Whimsical & Wonderful - a momentous year for Rolls-Royce BespokeJanuary, 18th 2022
In 2021, the House of Rolls-Royce has fulfilled whimsical and wonderful client commissions, resulting in undeniable advancements of Bespoke manufacturing. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has explored, developed and presented new and ambitious interpretations of true luxury, resulting in some of the finest examples of contemporary craftsmanship ever seen.
The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective – an elite team of engineers, designers and craftspeople based at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England – has taken inspiration from historical events and figures, renowned artworks, personal artefacts, nature and the architectural world to create a truly unique set of motor cars that give expression to their owner’s individual style and personality.
In a year that has seen significant announcements from the marque – pre-empting the arrival of its first fully-electric motor car, Spectre, in 2023, and the launch of Ghost’s alter-ego, Black Badge Ghost – Rolls-Royce continues to shape the future of luxury.
What follows are some of the finest examples of Bespoke craftsmanship, design and engineering, completed by the Luxury House during 2021.
2021 saw the final Wraith Kryptos Collection cars delivered to their owners around the world, fuelling the web of intrigue ignited in 2020 as the mysterious Collection was unveiled. The Collection conceals hidden cyphers, embedded in the design language of the car; to the unknowing eye the unique design cues are simply aesthetic, a sum of elements that add up to create a dynamic façade. However, to the curious mind of a Rolls-Royce client, there lies a code that must be solved and with it, a one-of-a-kind prize to be claimed.
Attempts to resolve the puzzle have originated from around the world with deeply complex theories and tomes of analysis sent to the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood for consideration. To date, collaborations between cipher enthusiasts and clients have resolved elements of the code, however, the final resolution remains elusive.
The race to crack the Wraith Kryptos code is well and truly on.
KENGO KUMA DAWN
Rolls-Royce and Kengo Kuma bridged the worlds of luxury and architecture with the unveiling of a first-of-its-kind Bespoke Rolls-Royce Dawn. The singular motor car debuted as a moving representation of the new luxury residence ‘The Kita’ in central Tokyo, designed by Kengo Kuma and commissioned by global luxury property developer Westbank.
Dawn’s exterior is rendered in Silver Haze, a multi-faceted colour that speaks of the silver-grey of the building’s core structural materials. When illuminated by the sun, it reveals a bronze sheen, a warmth that reflects the bronze koshi screen louvers on the exterior of the building and the bronze detailing of the interior. It is finished with a sleek Silver hood and clean-cut Black coachline. Bringing the interior and exterior together is the warm, intimate feel of natural open-pore Royal Walnut panelling on the rear deck, a nod to the rich Walnut panelling of the towering penthouse entrance lobby.
GHOST EXTENDED URBAN SANCTUARY
Following a highly successful introduction to market, Ghost Extended has embarked on its Bespoke journey. Further exploring its Post Opulent design philosophy, which celebrates material substance, not overt statement, Urban Sanctuary debuts an elevated expression of Parquetry. Recalling the ‘cracked ice’ effect of the wooden window shutters on a pavilion building within Shanghai’s storied Yu Yuan Gardens, this geometric mosaic of wood pieces is finished in un-lacquered open-pore Obsidian Ayous veneer. The ‘cracked ice’ theme is also referenced by way of Bespoke embroidered panels in the seat inserts.
The interior suite features a Navy Blue and Cashmere Grey two-tone colourway, creating a unique experience whether the motor car is being self, or chauffeur driven. The chauffeur-driven experience is further underscored by reclinable Serenity Seating with calf rests, emulating the configuration provisioned by private jets. This elegant treatment is contrasted with Lime Green stitching.
Urban Sanctuary’s coachwork is finished in a gracefully subdued Gunmetal and Jubilee Silver two-tone with a vibrant Lime Green coachline and wheel pinstripe, referencing the neon lights of Shanghai by night.
Ghost Extended became the canvas for the first ever personalised Illuminated Fascia as part of a very special commission for South Florida luxury collector, David Bartosiak. He made a personal request of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, asking to adapt the Illuminated Fascia to say ‘DREAM’ rather than ‘GHOST’. He noted, “This wish speaks of the dream I had as a young boy, born under that beautiful night sky in 1983 in Vero Beach, Florida, the dream I instil in those around me every day, and the dream I hope my spirit carries on to the world when I'm gone.”
