It's lonely at the top. And by that we mean that, if you're shopping at the very pinnacle of the automotive market, you've really only got a few choices. Looking for a stately saloon? Then you're looking at a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley or maybe a Maybach, but that's about it. So you can be sure your friends, neighbors and fellow captains of industry will already have whatever you're looking at. What's an elitist to do?
That could explain the seemingly endless array of special editions a company like Rolls-Royce announces out on an annual basis. But this year is a special year for the iconic motor company, as it celebrates 100 years of its legendary mascot – the Spirit of Ecstasy. And to mark the occasion, Rolls has announced a special run of commemorative Phantoms.
The special edition is differentiated from the rest of the Phantoms you'll see at the country club with a series of unique touches. For one, the hood ornament is plated in silver, and buyers get a replica statuette to put on their desks as well. For another, four exclusive paint options are offered, including Rhapsody Black, Maiden Blue, Ethereal White Pearl and Wildflower, complimented by black chrome badges.
The interior also features a number of special accents, from the unique instruments and Britannia Silver clock to the commemorative plaque and a special inscription on the glovebox lid, which you can read all about in the press release after the jump.
ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS PRESENTS SPIRIT OF ECSTASY CENTENARY COLLECTION
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is celebrating the centenary of the Spirit of Ecstasy in 2011 with an exclusive Collection of bespoke Phantom models. Called the Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection, one hundred cars will be delivered to customers bearing a suite of features inspired by the legendary flying lady, complemented by a range of exclusive exterior colours, wood veneers and leather options.
"These beautiful models follow the finest traditions of Rolls-Royce in their luxury, craftsmanship and attention to detail," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "They encapsulate the essence of the Spirit of Ecstasy legend, presenting owners with a range of exclusive bespoke options available only in this centenary year."
Collection cars start with the famous icon herself. Cast in silver, each Spirit of Ecstasy will feature a base complete with black-gold plated bezel bearing the commemorative inscription Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary – 2011 , a legend repeated on the cover plate when the mascot is lowered. The design is finished with a set of six hallmarks, two of which have been designed specifically for Rolls-Royce.
A new badge has been developed to authenticate the Collection and establish its place in Rolls-Royce history. Located beneath the Spirit of Ecstasy, on the trunk lid as well as on front side panels, the badge reverses conventional design, with white enamel RR detail set on a black chrome background.
A trademark Rolls-Royce twin coachline is accentuated on Collection cars, thanks to a delicate hand-painted Spirit of Ecstasy insignia, the detail of which has been taken from an original line-drawing by Charles Sykes, the mascot's creator. A further tribute comes in the glove box lid, which carries an original Sykes quotation embossed into the colour-matched leather lining:
"A graceful little goddess, the Spirit of Ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme delight and alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies." – Charles Sykes, 1911
Inside the cars, fine detailing abounds. Collection cars come with an analogue clock fitted in the fascia panel, the outer bezel of which is crafted from Britannia Silver, incorporating the unique set of six hallmarks. The backlit face presents an inner ring of silver incorporating the centenary inscription.
Instrument dials complement the clock design, carrying further fine detailing. Satin spun metal dials, centered with polished RR monograms are further enriched with polished chaplets and black numerals. All are meticulously hand-crafted, examples of the attention to detail for which all Rolls-Royce hand-built models are renowned.
Further affirmation of the Collection's place in history comes from the lid of the centre console. This reveals a discreet, solid Britannia Silver commemorative plaque engraved with the inscription Spirit of Ecstasy - One of One Hundred.
Four exterior colour options are offered, all exclusive to Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection cars. These start with Rhapsody Black, a black metallic incorporating a delicate gold sparkle and Maiden Blue a deep blue metallic highlighted with a silver sparkle. Ethereal White Pearl comes with a special pearlescent finish while Wildflower completes the bespoke paint offering, presenting a rich blend of red and brown colour with a fine sparkle.
Each exterior colour can be ordered with a selection of sumptuous leather and interior contrast schemes while hand crafted banding of Britannia Silver will be delicately inset into the customer's chosen veneer.
Owners will also receive a desk ornament with their cars, a polished steel Spirit of Ecstasy mounted on a piano black base. These will be presented with individual certificates of authenticity signed by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.