Rolls-Royce Motor Cars:
Heritage & History
The Spirit of Ecstasy
The Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce joined forces in 1904 with a shared ambition to make the future of motoring extraordinary.
The founders of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars could not have been from more different backgrounds but formed an unlikely, very successful partnership - one that was forged from a shared passion for engineering and a desire to create the Best Car in the World. The six-cylinder 'Silver Ghost' reached that mark in 1907.
Join us as we take a journey through over 100 years and the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars story.
A Story of Perfection
The start of the 20th century marked the beginning of the extraordinary partnership between two of the most innovative minds of the moment. Henry Royce, a successful engineer and Charles Rolls. At that moment, a new company was born: Rolls-Royce.
In 1907, the Silver Ghost was declared ‘The Best Car in the World' after its record-breaking success. Travelling from London to Glasgow 27 times - covering 14,371 consecutive miles - the iconic motor car broke the world record for a non-stop motor run while demonstrating unrivalled reliability and comfort.
In the 1930s, Rolls-Royce broke world records on land and sea. It also saw the arrival of Rolls-Royce Phantom III – the first-ever Rolls-Royce to be built with a V12 engine thanks to the arrival of automation in the industry.
Developments in craftsmanship and design
Until 1959, each Silver Wraith had an individual, coach-built body which meant that the Silver Wraith was a heavy motor car, so a 4,887cc engine was installed to cope with the weight and add the necessary power and performance. When Silver Dawn came on the scene, it was the first Rolls-Royce sold with a standard steel body. The Silver Dawn was much lighter than the Silver Wraith - it was a pioneering effort from Rolls-Royce.
The Royal Family
Rolls-Royce replaced Daimler as the preferred motor car supplier to the British monarchy in the early 1950s. Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth took delivery of the first Phantom IV in 1950. Phantom IV is one of the rarest Rolls-Royce motor cars in the world, with only 18 ever built and was designed exclusively for royalty and heads of state, By the late 1950s, the Rolls-Royce Phantom V had arrived which was powered by a V8 engine - it was a huge success.
The Swinging Sixties
In the 1960s, Rolls-Royce began to appeal to a new breed of owners. Actors, rock stars and celebrities chose the Rolls-Royce marque as a symbol of their success and wealth. Famously, John Lennon bought a Phantom V which left their factory with a plain white finish. Lennon though had it repainted in matt black before opting for an outlandish, colourful design. Today, Lennon's Phantom V is one of the most valuable items of pop memorabilia - ever.
Each Rolls-Royce motor car is now built by hand at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and headquarters in Goodwood, England. Goodwood was designed by architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and merges effortlessly into the beautiful West Sussex countryside.