Rolls-Royce showcases the breadth of the marque’s Bespoke offering at the 2013 Frankfurt IAA with the unveiling of the Celestial Phantom and European debut of the Home of Rolls-Royce Collection.
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With nearly every Phantom and 75% of Ghost models featuring an element of Bespoke design, this unique automotive tailoring service has been a key driver in the Rolls-Royce success story.
“As we mark the tenth anniversary of the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, we can reflect on an exceptional period in the marque’s rich history,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Rolls-Royce is a brand that appeals to unique and highly discerning customers who demand a hand-crafted reflection of their tastes, lifestyles and desires. Delivering this through our Bespoke programme has ensured the marque’s rightful place as the pinnacle super-luxury company. Following three successive record years, we remain committed to this approach and are laying down the foundations, through expansion of our manufacturing plant and the creation of 100 jobs to continue growing sustainably.”
The Celestial Phantom
Midnight, 1 January 2003, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ renaissance under BMW Group custodianship is heralded with a whisper. The first Phantom gracefully wafts through a newly completed manufacturing plant into the hands of its eagerly awaiting owner, signaling the start of an extraordinary new chapter in the marque’s storied history. A decade on, this historic moment is celebrated with the unveiling of the Celestial Phantom.
This one-off motor car evokes the spirit of that evening with the elegance and lightness of touch that has come to epitomise the work of Goodwood’s designers and craftspeople.
The exterior colour scheme evokes the night sky – integrating fine glass particles into the paint to achieve an alluring sense of depth and light. The theme continues when one opens the coach doors of this very special Phantom Extended Wheelbase.
“This highly Bespoke luxury motor car is the perfect way for us to celebrate our first decade of production at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. The peerless design and craftsmanship employed in creating these one-of-a-kind masterpieces ensures the marque’s rightful place as purveyor of the very finest luxury goods in the world,” added Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
Upon entering the car, occupants are welcomed with a new take on Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature that has captivated Rolls-Royce’s discerning customers more than any. The constellations, exactly as they were at midnight on that historic evening are represented by over a thousand fibre optic lights hand-woven into the Celestial Phantom’s headlining.
The finest leathers, presented in a ‘Dusk’ hue allude to the inky quality of a cloudless night sky. Bespoke glassware and an exquisitely appointed picnic set, express the manner in which a customer’s lifestyle and passions can be seamlessly integrated into their personal highly Bespoke Rolls-Royce.
The attention-to-detail and restless striving for perfection, so intrinsic to the Rolls-Royce brand promise, is evident throughout. The night-sky constellation arrangement was verified by the South Downs Planetarium to ensure authenticity, whilst the reflection of the ‘stars’ in the surface of the rear drinks compartment lid was meticulously planned and designed. Finer detail still, with hand-stitching to the headliner that subtly maps out the constellations.
Of course, the finest materials furnish every Rolls-Royce. For such a special creation, the designers took this principle a step further with the rear privacy divider’s clock replete with four diamonds.
The exterior is finished with engraving to wheel centres while an uplit Spirit of Ecstasy figurine elegantly alludes to the car’s ethereal theme.
Dining under the stars takes on a new dimension with a themed re-imaging of the famed Rolls-Royce Picnic Set. The glassware features a beautifully hand-engraved Celestial motif whilst celebrated porcelain maker Nymphenburg was commissioned for the set’s plates, providing an exquisitely presented image of the constellations.
The Home of Rolls-Royce Collection
The Frankfurt IAA also sees the European debut of the Home of Rolls-Royce Collection Ghost, part of a limited series of Phantom and Ghost models that celebrate the meticulous design, engineering and craftsmanship employed in the production of every automobile that leaves Goodwood.
A ‘Celebration’ motif, presented in hand-crafted marquetry on the front-fascia, marks this landmark year in Rolls-Royce’s history. Using methods akin to the artistry of fine furniture makers, this effect is achieved through a process that marries cutting edge technology with traditional craftsmanship.
Individual pieces of wood are laser-cut to ensure precision. A craftsperson then painstakingly assembles the sections, ensuring they perfectly express the vision of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke design team. A fastidious process of quality control follows, utilising the world’s most accurate measuring tool – the human eye.
In 2012, hand-built Rolls-Royce motor cars exclusively assembled at Goodwood were exported to all five continents. This global reach is celebrated throughout with a complex compass motif that expresses the Home of Rolls-Royce’s position as a major global centre of super-luxury manufacturing excellence.
The pattern is intricately embroidered to armrests and console lid. 120,000 stitches are applied by precision embroidery technology. Such is the complexity of the pattern it takes over an hour to finish one individual piece.
Co-ordinates engraved into tread plates, the bezel of the Spirit of Ecstasy and umbrella handles further express Goodwood’s place as the only manufacturing centre for the world’s pinnacle super-luxury brand.
A hand-painted coachline, culminating in a half-compass motif completes the exterior. Forming the final stage of a week-long, 22 stage painting process, coachlines are hand-applied by one highly-skilled craftsman using precision-made squirrel hair-brushes. Normally this process takes three hours – however the intricacy of this very special Bespoke design means the time taken to complete the process doubles.
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