Rolls-Royce presents bespoke builds ahead of 'official' announcement

Rolls-Royce Sweptail

"Ahead of an official statement to be made imminently... (we) reflect on the marque’s rich coachbuilding heritage," CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Torsten Müller-Ötvös recently shared. 

Could the huge news mean the Rolls-Royce will go electric? After all, the British marque is under the BMW Group, a company that said it will have an electric lineup in 2030

If that's the case, Rolls-Royce doesn't want us to forget its bespoke past. 

"We are able to offer our customers the opportunity to create a motor car in which every single element is hand-built to their precise individual requirements, as befits our status as a true luxury house,” Müller-Ötvös boasted. 

And so Rolls-Royce presented its "greatest hits" of individual coachbuilt cars. Rolls-Royce has been hand-building unique cars since the 1920s, and since 2003, it has been doing this in Goodwood

First in the coachbuilt collection is the Phantom I Brougham De Ville made in 1926. 


"The great coachbuilders paid as much attention to the interior as the exterior of the cars they created," Rolls-Royce said. Among the key elements of the car are its instrument dials, which displayed essential information and stood as a miniature "work of art."

The Phantom I Brougham De Ville, also known as "The Phantom Of Love," was built for Clarence Warren Gasque. Gasque is an American businessman of French ancestry living in London, and the car was a gift for his heiress wife, Maude.


Gasque commissioned an interior to recreate the ambience from a salon in the Palace of Versailles, with polished satinwood veneer paneling, Aubusson tapestries and a painted ceiling inspired by a sedan chair owned by Marie Antoinette.

It also included a remarkable French Ormolu clock, mounted on the partition between the front and rear cabins. 

Next is the 17EX made in 1928. The 17EX was made after RR was "concerned that the weight and size of some of the coachwork" affected the cars’ performance.

In response, company founder Henry Royce built an experimental Phantom with an open, lightweight, highly streamlined body. Dubbed 10EX, this  provided crucial new insights into aerodynamics. 

Rolls-Royce 17EX

The 17EX is the finished product of the 10EX, completed in January 1928. It was said to be fast, and is finished in blue.

In modern color psychology, blue is associated with dependability, trust, stability calm, also highly visible at speed, Rolls said. 

The third car is the Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupé commissioned in 1934. Designed by AF McNeil, it's considered one of the most exotic and beautifully balanced examples of boat-tail coachwork ever created, Rolls-Royce said.

Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupé.

The sweeping concave curves at the rear rise upwards to the razor edging of the varnished rear decking. The design stood the test of time well, the British marque added. 

In 1972, the Phantom VI limousine was designed and built by HJ Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd. Much like a modern-day Bespoke Collection car, it was based on the production model, but included numerous additional features specified by the customer. 

The lavish add-ons included flower vases, a sound and television system, and a refrigerator for cooling wines and picnic food.

The Phantom VI Limousine was also equipped with burled walnut picnic tables. Stored in the trunk, these could be fixed to the front wings for alfresco dining, with the driver and passenger sitting on a pair of ‘toadstool’ seats clipped to the front overriders.

In 2013, Rolls-Royce was commissioned to create a two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

Rolls-Royce Sweptail

And so the Sweptail was born in 2017.  It features a raked rear profile, the roof-line tapering in a sweeping gesture to a "bullet-tip" that houses the center brake light.

The underside of the car, meanwhile, has an upward arc at the rear overhang, producing the swept tail that gives the car its name.

With its clean lines and grandeur, the Sweptail caused an international sensation when it was revealed in 2017, Rolls-Royce said.  

Photos from Rolls-Royce

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