Spirit  and Silver Spur are the first Rolls Royce models to use aerodynamics in their design. It took engineers eight years to develop the Silver Spirit. The all-new styling is aimed at a younger buyer. The 6.75 litre V8 engine responds swiftly and positively. The three speed automatic transmission and electric gear range selector are quiet and smooth.

The interior offers a world of almost total silence. Supple natural grain leather is hand-tailored to perfection. Its hand-crafted veneers rival that of fine home furnishings. The Silver Spirit leaves no room for compromise – from the hand-sculpted radiator grille to its matched veneers – it is built according to principles laid down more than 100 years ago by Sir Frederick Henry Royce. “The quality will remain long after the price has been forgotten. 

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A rare Silver Spirit two-door coupé with coachcrafting by Hooper

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A dream with a little bit of fantasy…

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NotoriousLuxury

Rolls Royce is NotoriousLuxury

Rolls Royce: The True Spirit of Ecstasy

Posted in Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Rolls Royce with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“Nil fato relinquemus”

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A Rolls Royce is a legend. Being timeless in design, no matter what age or model, the Rolls Royce is a supreme achievement in motoring. Everywhere it is driven, it never passes unremarked. A Rolls Royce is a thing of beauty and a masterwork of automotive art. The Spirit of Ecstasy is the true spirit of excellence. Being the pinnacle of luxury, no other car even comes close to its majesty. A Rolls Royce is a tribute to craftsmanship and engineering perfection. As symbol of prestige, it is the ultimate expression of dynamism and splendor. Rolls Royce – being the epitome of elegance and opulence – is the pride of the UK and the envy of the entire world…

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Rolls Royce is synonymous with luxury world-wide. It is a symbol of your taste…not your aristocracy. It’s one of life’s greatest satisfactions left in our harried, mass-produced world. Without conjecture, any Rolls Royce is an immediate source of pride and pleasure, not to mention, a long-term asset. All the time-honored materials of the coachbuilders are worked patiently, largely by hand into an elegant and completely individual motorcar. So what goes into making the best car in the world?

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Each classic radiator grille is made by one of a team of craftsmen. It takes one man almost a day to soft solder the virtually invisible joints between the eleven pieces of hand-crafted stainless-steel that forms the main structure of this iconic trademark. If you could see behind the finished product, there are the initials of the craftsman that made it. He has personally signed responsibility for the quality of his efforts. Should the grille ever need repairs, it can be returned to the man who knows it best.

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The radiator shell appears to be perfectly rectilinear. To achieve this illusion every line and surface has been slightly curved. This is a property called entasis which is the visual display of contrasting lines and shiny surfaces used by ancient Greece. This process was used in the architecture of the Parthenon with the graceful curves of its Doric columns.

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To construct the iconic radiator grille requires special skills and talent learned over many years. It is an art of which few have mastered. Each is imperceptibly different from the next because it is completely hand-crafted. After the radiator grille is completed. It is hand-polished up to five hours before the “RR” badge is attached. 

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The legendary Spirit of Ecstasy – a symbol of motoring excellence for over 100 years – is the automobile’s crowning glory. It emphatically states the Rolls Royce motorcar is a thing of beauty.

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The silvered Flying Lady was hand-sculpted by Charles Sykes in 1911. It expresses the sensation of soaring; which is the smoothness of riding in a Rolls Royce. The famous mascot was designed to discourage the use of hideous ornamentation and to maintain a uniform appearance of luxury. It was decided upon that if a mascot was to be used it should complement the graceful lines of the motorcar. The Spirit of Ecstasy garnered considerable acclaim from the day it was introduced. In 1920 it won a first prize gold medal in a world competition for the best motorcar mascot.

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The method of casting the Flying Lady is known as “The lost wax process.” It was discovered over four thousand years ago by the Chinese. It starts with a perfect wax pattern of the statuette. Then it is surrounded by a special refractory material. After it has set, the mass is then heated to the point where the wax melts out leaving a perfect impression inside.

