Tag Archives: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Montgomery Rolls-Royce 'Butler' Phantom 3

Rare Sighting of Field Marshall Montgomery’s Rolls Royce Phantom III

Field Marshal Montgomery's Rolls-Royce Phantom 3

Field Marshal Montgomery’s Rolls-Royce Phantom 3
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Although he was nicknamed “the Spartan General” due to his strict military bearing and ascetic lifestyle, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery greatly appreciated mechanically efficient and powerful vehicles for his own personal transportation, for that, he demanded the best car. Inevitably, the selection criteria for engine power, stately countenance and endurance fell to the makers of the best car of known to man – Rolls Royce.

A veteran of both World Wars, the British Field Marshal had the use of three Rolls-Royce Phantom IIIs. As a consequence of a deeply historic car combined with a fabled owner, Bernard Montgomery’s three Rolls-Royce Phantom IIIs will be appearing in a gathering of the greatest Phantoms from the last 92 years in Mayfair, London.

The Rolls-Royce 'Butler' Phantom 3, one of Monty's Triple joins the lead up to the opening of the fair as Rolls-Royce Phantoms from all over the world journey to London to share their legendary histories

The Rolls-Royce ‘Butler’ Phantom 3, one of Monty’s Triple joins the lead up to the opening of the fair as Rolls-Royce Phantoms from all over the world journey to London to share their legendary histories
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Dubbed “The Great Eight Phantoms”, a Rolls-Royce Exhibition slated for the end of July, Monty’s Triple joins the lead up to the opening of the fair as Rolls-Royce Phantoms from all over the world journey to London to share their legendary histories and stand witness to the arrival of the next generation of the world’s most recognisable and celebrated luxury car, the eighth generation of the Phantom.

Among Monty’s Triple, Field Marshall Montgomery’s Rolls Royce ‘Butler’ Phantom III

Field-marshal Viscount Montgomery Of Alamein, one Of England's greatest soldiers Since Wellington was known as "The Spartan General". He loved his Rolls-Royce Phantoms, especially his 'Butler' Phantom III. He ended his military career as Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO with a uniform with ten rows Of ribbons. He is considered the longest service Officer in the British Army

Field-marshal Viscount Montgomery Of Alamein, one Of England’s greatest soldiers Since Wellington was known as “The Spartan General”. He loved his Rolls-Royce Phantoms, especially his ‘Butler’ Phantom III. He ended his military career as Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO with a uniform with ten rows Of ribbons. He is considered the longest service Officer in the British Army.
Photo: ANL/REX/Shutterstock (1357743a)

A gifted military tactician, Montgomery was notorious for his lack of tact and diplomacy. So much so that mentors and friends would make remarks on his “lack of tact and egotistical outlook which prevented him from appreciating other people’s feelings”. Thus, it is historical irony that this keen believer in the power of image would cultivate such a prickly demeanour and yet choose to use a symbol of elegance and stateliness like the Rolls-Royce Phantom to convey his preferred attributes of permanence, solidity and reliability. To Monty, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III was a bulwark of strength and visual representation of endurance.

“In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.” – Winston Churchill on Montgomery

The first of Monty’s Triple Phantoms, a 1936 model coachbuilt by Freestone & Webb, was owned by the head of English Talbot Motor Company, Frederick Wilcock. Then, as declarations of war were being made against Nazi aggression, the Ministry of War Transport Section requisitioned the Rolls-Royce Phantom for use as Montgomery’s personal transport where he ferried Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and King George VI to D-Day planning sessions at his base in Southwick House, Hampshire. Where luxury car meets legendary leaders and great historical events, the provenance which accrues is simply awe-inspiring. Yet, of the trio of Monty’s Triple, it is his ‘Butler’ Phantom III which is Montgomery’s most beloved.

the 'Butler' Phantom III featured a signature front-sloping windscreen that made the car 15 per cent more aerodynamically efficient than the standard configuration

the ‘Butler’ Phantom III featured a signature front-sloping windscreen that made the car 15 per cent more aerodynamically efficient than the standard configuration
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Present at the July “The Great Eight Phantoms” Rolls-Royce Exhibition, Montgomery’s Rolls Royce ‘Butler’ Phantom III was originally commissioned  for Alan Samuel Butler, Chairman of the De Havilland Aircraft Company, with bodywork by HJ Mulliner of Chiswick, the ‘Butler’ Phantom III featured a signature front-sloping windscreen that made the car 15 per cent more aerodynamically efficient than the standard configuration, further enhanced by the enclosed spare tyre and swept tail design in the rear.


