Perfection. It is what occurs when you place two unstoppable forces together. A union that will withstand the test of time in the form of a name, Rolls-Royce. In 1904, after having broken a world land speed record, car dealer Charles Stewart Rolls was frustrated that the only cars he was selling were foreign nameplates such as Peugeot or Minerva. That is the year that he met Henry Royce, an aspiring engineer dead-set on creating the best of everything—and the Rolls-Royce name was born.
Only a couple years after Rolls-Royce’s inception, Managing Director Claude Johnson coined the phrase that would be forever ingrained in the company’s history: “the Best Car in the World”. In 1907, Rolls-Royce built just that, the Silver Ghost, named so due to its uncanny quietness and luxurious demeanor. The Silver Ghost broke the world record for reliability by running 7,214 miles non-stop. It was so good that many of them still run today, and are among the most valuable cars in the world, fetching insured values of over US$35 million.
Complete Lack of Compromise
Rolls-Royces have always been hand-built and, up until 1959, even coach-built specifically for each individual buyer. The body of the car was literally designed to suit each buyer’s needs and wants, to accommodate any situation. Even today, each Rolls-Royce has someone who is responsible for selecting each panel of genuine wood that goes into a car, to ensure uniformity and quality. The iconic radiator grille takes an entire day to hand-build and nearly six hours to polish. No expenses are too much when creating the perfect machine.
Luxury Innovations Where No One Else Dared to Go
Rolls-Royce has a reputation for introducing new features the world had never seen before. In the 1970s they created split-level air conditioning, the first dual-zone climate control system to be placed in a car. Today, convertible Rolls-Royces are designed to be a symphony of experience and opulence. Not only are they the quietest convertibles in the world, despite using a soft-top architecture, but the top-folding mechanism was designed with attention made to how the motors sound when in operation.
In 1998, British attention to detail and German engineering joined forces when BMW bought the rights to build Rolls-Royces. Today, every car is constructed with the finest craftsmanship Britain has to offer combined with German powertrain underpinnings that make BMW famous. The result is truly worthy of the company’s mascot, the iconic and everlasting Spirit of Ecstasy that adorns the hood of every Rolls—and automatically hides itself to avoid attention from potential predators when parked.
Rolls-Royce continues to be the pinnacle of quality and luxury today, setting the bar high for luxury manufacturers. Where others focus on weight-savings and fuel economy, Rolls-Royce embraces its solidity as something that gives the car an established feel and reliable performance. No other manufacturer has stayed so true to its original intent.
Photos: Shutterstock / Olga Besnard, Shutterstock / Sergey Kohl, Shutterstock / Vividrange