The Starlight Headliner in Mr. Bartosiak’s commission features another very personal hand-crafted touch. The astronomical alignment of the stars over Vero Beach, Florida, on the day of his birth in 1983, are depicted in 1,236 individual fibre optic lights.
BESPOKE WRAITH IN PEBBLE PARADISO
A Shanghai based client commissioned a unique Bespoke Wraith in Pebble Paradiso blue – her very own ‘Shanghai seaside inspired paradise’. A hand-painted coachline in a Seashell hue features a delicate orchid motif, symbolising her passion for elegance.
Inside, an artwork featuring a baby girl’s footprints is depicted on the Piano White monitor lid, a tribute to the client’s long sought-after bundle of joy. The two-tone interior features Charles Blue and Seashell in natural grain leather. A Bespoke Starlight Headliner continues the celebration with a personalised constellation paying tribute to her daughter.
Coastal hues, the infinite love of a child and the elegance and grace of orchids signify the client’s overarching way of life – her Wraith is her favourite place to escape to.
A spectacular, one-of-a-kind Cullinan was created to mark the UAE’s historic Golden Jubilee in 2021. The exterior, finished in Crystal over Arctic White, was adorned with a hand-painted double coachline – the upper line in Hotspur Red, the lower Fame Green. The effect was completed with a Gold Bullion Coachline Motif, the national flag rendered in Hotspur Red, Fame Green and Black on the C-Pillar Motif, and a double wheel-centre pinstripe to represent the National Flag of the UAE.
On opening the coach doors, Bespoke illuminated treadplates read ‘50th’. The tailored interior mirrors the exterior, with Arctic White, Black and Hotspur Red leather, with Fame Green Contrast Stitch: the UAE’s emblem is embroidered on each headrest. The centrepiece is the gold 50th anniversary motif inlaid in the fascia, rear waterfall and picnic tabletops. The interior cabin also features a spectacular Starlight Headliner with a unique Shooting Star configuration in a green-coloured hue.
CULLINAN IN PIKES PEAK BLUE
Ben and Christine Sloss, car enthusiasts and endurance racers, commissioned a Bespoke Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Los Gatos.
Finished in a unique Bespoke colourway, Pikes Peak Blue, the hue pays homage to the legendary Colorado hill-climb, one of the customer’s favourite events. Combined with the vivid flashes of Forge Yellow on the hand-painted coachline, wheel-centre pinstripes and brake callipers, the Black Badge Cullinan carries the colours of the flag of Modena and the livery featured on the couple’s racing cars. An additional tribute to the Sloss’ love of racing adorns the doors of the couple’s Black Badge Cullinan, each door panel is embroidered with Mrs. Sloss’ personal racing logo – a stylized stiletto.
A unique collaboration saw the House of Rolls-Royce and the House of Hermès co-create a Bespoke Phantom for Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. Named Phantom Oribe, the motor car features a Bespoke two-tone exterior finish, inspired by the client’s world-class collection of ancient Japanese ceramics, Oribe ware. In an unusual move, the Rolls-Royce paint was made available for use on the client’s private jet that the Phantom is paired with.
The interior is finished predominantly in Hermès Enea Green leather, extending to immediate touchpoints for the client. In a first for Rolls-Royce, Hermès ‘Toile H’ canvas adorns the door armrests, centre and rear consoles and, most notably, the signature headliner.
Phantom Oribe’s Gallery, a feature unique to Rolls-Royce that runs the length of the motor car’s fascia, features an artwork based on a design by the celebrated French artist and illustrator Pierre Péron (1905–1988), who created many of Hermès’ iconic scarves. The work, inspired by the famous Hermès horse motif, is hand-painted on open-pore Royal Walnut and is presented as though staged in an art gallery, behind glass.
PHANTOM TEMPUS COLLECTION
Rolls-Royce Phantom became the subject of an exclusive and rare commission with the Phantom Tempus Collection. Strictly limited to just 20 examples, this iteration of Phantom is inspired by the concept of time – how it passes, and how it can be made seemingly to stand still.
