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- The most prestigious motor car in the world. The true definition of luxury
- A tour of the Rolls-Royce facility and a unique insight into the manufacturing process
- A stunning collection of cars from the earliest models to those of the modern day
- A compendium of historical Rolls-Royce pictures, many unseen
- A luxurious book, beautifully designed and impeccably produced to the highest standards
- The ultimate Rolls Royce volume
Step inside a world of engineering excellence with this collection, dedicated to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The authors were granted unique access by the Rolls-Royce company. Detailed descriptions of the manufacturing process are set against a backdrop of heritage and prestige, including an exclusive showcase of the company's manufacturing facility and a splendid gallery of Rolls-Royce cars dating back to sketches of work from the 1930s. This collection includes numerous unseen photos of Sir Henry Royce driving early versions of his iconic cars.
A true behind-the-scenes experience, this book introduces the reader to the Rolls-Royce master craftsmen at work. High-quality images and detailed insights reveal the process by which each car is constructed, from the 2019 Ghost Zenith back in time to the 1904 Original. Rolls-Royce opens their archive to reveal a spectacular timeline of design, providing readers with an insight into the world of those who still uphold the words of Sir Henry Royce: "Strive for perfection in everything you do".
The contents list guides the reader through the complete construction of a car: Design and Customization, Paint and Finish, Chassis Assembly, Woodwork, Leather, Testing, The Spirit of Ecstasy Hood Ornament, and more. With a glimpse at the Rolls- Royce Training Academy and a plethora of featured cars from last year to the start of the last century, this is the ultimate Rolls-Royce collectors' volume. Featured cars include the new Ghost (2020), the Phantom Tranquility (2019), Phantom Aviator Coupe (2012), the Phantom II Continental (1934) the AX201 Silver Ghost (1907), and many more.
Simon Van Booy is a celebrated Anglo-American author, who has won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His essays have been published in The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and more.
Harvey Briggs is the Editor/Publisher of Rides & Drives, a website dedicated to motoring journeys across the world.
From the Publisher
From Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
“At Rolls-Royce we are defined by individual taste, not by collective opinion – we speak to single clients only; and we make it our business to meet with these clients at every given opportunity. Our clients are our lifeblood. They push us further into the realms of luxury by demanding that the needle of luxury- competence continually progresses at the hands of our extraordinary craftspeople. It is these crafts- people, men and women at the very top of their field, who continually strive to perfect their art, and in doing so, build the very best luxury products in the world. A Rolls-Royce motor car transcends its primary function as a means of conveyance to become a work of art, a luxury object, a lifestyle enhancement.
When authors Harvey and Simon approached us to write this book exploring contemporary Rolls- Royce and some of the remarkable individuals who create our products, we welcomed them to the Home of Rolls-Royce, our Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex, with open arms. Harvey, a journalist with an extensive knowledge of the automotive industry, and Simon, an accomplished author and journalist, have captured the essence of Rolls- Royce and illustrated the marque’s exacting attention to detail through written word and imagery in a compelling and enlightening manner.
There will always be a place in this world for items that express the very best of human endeavour and present a sense of theatre, magic and a recalibration of what is thought possible. I invite you to savour this book, as I have done, and to revel in the detail that illustrates just what makes the House of Rolls-Royce so very remarkable.”
Discover first-hand, how Rolls-Royce builds the world’s most extraordinary cars.
From the Introduction
Over a century after Henry Royce and Charles Rolls put their first car into production, Rolls-Royce continues to represent the pinnacle of luxury around the world. It is this passion for continually improving the design, quality and experience of each auto- mobile that allows Rolls-Royce to honour its past without being shackled by it. The devotion to car-making revealed in these pages also anchors every member of the team to what they claim is more vocation than mere employment. The mark of an artist is often glimpsed in how true satisfaction is attained from perfecting a process, rather than celebrating a result – which in this case is arguably the most luxurious vehicle in the world. This is a book about those artists, who not only hand-build cars, but are responsible for the safeguarding and transference – from one generation to the next – of crafts that embody the engineering wisdom of our species; a learned intuition that cannot be transferred to automation.
There is focus, determination, camaraderie and most of the work is completed by hand with the assistance of technology.
In fact, the only two robots in the facility do the sole job they can do better than humans at this scale, which is to paint the cars. As you’ll learn, the painting process is exceptional too.
It starts with the hands that sketch the cars, with the team of designers collaborating with customers to create bespoke versions of Wraith, Dawn, Ghost, Phantom, and the new sport utility vehicle, Cullinan.