The Rolls-Royce ‘Butler’ Phantom III served Montgomery, plying the streets of London to eminent addresses as 10 Downing Street, the War Office on Whitehall, the British Prime Minister’s country residence Chequers, and military operations centres such as Northwood in Hertfordshire and eventually, as World War II came to a close, the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers-Europe in Rocquencourt, near Versailles, France.

Elmwood dashboard of the Montgomery Rolls-Royce Phantom 3, worth taking a wristshot with during "The Great Eight Phantoms", a Rolls-Royce Exhibition slated for the end of July

Elmwood dashboard of the Montgomery Rolls-Royce Phantom 3, worth taking a wristshot with during “The Great Eight Phantoms”, a Rolls-Royce Exhibition slated for the end of July Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Heck, I'd take a ride in Montgomery's Rolls-Royce Phantom 3 during "The Great Eight Phantoms", a Rolls-Royce Exhibition just so I could say I shared a seat with history's legends.

Heck, I’d take a ride in Montgomery’s Rolls-Royce Phantom 3 during “The Great Eight Phantoms”, a Rolls-Royce Exhibition just so I could say I shared a seat with history’s legends. Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

It is not clear how the ‘Butler’ Phantom became personally owned by Monty but the Field Marshal retained use of it after the war, carrying other luminaries of the era like  the Prime Ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand till his retirement from the position of Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe in 1958, thereafter, he used the Rolls-Royce ‘Butler’ Phantom III till 1962 as a civilian.

In preparation for ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ Exhibition, the ‘Butler’ Phantom III underwent extensive refurbishment at Rolls-Royce specialist P&A Wood in Essex, England.

‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ Rolls-Royce Exhibition, will take place in Mayfair, London, at the end of July 2017 and it would the first and only opportunity for members of the public to see this legend before it attends the “invite only” Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the United States in August, after which it will return to its current owner’s private collection.

If you want to own one of Monty’s Triple, a 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III owned by the Field Marshall and used to drive King George VI, General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill to secret D-Day meetings, is on sale with Cheshire Classic Cars for £199,995


future classic cars ending production 2016

9 Future Classic Cars Ending Production 2016

A classic car, if you go by the most rigid possible definition, was built prior to World War II but we of course recognize that modern classic are being made right now. What else are the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 but modern classics, after all? Both were built in limited numbers, by storied and important brands. Both have racing pedigree and certainly managed to create a strong emotional resonance with petrolheads of all types. According to the AFP RelaxNews, the definition of a classic car is a car you want to drive rather than need to drive. So with that in mind, here is a list of nine cars that are going out to pasture in 2016 that could well become the classics of tomorrow.

Dodge Viper

future classic cars ending production 2016

Dodge Viper 25th anniversary limited editions

The V10 engine Viper is all about going fast and little else. Over its 25-year history it has never sold in huge numbers – just 30,000 have ever been built – so it is rare and the 2017 model year will be the last ever. Dodge is marking the Viper’s demise with a host of limited edition models, and they all sold out in a matter of days.

All things Saab

future classic cars ending production 2016

The Saab 9-5 was the last production car from the now defunct brand.

Technically speaking, Saab hasn’t built a car for more than three years now. However, earlier this year it was ruled that the brand is legally defunct, meaning that it can never be resurrected again as a badge. That means that while there may be a New Saab, there will never again be a Saab. Completely over-engineered to ensure long-term reliability, Saabs are cool and have a dedicated following but now that they’re gone for good will more people see past the outer quirkiness to recognize their inner beauty?