The design encompasses various aesthetic and intellectual themes relating to time and the cosmos. A key component illustrated in an elaborate headliner is a rare astronomical phenomenon, the pulsar, unknown until 1967 and found only in the deepest reaches of space. These very dense, white-hot stars emit electromagnetic radiation in extremely regular pulses, making them a point of reference for some of the most accurate clocks in the universe.
The exterior of the Phantom Tempus Collection is presented in a new Bespoke paint finish, Kairos Blue, created to embody the darkness and mystery of space. The paint incorporates jewel-like blue mica flakes, which glitter and glint as they catch the light, representing the stars – an effect highlighted by the black exterior detailing.
Phantom Koa is the first Rolls-Royce Phantom to incorporate Koa wood, a rare species of tree that grows only on Hawaiian soil. The inspiration came from car enthusiast, Jack Boyd Smith, Jr. and his wife Laura, who came to appreciate the warmth and character of Koa having spent significant amounts of time in Maui, Hawaii.
The unique Koa tree grows only in Hawaii and is protected in State and National parks. It can only be harvested from private agricultural land; to find suitable raw material is truly rare. A Rolls-Royce Wood Specialist described the find as a ‘one in a million chance’.
After three years of collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, Mr. Smith’s Bespoke commission now features in his personal collection of more than 60 unique motor cars in the JBS Collection Museum.
The Rolls-Royce Landspeed Collection, strictly limited to just 25 examples of Black Badge Dawn and 35 of Black Badge Wraith, draws inspiration from George Eyston’s remarkable life and record-breaking feats. It also has strong aesthetic links to the unique, otherworldly landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats where Thunderbolt made him, albeit briefly, the fastest man on Earth.
During his lifetime, George Eyston received three significant honours. He was awarded the Military Cross, the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur and the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
These honours are marked in both Black Badge Wraith and Dawn Landspeed with a subtle detail in the driver’s door, made in the same Grosgrain weave silk and colours to match the original medal ribbons.
In Black Badge Wraith Landspeed, the Starlight Headliner perfectly recreates the heavens as they appeared over the Flats on 16 September 1938, the date on which Eyston and Thunderbolt set their third and final world land-speed record. The constellations are precisely marked using 2,117 individually placed fibre-optic ‘stars’, the largest number ever featured in a Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith Starlight Headliner.
CULLINAN ‘BLACK AND BRIGHT’
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Moscow presented Black Badge Cullinan ‘Black and Bright’, inspired by the ambience of Moscow at night. Following the success of the Black Badge Wraith ‘Black and Bright’ two years ago, the 2021 iteration was designed in the same spirit, but with even more confidence.
This limited series, exclusive to the Muscovite dealership, features five Black Badge Cullinans in bold individual colour combinations: Magma Red, Orange Metallic, Twilight Purple, Forge Yellow and Turchese. Black Badge Cullinan’s Technical Carbon veneer is personalised with a matching colour inlay design, whilst the legendary starlight headliner echoes the exterior and interior accents.
As a permanent Bespoke series for those who refuse to be defined by traditional codes of luxury, Black Badge perfectly serves as a canvas for these highly personalised Bespoke cars.
ROLLS-ROYCE COACHBUILD: BOAT TAIL
The creation of three Boat Tails heralds a significant future for the modern coachbuilding movement, with Rolls-Royce confirming Coachbuilding as a permanent fixture in its future portfolio.
Coachbuilding is a highly distilled expression of Rolls-Royce Bespoke, reserved for those who look to move beyond existing constraints. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is contemporary patronage in its truest form.
Boat Tail is a hand-built masterpiece of generous proportions, in which both the bodywork and interior are designed and produced in close consultation with the clients, to their exact specifications. The creations tell the romantic tale of Rolls-Royce’s history, echoing a Boat Tail design but not explicitly mimicking it, fusing a historical body type with a thoroughly contemporary design.
The first of the three magnificent Boat Tails was exhibited at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in October, 2021. The second will make its global public debut at Villa d’Este 2022.