Inside the millionaire's secret car configurator
Almost all luxury car manufacturers incorporate a special division, ready to fulfil even the most extravagant desires of their clients. From merging unique materials to crafting one-off special models, any project can be undertaken to satisfy the egos and lusts of unique customers. In this exclusive industry, however, there is only one king: Rolls-Royce Bespoke.
What is Rolls-Royce Bespoke?
A Rolls-Royce is supposed to be more than just a car. It is a unique blend of classic and modern tastes, merging the best of yesterday with contemporary technology and attention to detail. All cars are specially commissioned by customers expecting absolute perfection. As a result, customisation possibilities are almost endless and no two cars are exactly the same.
Jeremy Clarkson has once said that a Rolls-Royce needs no advertisement, instead it is an advertisement for the owner. Each vehicle incorporates a personal touch, an element of the owner's soul and ego. Some ideas, however, go beyond unusual colour schemes and exotic trim materials. This is where Bespoke steps in.
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Rolls-Royce currently offers 44,000 different shades of exterior colours, which can be matched in two-tone combinations. The cars feature hand-painted pinstripes along their flanks, applied by a single person using squirrel-fur brushes. For some customers, this degree of uniqueness is still not enough.
Should a customer decide to go down the Bespoke route, they will face days or even weeks of personal consultation and involvement in the project. The experience involves factory visits and collaborating with Rolls-Royce's craftsmen to create unique vehicles.
Special Ateliers have been set up by the company, where customers can touch and see the materials and designs that will eventually be applied to their cars. An example are lamps, which can imitate the sunlight of every place on the planet: they enable customers to see the exact visual characteristics of paint samples.
What can be customised?
Let's start at the basics. Some clients commission special leathers, others opt for unique designs embossed into headrests or carved into the wooden trim. These projects, although time-consuming, are relatively standard challenges, taken as granted by the company.
Customers have an opportunity to customise every area of the car, from colours to material and texture choice. One of the most worked-on areas is the starlight headlining, which can be made to resemble the actual star arrangement from any night imaginable (both past and present). Many owner's also choose to opt for unique tread plates and unique embroidery, such as coats of arms or symbols close to their hearts.
Recent additions providing more space for customisation include the Phantom's dashboard gallery and the Cullinan's boot area, which were both developed as designated spaces for the client's wildest ideas. As such, expect to see famous works of art or extravagant accessories being incorporated into the cars very, very soon.
Gold, champagne and... picnic hampers!
Rolls-Royce goes beyond customising only the cars. The Goodwood company also creates unique accessories and equipment pieces, which are often little works of art themselves. Examples include picnic hampers, cigar humidors and champagne fridges with one-off crystal flutes. Furthermore, Bespoke can craft the famous Spirit of Ecstasy from any material imaginable, including gold and platinum.
Bespoke is also responsible for limited editions of various Rolls-Royce models, such as the Dawn Inspired by Fashion collection. The division even offers the ability to decorate the interior with a tree currently growing in your backyard or develop a unique colour based on the eyes of your significant other.
Interiors for royals
Over the years, Bespoke has created cars that are borderline art works, designed purely for admiration rather than driving. An example is the Serenity Phantom, a special edition of the 'best car in the world' designed as an appreciation of kings and emperors. The car, finished with silk and a pearlescent paint tone, incorporates motifs associated with Japan's royals. Just look at it!
Other notable creations include the Ghost Diamond Stardust, a special edition covered with paintwork made from 1,000 crushed diamonds and the Celestial Phantom, featuring 446 diamonds ornamenting the interior. The latter was apparently inspired by the sky at night.
Where is the limit?
As Henry Royce once said, "if it doesn't exist, create it". If all the above is not good enough for a customer, Rolls-Royce can go as far as creating a unique, one-off model. A most recent example of this is the 2018 Sweptail. Based on the Phantom Coupe, this project took 5 years to complete and ended up costing £ 13 million! It was inspired by classic Rollers and yachts, and delivered to an anonymous owner earlier this year.
The possibilities are therefore virtually limitless. Bespoke can offer the customers anything that they desire, with only illegal ideas (such us using leather from poaching) being off the books. The service allows for the creation of unique motorcars with exquisite details and timeless presence. It is a celebration of the rich and famous, a way for owners to step out of the ordinary and express themselves through their car.
What do you like most about Rolls-Royce Bespoke?
What do you think about the Bespoke programme? Do you like their work? Which is your favourite? Let us know what unique element you would commission for your Rolls-Royce!