Land Rover Defender

future classic cars ending production 2016

A trio of Limited Edition Land Rover Defenders

It is one of the very few modern cars in existence that can be kept on the road with a set of spanners, such is its engineering simplicity. It is also one of the most easily recognizable vehicles ever built, retaining the same exterior for more than 60 years. As part of Land Rover’s heritage program the company is sourcing old Defenders and restoring them to mint condition for collectors. They expected that 25 vehicles a year would be more than enough, but demand is so great that they’re doubling the number to 50.

Aston Martin DB9

future classic cars ending production 2016

Aston Martin DB9 GT Bond Edition

When the DB9 debuted in 2003 it set a new standard for interior design – milled aluminum dials, crushed glass crystal for the ashtray and starter button and ditching the gear-shift altogether for a row of handmade buttons. It also set a new standard for exterior design and was universally considered the best looking car in the world. In July, after nearly 13 years in production, the DB9 is no more. In August it will be replaced by the all-new DB11.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

future classic cars ending production 2016

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition

The 10th generation Evo is the last and when every model is sold it’s not coming back. In fact, if Mitsubishi does ever revive the name, it says it will be for a potent SUV rather than a street-legal rally car. Like the Subaru Impreza, the Evo is one of the fastest ‘real-world’ cars money can buy and is a hugely popular model among the Japanese tuner fraternity.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé

future classic cars ending production 2016

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé

It was a very bold decision at the time, to take the chassis of the huge Phantom limousine and repurpose it as a GT coupé. The end result looked fabulous but it could have been better still. Rolls-Royce had intended to give the car a V16 engine but at the last minute chose to stick with 12. Now that the smaller, more powerful Wraith has been added to the range, Rolls-Royce has decided to call time on the Coupé altogether and the final models are being hand assembled now. Fast, comfortable and incredibly rare.


future classic cars ending production 2016

The BMW M5 Competition Edition

A classic car is meant to be fun to drive, and very little is as entertaining on the road or on the track as one of BMW’s ‘M’ cars. This year will be the final production year for the 5th-generation M5 and BMW is marking the occasion with a limited edition Competition model.

Porsche 911 R

future classic cars ending production 2016

The Porsche 911 R

This special driver-focused version of Porsche’s evergreen 911 is only about half-way through its 991-example production run. However every model is already spoken for and as a result, according to British supercar financing company Magnitude Finance, the 911 R is already changing hands for seven times its ticket price on the second-hand market.

Morgan EV3 UK 1909 edition

future classic cars ending production 2016

The Morgan UK 1909 Edition EV3

Could this be the first collectible modern electric car? The 1909 edition will be going on sale this October. Only 19 completely hand-built examples are planned and each will come with an equally bespoke driving kit designed by the likes of Belstaff and Alexander McQueen.

First Look: Eighth-Generation Rolls-Royce Phantom

The “best car in the world” is about to get even better – except we don’t exactly know how much exactly. We’re talking about the Rolls Royce Phantom, of course, and the British car-manufacturer has given us a first look (well, kind of) of the new luxury saloon in its latest teaser image.

Set to replace the current Phantom in 2018, the image sees a craftsperson meticulously working on the eighth-generation car’s vast aluminum shell. “I am proud and excited to confirm that a new Phantom is on the way — and it will be a contemporary and beautiful Phantom befitting of its role as the flagship of global luxury,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

While Rolls Royce expected interest in its existing Phantom to wane after news of its new flagship was released earlier this year, demand for its completely bespoke current-generation Phantoms has actually increased exponentially. The company now has plans to postpone the closure of its order book from December to early next year instead.

“The huge level of demand for Phantom VII, which we will fulfil well into 2017, clearly demonstrates that the Rolls-Royce customer and patron of true luxury will accept no compromise when considering the purchase of a super-luxury motor car,” said Müller-Ötvös.

Rolls-Royce Retires Phantom With 50 Zenith Models

As British automaker Rolls-Royce prepares to retire its seventh generation luxury vehicle, the famous Phantom, it is going to do up as tasteful a farewell as the model deserves. The Phantom Zenith Collection will contain 50 bespoke examples representing some of the very last Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé motor cars ever to be built. Collectors can expect these to retain their value all the way to the end of days!