Experience just what makes the House of Rolls-Royce so very remarkable.
Design and Customization
Paint and Finish
Assembling the Chassis
The Woodshop and Technical Interior
Leathershop and Embroidery
Connecting the Chassis and Drivetrain
Testing and Validation
Spirit of Ecstasy and New Ghost
Almost every one of the 5,000 Rolls-Royces created each year is customized in some way from the color of the leather, unique embroidery, special type of wood, or pattern for the Starlight Headliner.
Hand-woven, hand dyed, hand-embroidered silk and bespoke wood are the canvas for a custom-created blossom design for this one-of-one Phantom Extended Wheelbase.
Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design believes that the Collection cars really stand out because they can offer a strong historical connection to Rolls-Royce and their British heritage. They tell stories through an array of different features, and allow the company to embrace the past – but also create something new and really test the boundaries of craftsmanship.
Wraith Black and Bright Collection was created specifically for the Moscow market.
It features three brilliant color schemes including this bespoke Brennen Green and Diamond Black combination.
Creative partnerships often yield spectacular results in fields such as art, film and songwriting. When it comes to industrial creative design, Sami Coultas and Tobias Sicheneder at Rolls-Royce give the impression that almost anything is possible in the automotive world of color and finish.
Phantom VIII rides on the Architecture of Luxury, an aluminum framework that’s strong and light.
The experience for the driver and passengers is a defining characteristic of Rolls-Royce since the company’s earliest days. The secret lies within the structure of each vehicle, not just one component or system. It’s everything, the chassis, suspension, engine, transmission, brakes and steering working together. For these models: Phantom, Ghost and Cullinan, it starts with Rolls-Royce’s new Architecture of Luxury, the aluminium foundation introduced in 2018 on Phantom VIII.
Cullinan couples all the bespoke opportunities of other Rolls-Royce models with the ability to take them anywhere.
The engineering and assembly of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars takes great technical skill, the most overt examples of artistry in any Rolls-Royce are revealed by the vehicle’s interior. Hand-crafted wood trim has been at the heart of this aesthetic experience since the first car left Charles Rolls and Henry Royce’s shop in the early 1900s. It began using single pieces of solid wood. Today it’s the fine art of selecting, cutting, measuring, staining, then assembling patterns and images using woods, metals, gems, minerals and Technical Fibre.
Get to know more about the inspired women and men working every day to create vehicles for royalty, music stars, athletes, captains of industry and heads of state.
The 1st Starlight Headliner was commissioned for a client who read under the stars. It’s since become an integral part of the Rolls-Royce iconography.
Starlight Headliners require fibre-optic cables to be individually threaded through one of up to 1,600 holes, depending on the model and design. Each fibre-optic bundle is made up of strands with two thicknesses. They have to be precisely placed in the right order to give an accurate appearance of the night sky.
Each headliner takes between eight and sixteen hours to complete, and it’s rare to complete a headliner in a single day.
1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III once owned by British World War II hero, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
Leather has been a hallmark of Rolls-Royce interiors since the inception of the company. In addition to its beauty, leather’s durability made it an ideal covering for the earliest open-coached cars. While many manufacturers use leather, no one does it quite like Rolls-Royce.
An additional layer of customization in the leather shop is embroidery. Almost every Rolls- Royce includes at least some embroidery – usually the Double R logo in the headrest – but customers are always encouraged to be more creative with this art form.
All Rolls-Royce vehicles are powered by a twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine, tuned specifically to each model.
Each drivetrain is built on a scalable platform, which is individually set up to the precise specifications for each model to ensure axles are correctly positioned for their respective wheelbases. This is where the 12-cylinder engine, satellite-aided transmission, anti-lock brakes, driveshaft and other components are combined to complete the powertrain.
The 2nd Goodwood Ghost was redesigned for 2021. Its illuminated Pantheon Grill announces the car’s presence, day or night.
The 2020 Ghost delivers a driving experience that’s revolutionary & evolutionary, according to Lead Engineering & Integration Manager, Jon Simms. “Ghost is new from the ground up. The only parts that carry over are the Spirit of Ecstasy & the umbrellas in the doors.” Even with all the changes, Ghost doesn’t stray too far from the formula that created its predecessor. According to the design team it’s intentional.
The 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine & satellite-aided, 8-speed transmission propel Ghost from 0 to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds.
Sir Henry Royce: “Take the best that exists and make it better.”
Publisher:Acc Art Books (December 7, 2020)
Item Weight:6.2 pounds
Dimensions:11.24 x 1.18 x 13.11 inches