Managing Editor Steven Ewing drove some $2 million worth of new cars while out in California for Monterey Car Week. Here are his notes following an excellent week of driving.
Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
A century ago, the princes and maharajas of India shared a relationship with Rolls-Royce that spanned five decades and saw the nobility on the subcontinent commissioning over 840 unique vehicles from the stoic marque. It's that golden age that Rolls-Royce celebrates with the debut of this one-of-a-kind luxury cabriolet.
For the next act in its Bespoke Collection, Rolls-Royce has found one of its own to celebrate with the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection, noting the achievements of British land and water record-holder Sir Malcolm Campbell. Like a few other racers of his era in the 1920s and 1930s, Campbell used his Bluebird Motor Company and Bluebird Garage to fund his interest in motorsports. He would break the waterspeed record in 1937 in his Bluebird K3 powered by a Rolls-Royce R engine, tr
A limited-edition Rolls-Royce Phantom is something of an oxymoron. The company only sold 3,630 cars last year, and even fewer of those were its flagship Phantom. However, that isn't keeping the company from regularly revealing even more limited editions of its already hyper-exclusive cars. This is precisely the case with the new Phantom Drophead Coupé Bespoke Waterspeed Collection, a forthcoming model limited to 35 examples.
Rolls-Royce has used the 2012 Paris Motor Show to pull the covers off its art deco-inspired Phantom saloon, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Ghost models. These three bespoke machines are said to pay homage to the 1925 Paris Exhibition or Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Not coincidentally, the phrase 'art deco' was coined at that very show.
Convertibles have long been the chariot of choice for the devil-may-care crowd, and for good reason. Peeling the roof off of a vehicle has all sorts of negative ramifications, from safety concerns to handling woes and increased chances of skin cancer for those inside. Then there's the ever-present threat of foul weather. But who cares? You only live once and they're making more cars every day, right?
If there was anything Bijan Pakzad loved more than clothing A-list celebrities and heads of state, it was creating the most luxurious automobiles around. The Persian fashion designer (commonly known by his first name alone) owned a one-of-a-kind custom yellow Bugatti Veyron, and before he died, he commissioned a second Grand Sport roadster in his trademark color.
Since its inception, Rolls-Royce has made a living making its customers feel very, very special. Given the average net worth of its buyers and the custom-tailored nature of their vehicles, this sort of approach makes good business sense. That said, some customers are clearly more special than others. Michael Fux, a businessman and philanthropist who commissioned the unusual purple Phantom Drophead Coupe seen here, is clearly one of the latter.