The features fitted into the Zenith models are astounding examples of the finest luxury Rolls-Royce can muster. Looking into how the cars can augment the lifestyles of the marque’s discerning owners, they considered every possible detail. Augmented Reality this is not. Some of these details (as shown above) include a glass shelf housed in the rear of the tailgate, perfect for serving champagne; a champagne fridge large enough to hold two standard bottles and eight Rolls-Royce glasses; luxury padded leathers; and even a split-tailgate fitted with a beautifully engineered companion – perfect for any picnic while touring.


Other than these fittings, buyers can also expect to get a special Rolls-Royce Picnic Hamper and a priceless memento located in the central drawer. The hamper can be personalized to match the materials and color palette that the customer desires. The memento is a removable polished aluminum case laser engraved with the car’s unique identification number, containing a single piece of the Phantom Assembly Line over at the Goodwood home of Rolls-Royce in England.


All of the styling done by the designers draw from Rolls-Royce’s extensive history – especially taking cues from the most celebrated Phantoms out there. An example is the contrast presented in the Madeira Red and Jubilee Silver Phantom Coupé inspired by the 1930s Phantom II. Drawing from recent history too, hints of the 2011 Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection can be seen in the presentation of the central tunnel, whilst Blood-Orange tips to the instrument dials reference the Wraith’s aviation inspired motif.


“Phantom Zenith Collection motor cars speak of the marque’s unrelenting commitment to setting and advancing the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.” Said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. With the new Dawn coming, you can rest assured that even after this, they’re going to push the fold much further.

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupé Retires 2016

Later this year, the assembly line at Rolls Royce will send out its final Phantom VII limousines. Though the luxury carmaker will be bidding farewell to both the Phantom Coupé and the Drophead Coupé, it will be introducing an eighth generation model, due in 2017 and 2018.

Described as the Zenith editions, it will be limited to just 50 examples each. There is no better way to for Rolls Royce to bid farewell to the current flagship after 13 years than to do so at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said: “I am proud and excited to announce that a new Phantom is on the way – a contemporary and beautiful Phantom enhanced with cutting-edge technologies and design innovations. Any new Phantom is an historic and important moment in automotive history and we are working hard on perfecting the Phantom VIII.”

While the flagship will continue, the coupé and convertible models that shared its platform have reached the end of the road, so to speak. The final cars will be hand-assembled in November.

However, the cars are going out with a bang rather than a whimper and at the Geneva motor show, visitors will get a taste of the special Zenith editions that Rolls-Royce has planned.

“As the name promises, Zenith will be the pinnacle; the best of its kind; the highest standard achievable by which everything else is judged,” said Director of Design Giles Taylor. “Zenith will be the sum of all the best features of Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé, with a few surprises added. We expect huge demand for these 50 fine motor cars as we shall not look upon their like again.”

Although the company is keeping some details a secret, it has confirmed that the models will come with something called a tailgate hosting area, which suggests that seating, picnic hampers and drinks chillers will be integrated into the trunk.

Instrument dials will also be bespoke to the Zenith series, as will the treatment and coloring of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, and every client commissioning a coupé or drophead coupé will also receive a “money cannot buy” portable memento of his or her purchase.

The Phantom limousine will also be getting the special edition treatment as production winds down towards the end of 2016. However, Rolls-Royce won’t reveal what to expect other than that it will “continue to set the benchmark for luxury motoring with a number of limited-run collector’s pieces, each of which will be the last of their line.”

Rolls-Royce Phantom Nautica

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Nautica looks to the sea

Rolls-Royce Phantom Nautica

After Limelight and Serentity, unveiled earlier in 2015, Rolls-Royce will present a new version of its Phantom, the Nautica.

Inspired by the graceful lines of a yacht, it was designed and created by the brand’s Bespoke branch, onsite in its Goodwood workshop in England.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Nautica interior

The Rolls-Royce Nautica, a one-off model for now, is a two-tone Orchid White and Arabian Blue car that reflects the colors of the ocean.

Yacht references are aplenty, starting with the materials used for the Nautica’s interior, including a Tudor oak veneer along with boxwood inlays.

Rolls Phantom Nautica

On the passenger panel resides another anchor motif inlayed in the marquetry while the seats have been wrapped in Forest Fall leather with Navy Blue piping complemented by Tudor oak door capping.

