The special models are inspired by a famous speedboat race on September 1, 1937, between the United States and Great Britain on Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian border. The British fielded the Bluebird K3 hydroplane boat powered by a massive supercharged V12 Rolls-Royce R-Type engine with Sir Malcolm Campbell at the helm. All that displacement shot the sleek watercraft to 129.5 miles per hour, claiming a new world waterspeed record in the process.
For the special commemorative Drophead Coupé model that celebrates "a seminal act of British daring and endeavor," Rolls-Royce is finishing the convertible in Maggiore Blue paint with a brushed steel hood and tonneau cover, along with inlaid wood trim. Rolls is not announcing an official release date or price for the special cars yet, but they are going on sale before the end of the year. Scroll down for the whole story about the car's inspiration.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to reveal an exclusive sketch of the Bespoke Waterspeed Collection, a series of 35 Phantom Drophead Coupés that seeks to celebrate a seminal act of British daring and endeavour.
On the morning of 1 September 1937, at the height of the battle between the United States and Great Britain to be the fastest nation on water, Sir Malcolm Campbell headed out onto the calm blue waters of Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian frontier. On taking the wheel of his Bluebird K3 hydroplane boat, powered by Rolls-Royce's R-Type engine, he established his legend, setting a record of 126.32 mph. The following day he went one better, piloting his craft to 129.5 mph, in doing so emphatically breaking the United States' five-year stranglehold on the world waterspeed record. Campbell's momentous achievement captured the world's attention and reaffirmed the Rolls-Royce R-Type engines' record-breaking superiority after triumphs on land and in the air.
Echoing the cutting-edge technology employed in the construction of these craft, only the finest contemporary materials never used before on a Rolls-Royce furnish the Waterspeed Collection. Brushed steel perfectly complements an exclusively developed Maggiore Blue colour scheme whilst hand-crafted wood inlays evoke the sense of a boat effortlessly gliding through water at pace.
"Sir Malcolm Campbell's successful pursuit of world-speed records on land and water were the result of his commitment to the most exacting standards of British design and engineering excellence," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Such attributes are hallmarks of every Rolls-Royce motor car, ensuring the marque's position at the pinnacle of super-luxury manufacturing. This special Collection, and those to follow in 2014, serve to display the breadth of Bespoke personalisation available to every Rolls-Royce customer. I very much look forward to revealing these remarkable cars over the coming months."
Following the release of this design sketch that gives a candid insight into the conception of Rolls-Royce's latest Bespoke project, further details will be revealed over the coming months telling the story of the creation of the Waterspeed Collection.
"I am delighted that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has chosen our grandfather's iconic Bluebird Waterspeed boats as inspiration for this special Collection," said Donald Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell. "I am certain Sir Malcolm would be extremely flattered to see his name still closely associated with such a prestigious brand 75 years after his last world Waterspeed Record. I know that I speak for our whole family and the Malcolm Campbell Heritage Trust when I say that it is a great honour and we look forward to seeing the first car off the production line."