Molten metal is poured into the refractory block. Once it has cooled, the refractory coating is chipped away leaving a perfect reproduction of the wax pattern. She is then hand-polished to perfection. The Spirit of Ecstasy, the famous radiator grille, and badge have become known and recognized world-wide as the hallmarks of motoring excellence.

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The pinnacle in ultra-luxury motoring is a coachbuilt Rolls Royce. A first time buyer is excited about it in stock form, but the seasoned enthusiast seeks a little more. Mulliner Park Ward – the eminent coachcrafter with a history of exemplary fit & finish – created one of a kind masterpieces. The coachbuilder received notoriety for their two-door Fixedhead and Drophead coupe models.

Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward and Silver Cloud Mulliner Park Ward Drophead coupe models are highly sought by collectors world-wide. And…lest we forget, the formidable Corniche coachbuilt Fixedhead and Drophead coupe models with all their motoring majesty…were collectible as soon as they left the assembly hall. A Rolls Royce two-door saloon has always been built at a highly restricted pace to retain its exclusivity –

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Here is the Corniche evolution

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This is the Corniche V, the last of the Corniche series

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Speaking of exclusivity and supremacy…a Rolls Royce in its grandest manner is a coachbuilt limousine. The legendary Phantom is the ultimate expression of dynamism and luxury. Due to their highly bespoke nature, no two will ever be alike. These handcrafted limousines were meticulously built by such coachbuilders as HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, Mulliner Park Ward, and James Young. With infinite choices of features and accessories available, a Rolls Royce Phantom was limited only by its owner’s imagination. As a symbol of prestige, there is no more formal manner in which to arrive than in these impressive Flagships.

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One of the many splendid pleasures of driving the Spirit of Ecstasy comes from being surrounded by the most exquisite natural materials. The incomparable craftsmanship of the beautifully hand-crafted wood veneers uses the same techniques handed down through the generations. Each year experts from Rolls Royce travel to Milan, Italy to purchase wood for the elegant veneers for the next production year. They review over 500,000 sq. ft. of veneer but only purchase 1/10 of that.

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The veneers are mirror-matched

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Each car has a different veneer pattern

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The beautiful wood veneers in the Spirit of Ecstasy are made from eight invisibly joined slivers of hand-cut veneer. The wafer-thin sheets of veneer are inspected by the master woodsman. The sheets are then paired and cut. He creates patterns of which no two cars will ever share. The veneers are artfully shuffled, mirror-matched, and cut before being mounted to a seasoned hardwood backing. Slivers of aluminium are sandwiched in between the slivers of wood for added durability. In case of a serious accident, the veneers will not crack and splinter.

The wood is tempered in slow ovens for added strength. The age-old art of architectural entasis is used to give the ultimate impression of flatness. All the panels are made slightly convex to achieve this look. The wood is lacquered and hand-polished to a glass-like appearance. All veneer patterns are recorded in the car’s history book. Should damage occur a repair can be made with a spare section of the original veneer.

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It takes eight to eleven perfectly matched hides to upholster the interior of the Spirit of Ecstasy. The selector for the hides will inspect and reject some 500 or more before he finds the ideal skin. The rejects end up as high-end leather goods. The curing process is designed to reduce to a minimum the release of vapor that could lead to misting on the inside of the windows at certain cabin temperatures. The leather is tested for resistance to cracking and rubbing from worsted cloth before being cut and sewn.

The hand-fitted, hand-tufted 100% wool carpets line the floor and boot luxuriously. The off-cuts from the hides that lavishly upholster the seats, edge the carpet. Carpeted footrests add to rear seat passenger comfort. Lambswool rugs add the finishing touch of decadent elegance. When you step into a Rolls Royce…it’s like stepping into another world. It is a world of almost total silence and unprecedented comfort. There’s nothing quite like a Rolls Royce.