Phantom Nautica interior

The whole is complemented by a compass specifically designed for this one-off Phantom that sits in the drawer on the central dashboard.

Phantom Nautica compass

Bespoke hasn’t disclosed who ordered the one-off Nautica Edition and how much of a premium it carried over a stock Phantom.

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight Collection

Rolls-Royce shows Phantom ‘Limelight Collection’

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight Collection

The British luxury car maker has shared details on the Phantom Limelight Collection, the latest line of bespoke models out of its workshops in Goodwood, England. The new limited edition will consist of just 25 cars.

Designed exclusively for prestigious clients with high expectations, the new luxury sedan is defined by its lavish cabin, which is decked out in an artful combination of refined wood, leather and embroidery.

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight interior

Among the key features is the Phantom Suite, a system of exclusive and customizable storage compartments built into the rear doors, allowing chauffeured passengers to keep their personal effects close by at all times.

The standard configuration comes in two versions: one tailored to women with a makeup case and a dedicated perfume holder (up to three flacons) and one for men with a hidden compartment for stowing multiple watches.

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight door

Refinery and relaxation

To maximize comfort, Rolls-Royce’s engineers consulted health professionals to develop an entirely new rear passenger seat designed to maximize relaxation. The Phantom Limelight will be the first model to feature the new seat, which reclines at an angle of precisely 27 degrees and includes a cushioned headrest, a leg rest angled at 68 degrees and a foot rest at 30 degrees. As if all of this wasn’t relaxing enough, the cabin also has a calming ambiance lighting system with two settings.

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight perfume holder

The 25 models in the Phantom Limelight Collection will be made to order, and Rolls-Royce is now accepting orders.

Naturally, the price of this bespoke sedan is not disclosed, but buyers can expect to pay upwards of £600,000 (around $900,000).

Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight side

The launch of the new model follows the presentation in Geneva last March of the Phantom Serenity, a one-off model with a hand-decorated interior geared towards calm and relaxation.

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom joins Abu Dhabi police fleet

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce Phantom

Sporting the colours of Abu Dhabi Police, the Rolls Royce Phantom has just debuted as the latest addition to the fleet of UAE police supercars.

The car debuted at Yas Mall on Sunday and marked the opening of Gulf Cooperation Council Traffic Week in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce

The out-sized acquisition continues the tradition begun by Dubai Police, whose fleet of police cars includes a Lamborghini Aventador, an Aston Martin One-77, a Mercedes SLS, a Bentley Continental GT Speed, a Ferrari FF, a Bugatti Veyron and a McLaren MP4-12C.

Ferrari FF joins Lamborghini on Dubai Police

Rolls-Royce Serenity interior

Rolls Royce Phantom Serenity unveiled [VIDEO]

 has unveiled its latest bespoke study, Serenity, a car with the most opulent cabin of any Rolls-Royce Phantom in history.

That’s because it sees a return to the forgotten art of dressing the interior in silk, rather than in leather.

The Serenity’s cabin, from its door panels to the roof liner are dressed in hand woven, hand-dyed, hand-embroidered and hand painted silk. Each panel of the material used required 600 hours of work.

Contrasting against the oriental-inspired silk motifs is the use of rare smoked cherrywood on the dashboard, fascia and the rear seat valances, which itself is balanced by use of cross-banded bamboo.

Rolls-Royce Serenity interior

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Rolls-Royce without some marquetry, this time in a floral pattern, laser cut and hand applied into the wood.

The car also serves as an automotive history lesson. Until leather became suitably soft, refined and malleable, it was not a material permitted to grace the interior of the finest automobiles. The chauffeur sat on leather while his passengers were cocooned in the finest silk.

“Having revisited the history of the amazing interiors of the elite Rolls-Royce’s of the early 1900s, we felt inspired to share this heritage with our new customers in a very contemporary way,” comments Giles Taylor, Director of Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The silk used was sourced from Suzhou, China, a town where the thread was hand-dyed using methods dating back centuries. It was then hand woven, embroidered and painted in the UK.

