Sunday, 28 December 2014 09:00

A star is born

With the unveiling of its latest bespoke collection Suhail, Rolls-Royce reviews a year of its bespoke marvels

As endless Rolls-Royce legends go, one is about a warning notice outside its factory. ‘Beware silent cars,’ it reads. The sly humourous cautionary, sums up the automobile manufacturers’ unfathomable faith in the cars it creates. For more than a century some of the world’s finest designers, engineers and craftspeople have kept the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy,’ alive with “graceful silence, absence of vibration, the mysterious harnessing of great energy and a beautiful living organism of superb grace.”

Taking forth the outstanding tradition to yet another pinnacle, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, last year in December (2014) unveiled its first ever Bespoke Collection that comprises of the marque’s entire family of motor cars. The Suhail Collection, inspired by one of the brightest star constellations in the sky celebrates the work of 10th century Arabic mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haitham, believed by many, to be the father of theoretical physics and a great influence on Western scientific thinking.

Touched by Angels

The first collection to be offered on Phantom, Phantom Coupé, Ghost and Wraith models, Suhail offers a host of elegantly executed touches to the Rolls-Royce with exteriors of astronomy-inspired sparkle in a unique moonstone pearl colour evoking the colour of the stars at night. A Suhail star emblem completes a Turchese Blue coachline inspired by the colour of the night sky when Suhail is visible. The interiors are an extension of that striking colour scheme combining Cremé Light leather with Turchese accents, framed by a Navy Blue instrument panel top and carpets. The Suhail star emblems are also worked into the marquetry on the Ash Burr wood fascia, whilst a Starlight Headliner in the Phantom and Wraith models allows the owner their own personal moment of stargazing. Lastly, the Bespoke clock, colour matched to the interior, depicts the Suhail Ursa Minor and Major constellation on the clock face.

A year through the prism of modern luxury travel

The past year saw Rolls-Royce unveil a selected bunch of bespoke collections such as the Year of the Horse, Pinnacle Travel, Waterspeed, Metropolitan and Maharajah created by the Bespoke Design Studios at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. January witnessed the début of the Majestic Horse Ghost to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Horse which marries the Chinese artistic tradition and appreciation of fine hand-craftsmanship to the very best in contemporary British automotive design. April saw the debut of the Pinnacle Travel Phantom at the 2014 Beijing Autoshow to showcase imaginative heights of craftsmanship and design that emanates from Goodwood. May celebrated Sir Malcolm Campbell’s act of setting a new world water-speed record on the nearby Lake Maggiore in 1937 with the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection. While September’s Salon de l’Automobile in Paris was the appropriate venue for the Phantom Metropolitan Collection that paid homage to the world’s great metropolises through the most complex application of marquetry ever undertaken by Rolls-Royce.

The one­ of­ a kind Maharaja Phantom Drophead Coupé, unveiled in November inspired by the Golden Age of the Raja, was conceptualised and hand­crafted in honour of India’s affinity with the super ­luxury marque. Over a period of five decades, the Maharajas purchased over 840 unique Rolls­-Royce motor cars pushing its makers to an unprecedented level of design, engineering and luxury. This bespoke collected celebrated that golden age of India’s motoring heritage.

The unveiling of the Suhail Collection in December was the culmination of an outstanding year that saw the marque unequivocally reaffirm the fact that Bespoke is Rolls-Royce.  

 

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