Rolls-Royce reflects on Phantom’s success as company celebrates 118th anniversary


Rolls-Royce looks back at one of the company’s most successful nameplates — the Phantom — as the British carmaker celebrates its 118th birthday. On May 4, 1904, the brand’s founders Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls met at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England, and created one of the most celebrated names in the automotive industry.


  • When is Rolls-Royce's anniversary?

    Rolls-Royce's anniversary is May 4.
  • How many generations of the Phantom models have been produced?

    To date, there are eight generations of the Phantom model.
  • The Phantom is considered by the brand itself as its “pinnacle product” and describes it as the “ultimate expression of bespoke luxury.” Each Phantom model is designed and handmade at Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce. That said, the Phantom has played a significant role in the company’s rise to becoming the makers of “the best car in the world.”

    “As we reflect on Phantom’s remarkable heritage, I am struck by the unique place it occupies in the hearts and minds of our most demanding Rolls-Royce clients. Phantom is the beneficiary of the most ambitious forms of Rolls-Royce Bespoke, transforming into whatever our clients want it to be. Indeed, Phantom is not only the ‘best car in the world’, but the best car for them in their world,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

    The first Phantom was launched in 1925 and was later followed by the Phantom II in 1929. The following year, Rolls-Royce unveiled the Phantom II Continental which marked the arrival of a more performance-oriented version of the nameplate.


    Since the introduction of the Phantom II Continental, the marque has experimented on faster and more powerful iterations of the nameplate. In 1934, Rolls-Royce developed the Phantom III — a model capable of exceeding speeds of more than 100mph.


    In 1939, Rolls-Royce produced an experimental car, nicknamed “The Scalded Cat.” It went on to be a favorite of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who persuaded the company to build him a more formal version. It was later dubbed the Phantom IV.

    Phantom V came in 1959 and in 1967 it underwent subtle technical changes and was then called the Phantom VI.


    Rolls-Royce continued production of the Phantom nameplate, although, in the mid-1980s, the number of Phantom models that came out of its facility started to dwindle. The luxury car brand made only about two to three Phantoms annually.

    The Westhampnett-based luxury automaker then decided to release the seventh-generation Phantom in 2003.


    The Phantom VII was a modern interpretation of the marque’s pinnacle product and was then followed by the Phantom VIII in 2016.


    Today, the nameplate is considered as the ultimate platform for Rolls-Royce’s bespoke commissions and is still at the apex of the brand’s offerings.

    Photos from Rolls-Royce

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