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Ever wonder why a Rolls Royce paint finish seems to glow with such depth? There are many stages before it even gets near the painting booth. The bare-steel bodyshell can spend up to four days being cleaned, inspected, measured, and brushed with wire wool. A technician with dedicated hands does nothing but “feel” for flaws…the hands can catch what the eyes may miss. 

Special highlighting fluid and lighting also detects the tiniest flaws which are marked with a grease pen for re-work. Only after the best inspectors in the world are satisfied with the condition of the bodyshell, it is cleaned – five times.

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All external body surfaces are then sprayed with an acid etch primer that provides the base for the coats that follow. A layer of primer is shot which forms an almost impervious barrier to penetration by water. All internal joints are sealed with a complex plastic compound. The surface of the body is coated with a five-thousandth of an inch thick layer of epoxy primer. Each coat is a double layer. A team of highly skilled inspectors and technologists that follow the progress of every motorcar throughout production now takes over, searching for imperfections.

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Sound deadening and undersealing compounds are applied to all surfaces exposed to the road. A double coat of grey primer surface forms the third priming operation. It is now ready to accept the pigment color.

Several double coats of color are applied to the bodyshell. It is stoved for an hour in an oven at 180 degrees and then hand-rubbed. After washing, rinsing, and de-greasing, the bodyshell is ready for two more double coats of paint. Up to now, the bodyshell has spent more than fifty-five hours in the pre-treatment and anti-corrosive process. The vehicle has only begun its journey through production. It will take another three to six months before it is ready to leave the factory as a Rolls Royce – 

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A Rolls Royce maintains perfect poise at all times. Hydraulic engine-driven pumps kept the car level regardless of load or road conditions. The rear suspension is where the network is located. Gas filled shock absorbers and hydraulic leveling systems were used by earlier Rolls Royce models. For the later models, the height control is electronic and includes electronic stability control.  A  Rolls Royce always maintains the proper ride height to preserve its beauty.

Many of the Spirit of Ecstasy’s components are nickel chrome plated for durability. The exhaust system, radiator grille & mascot, wheel discs, and window frames are made from austenitic stainless-steel. Every Rolls Royce is still built with the same virtues as Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce set forth from the company’s inception in 1906. Each car is built largely by hand, patiently, and dedicated to quality.

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At the heart of the company’s approach to building motorcars which require the best that brain, hand, and eye can create, is the philosophy of the craftsmen who believe there is only one way…the right way – anything less is an unacceptable compromise. These standards of excellence are impetus to the men and women at Rolls Royce. The best people in the world build the best car in the world. Excellence is the norm while integrity is the guiding principle – A Rolls Royce is the only automobile that precludes the restless quest for something finer to replace it with – 

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“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough” was the credo of Sir Henry. It was the Silver Ghost that garnered accolades while obtaining the “silent motorcar” reputation. Even Sir Henry, the perfectionist, considered them to be the best cars he had ever made. The Silver Ghost is the most famous example of the 40/50 hp model. It was the first milestone vehicle for the brand. There was a sign posted in the factory that read: “Beware the silent motorcar.”

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Sir Henry designed his own components. He made his own coil and distributor. He created a new carburetor design and brakes that were more secure. He even made the suspension more comfortable. Sir Henry also built a better gearbox that was silent. Sir Henry invented the modern clutch. He perfected his machines night and day. His strive for perfection was relentless…just as today’s Rolls Royce motorcars. A Rolls Royce is the undisputed “Standard of the World.”

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The Pinnacle Travel Phantom

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“The quality will remain long after the price has been forgotten…” was Sir Henry’s idea regarding the Rolls Royce. This remains true. Generations of craftsmen passed on traditional excellence to make every detail that the hand and eye could devise…as perfect as possible. A Rolls Royce motorcar is built by craftsmen…not machines. It is a symbol of prestige… the ultimate expression of dynamism and luxury. A Rolls Royce – being the epitome of elegance and opulence – is the pride of the UK and the envy of the world. 

Silver Spur

Special thanks to Rodd Sala Park Ward Motors Museum

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Special thanks to Balmoral UK

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic cars

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