Rolls-Royce Serenity door capping detail

Two Textile Arts graduates, Cherica Haye and Michelle Lusby, were enlisted to help develop a floral motif that blended contemporary design with imperial far-eastern traditions in order to create a sense of tranquility.

Rolls-Royce Serenity

Geneva is also expected to be the venue where Rolls-Royce takes the wraps off its next production car which is expected to be a convertible version of its Wraith luxury GT coupé.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan

Rolls-Royce debuts The Phantom Metropolitan Collection

Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan

‘s gift to their fans at this year’s Paris Motor Show is a cool new version of the Phantom called Metropolitan Collection.

Inspired by the architecture, color palettes and friction between old and new that define the world’s greatest cities, the Phantom Metropolitan Collection will be strictly limited to just 20 commissions.


Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan interior

“I can think of no more fitting location than Paris to debut this remarkable new motor car. This is a city that echoes Rolls-Royce’s very special brand promise in perfectly combining the timeless and modern in a manner that celebrates the art of the master craftsperson,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“Our customers across the globe delight in challenging our designers and craftspeople to create true, one-of-a-kind pieces of automotive art. This latest Collection serves to showcase the extraordinary scope for Bespoke personalisation afforded to every patron of the marque.”


Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan collection interior

The new collection pays homage to the world’s greatest metropolises though incredibly intricate marquetry worked into a stylized city skyline motif that adorn the Phantom’s rear picnic tables and dashboard panels. Each repeat of the design is made up of over 500 individually shaped pieces of wooden veneer, shaped, treated and laid by hand, taking days to complete.

The rich browns of the woodwork are expertly offset by a specially created muted Aetherius grey leather tone for the seats.

A shade Rolls-Royce says was created to match that of the modern city and which also features a 6,800-stitch motif of a skyscraper.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan collection clock

The finishing interior touch is the first ever Rolls-Royce center console clock to feature a rotating bezel. The ring lists 24 of the world’s greatest cities — including Paris — and their time zones.

The car’s exterior color Darkest Tungsten is also a new addition to Rolls-Royce’s existing 44,000 color palette but of course customers can specify whichever finish they want.

Rolls Royce Phantom Metropolitan Collection

Rolls-Royce says that almost every flagship Phantom that leaves its production facility features bespoke customization, as do 90 percent of Wraith and 80 percent of Ghost models.


Stephen Hung

Hong Kong tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royce Phantoms

Stephen Hung

 has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he is building in Macau.

Stephen Hung signed the deal with Rolls-Royce executives on Tuesday at the company’s Goodwood factory in England.

The extended wheelbase Phantoms will be used for guests at Hung’s “ultra-luxury” Louis XIII hotel, which is scheduled to open in early 2016.

The resort will boast a 1,860-sq metre (20,000-sq ft) villa billed as the world’s “most extravagant” hotel suite, which will cost $130,000 a night.

Rolls Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase

Two of the cars will be the most expensive Phantoms ever commissioned, complete with gold-plated accents on both the exterior and interior.

The ‘s list price is about $600,000, but many buyers order custom features that push prices much higher. Customers have been known to spend more than $1 million on bespoke models.

Stephen Hung’s purchase adds up to about HK$155 million and surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought in 2006 by The Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Waterspeed Collection

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed

The  Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection is a special bespoke series that will only ever run to 35 examples, each of which will be finished in a special ‘Maggiore Blue’.

It’s a color developed to pay homage to the Bluebird K3, Campbell’s famous Rolls-Royce powered watercraft that on September 2, 1937 hit a top speed of 129.5mph (208.41km) across Lake Maggiore on the Italian-Swiss border. The run set a new world waterspeed record.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed motor

The Maggiore Blue paint is applied in nine layers and then is sanded back by hand to ensure a perfect surface to receive the finishing lacquered coat.

But it doesn’t stop there, as the company’s master coachline painter then spends four hours adding coachlines and Bluebird motifs.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Waterspeed

The Phantom Drophead usually comes with a teak decking cover that raises to receive the roof when the top is down, but this has been replaced, for the first time, by brushed steel. However, each panel of this steel is hand beaten into shape, a task that takes 70 hours, then the brushed finish is also achieved by hand, adding a further 10 hours on to the process.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed interior

Inside, the doors feature hand engraving and there is prodigious use of Abachi wood. Chosen for its special qualities — it’s cool to the touch and has a satin-like finish — it is the first time the material has ever featured in a factory-built Rolls-Royce.

