If you think about some features that define a Rolls-Royce car these days, you might name the Starlight Headliner among them. You wouldn’t be wrong but the Starlight Headliner is actually a new addition to the list, when compared against features like the Pantheon Grille or the Spirit of Ecstasy. But how did this graceful feature enter the Rolls-Royce family in the first place?
Well, according to the Brits, it was a special request.
“A Rolls-Royce client was suffering from Photophobia, an extreme sensitivity to light, and was only able to enjoy reading his daily newspaper under the starlight on his rural ranch,” says Rolls-Royce. According to them, the customer requested that the marque develop a similar ambience in his Rolls-Royce. He took delivery of his Phantom in 2006, which was equipped with 800 stars. Such was the response to this innovation, Rolls-Royce requested the permission of the commissioning patron to fulfill the wishes of clients who wanted a Starlight Headliner of their own.
Upon getting permission, the Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople developed this technology, extending it to the entire length of the roof and varying the intensity of light emitted by each star to better reflect the night’s sky. The constellation of each Starlight Headliner is completely unique to the owner. Typically, it takes nine hours to craft, but a personalized pattern needs its own template, which can take as long as a week to complete.
First, the leather is perforated with 1,400 to 1,600 holes, each carefully counted. Fiber optic threads, which are hand-trimmed at different angles to achieve a twinkling effect, are set into these holes by hand. The crafts-person then ensures that the fibers are perfectly seated on the visible leather surface, ready to shine. Any personalized aesthetic, depicting constellations exactly as they were on any day in modern history, manifold colors, graphics, shooting stars and even illuminated wood veneer can be drawn onto the roof of your Rolls-Royce.
According to the Goodwood-based luxury brand, one owner requested the lights to be configured in the shape of his coat of arms, another asked for the configuration to represent the Ursa Major and Minor constellations. While for another customer the Rolls-Royce monogram was created to illuminate separately from the rest of the stars.