There is also a hand-embroidered panel on the glovebox which lists all of the records Campbell achieved at Lake Maggiore and Coniston Water.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed glovebox

The car will be revealed in Chelsea, London in front of an exclusive audience of invited guests on May 13 and will make its first public appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza at the Villa D’Este classic car show in Italy on May 23.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom Unveiled in China

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

The Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom was created to celebrate China’s love of travel and to showcase the levels of craftsmanship the company can offer through its bespoke design studio.

The new Bespoke Collection car boasts an opulent two-tone exterior finish of Madeira Red and Silver Sand with complementing tones of leather and lambswool dressing the seats, roof liner and covering the floors.

The Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

The seats and rear cushions are further embellished with a specially designed motif, stitched in smoke grey thread.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom inside

But as impressive and cosseting as all of that is, it is nothing compared to the marquetry that adorns the instrument panel and other cabin surfaces.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom interior details

The individual pieces of different colored wood veneers have been precision laser cut and then painstakingly assembled by hand to create the image of a train speeding across a landscape, leaving plumes of smoke in its wake.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom interior

In all, there are 230 individual pieces of marquetry adorning the cabin, from the front fascia to the rear passengers’ picnic tables. The incredible woodwork is complemented by some serious needlework too as the motif blends into the fabrics dressing the doors thanks to 24,633 individual stitches.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

The latest “bespoke” model from Rolls-Royce was designed in honor of the Dubai International Motor Show, which will open its doors November 5. The Phantom Coupe Chicane pays homage to Goodwood, home to the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit and to the prestigious auto manufacturer’s headquarters.

Mohammed El-Arishy, Rolls-Royce Brand Manager in Dubai, expressed his ambition to create “an automobile that captures all the unique atmosphere and history of the Goodwood Motor Circuit.”

In response, the British brand’s custom design department developed this exceptional model using carbon fiber rather than wood for the exterior panels, and adding flair through red interior upholstery and wheels that match the body.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane is powered by the traditional 460hp V12 engine. The manufacturer has not yet released details on availability dates or pricing for the luxury vehicle, which will be unveiled in a world premiere in Dubai.

The Dubai International Motor Show takes place November 5-9, 2013 at the Dubai World trade Center.

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Ferrari California 2012

10 of the best convertibles

Ferrari California 2012

From affordable open-top frills to drophead coupes that require regular lottery wins simply to keep them on the road and topped up with fuel, the choice of convertibles to suit every size, style and wallet has never been greater or promised more fun.

Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

The Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet from €21,000

The first iteration of this reborn icon was all style and no substance, but the mark II is a totally new experience. Built on the same platform as the much sportier Scirocco coupe, the new Beetle retains the good looks of the last model but now they’re suitably toned down so that they are less feminine and more androgynous, meaning that even a man’s man can still be a man’s man when behind the wheel.

Mazda MX 5

The Mazda MX-5 from €21,500

When the first model hit the streets back in 1989, it was treated with derision by the world’s motoring press as a poor visual copy of old English sportscars. But then they actually drove it and fell in love with it and as a result it has been a fixture on roads the world over for 24 years.

The secret to its success is pure drivability, reliability and practicality. Want to know what it’s like to drive a classic E-type Jag or Lotus Elan, take an MX-5 (or a Miata in North America) out for a test drive.

2013 Porsche Boxster Gold

The Porsche Boxster from €44,250

This car will never be totally accepted by some Porsche purists who see it as a vehicle to make do with when available funds won’t stretch to a droptop 911. And while the Boxster does lack a bit of grunt compared to its bigger brother, it was designed from the ground up to be a sports convertible so the handling is exquisite, the build quality is bullet proof, and unlike the 911, its engine is not hanging over the back wheels – it is exactly mid-mounted for perfect balance.

BMW Z4 sDrive 35i

The BMW Z4 sDrive 35i, from €46,000

Like the Beetle, the first generation of this car was an uncomfortable disappointment, but BMW is probably the best car maker in the world when it comes to responding to criticism.

Even though this car is by no means the fastest sports convertible, even within its price range, it just gets so many things right – balance, poise, handling, and simple daily driving pleasure.

Jaguar F-Type V8S

The Jaguar F-Type V8S, from €92,500

A car that instantly reminds you of how wonderful Jaguar used to be as a race car, sports car and luxury car company. It somehow manages to draw on all of that heritage while throwing something new into the mix. Its all-aluminum construction means it’s light and quick off the mark and its 5-litre, supercharged V8 feels like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, but that’s the point.

However, softening the din and taking the edge off all of the noise is the car’s outward style. Its movie matinee idol good looks will make you stand out, whether crawling through gridlocked city-center traffic or competing with assorted Ferraris and Porsches on vast and sprawling open road.

Audi R8 Spyder

The Audi R8 Spyder, from €117,000

A bit of a dark horse this one and one that started off as a crossbreed; but it is developing into a thoroughbred if such a thing is possible. Built by the same collection of companies responsible for the Porsche Boxster, Lamborghini Gallardo and Bugatti Veyron, it borrows from all of them but somehow the result is something else entirely.

A fabulous V10 engine with 525bhp, the best double-clutch paddle shift gearbox in the world and a quality, reliability and dare we say it, practicality that is otherwise alien in the world of the supercar.

2012 ferrari california

The Ferrari California from €176,000

This car breaks a cardinal Ferrari rule, its V8 engine is front mounted. A Ferrari V8 always goes in the middle to guarantee perfect weight distribution and therefore handling. But with the engine in the middle, there’s nowhere to put the roof when folded down.

Like the Porsche Boxster, this has been built from the start to be a true convertible and yet still be a true Ferrari and one that can go from 0-100kpm in the blink of an eye and hit 310kpm flat out.

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, from €194,500

This car holds the title of the world’s fastest two-door, four-seat convertible but the truth is, while it is indeed an engineering masterpiece, with the roof down, 100mph and 200mph feel pretty much identical for the passengers at least. The interior is sumptuous and an exercise in discreet refinement.

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

The Mercedes SL 65 AMG from €195,000

Is it a straight-line boulevard cruiser, a car honed for the track, a cross-continental GT or a supercar trying to challenge Ferrari? The simple answer is that it’s all of the above and more.

The AMG edition makes a wonderful engine noise akin to that of a squadron of Spitfire WWII fighter planes while the interior is overflowing with creature comforts and cutting-edge technological breakthroughs, from active collision avoidance to radar-guided cruise control.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, from €350,000

The only car on the list that needs to be specified with a chauffeur, this car is fun to be driven in and there’s space in the back for an impromptu game of rugby, let alone for reclining and enjoying the cities whiz by on the drive down to the Côte d’Azur.

The roof contains more sound and heat insulation than the average house and the rear deck lid is carved from solid teak and needs regular oiling, just like on a luxury yacht.

Rolls-Royce Phantom convertible

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection

Rolls-Royce debuted the Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection, an aviation-mirrored line inspired by founder Charles Stewart Rolls, at Pebble Beach Quail last week.

Wearing an Aviator Grey finish, this special Phantom Coupe has a contrasting matte hood, grille surround and window, while inside the cabin we notice the cockpit-like theme thanks to the combination of metal and wood.
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Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe London 2012 Olympic

Very Special Olympic Rolls-Royces‎

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe London 2012 Olympic

If you watched the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, you might have noticed three bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupes.

Specially created for the event, the vehicles featured an English White exterior with special badging and self-centering wheel caps that had the Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger) on them.
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Roll Royce Starlight Headliner photo

Rolls Royce’s New Starlight Headliner

Roll Royce Starlight Headliner photo

The Starlight Headliner is a factory-installed option on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe or Sedan that turns the roof of your luxury car into a panoramic starry night.

“Creating an illusion of a dazzling night sky, hundreds of fibre optic lights shine through the perforated leather on the roof.”

“The brightness of these Roll Royce-created stars can be adjusted to complement the moods and the needs of the owner.”

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