The Rolls-Royce Wraiths designed by British music icons
- Nine Rolls-Royce Wraiths commissioned with unique design touches to celebrate illustrious British stars
- First four models showcased for the first time – and each will be available to buy, raising money for charity
- Forthcoming collaborations with Dame Shirley Bassey, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi and Ronnie Wood
Rolls-Royce is known for making incredible one-off special cars for affluent customers willing to pay seven-figure sums for the highest level of four-wheeled exclusivity.
But these bespoke creations are even more special. They aren’t designed by your average millionaire, but are the brainchild of some of Britain’s best known rockers – and a late musical celebrity’s son – as part of the Goodwood brand’s ‘Inspired by British Music’ range.
Four models – all of them based on the £235,000 Wraith – have been revealed as part of a nine-car line-up, with The Who front-man Roger Daltrey designing two, while the other two were designed by Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks, and Giles Martin – the son of producer Sir George Martin and himself a music producer.
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Rocker turned Rolls-Royce designer: The Who front-man Roger Daltrey (right) clearly enjoyed the experience of creating his own Wraith
British music legends Sir Ray Davies, Roger Daltrey, Francis Rossi and Nick Mason (left to right) all created bespoke wraith models for Rolls-Royce
The first four bespoke cars were showcased for the first time at the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzovia, London, by each artist themselves on Wednesday evening.
The full quota of nine Wraiths have been commissioned are crafted with unique design touches that illustrate and celebrate the illustrious careers of a British rock and pop legend, both dead and alive.
All will be sold later in 2017 with Rolls-Royce donating ‘a proportion’ of the value of each car to charities selected by the musicians who’ve designed them – one of those charities being the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Forthcoming collaborations will also include designs by Dame Shirley Bassey, Status Quo’s lead singer and guitarist Francis Rossi and The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, who sat in on some of the design phases of the project, said: ‘The enduring allure of Rolls-Royce has been encouraged over the years by some of the world’s most famous and important music icons. So many have turned to Rolls-Royce to celebrate their success with the ultimate display of originality and creativity.
‘This collaboration – with some of Britain’s most celebrated musicians – promises to add to this legacy, creating truly unique collectors’ items which also support worthy charities.’
From left to right: Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Status Quo front-man Francis Rossi, Giles Martin (son of George Martin) and Roger Daltrey
Each of these Rolls-Royces will be made available through the brand’s European dealer network – it’s a case of phoning them up and making an offer for the never-to-be-created-again cars, though Rolls hasn’t provided an indication of how much they’d be willing to take.
And just so you can show off to your mates, each one has the name of the commissioning artist engraved on a plaque in the door sills and on the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet.
They’re all finished in a ‘Lyrical Copper’ exterior paint complete with a subtle motif of the Union Jack Flag on the C-pillars (separating the side windows and the rear window), celebrating the indelible mark made by each artist on British popular culture. As a result, all the cars look almost identical from the outside, so it’s the interior details that look to set them apart.
The question is, do the designs look like they’d go straight to number one or have the former chart toppers hit a bum note with their creations? Here are the four that have been revealed so far…
1. ‘The Who’, by Roger Daltrey
This is Roger Daltrey’s expression of The Who in a four-wheel format applied to the Rolls-Royce Wraith
The interior features The Who’s trademark logo stitched between the two rear seats and the engraved Union Jack that appears on all the cars as part of the Inspired by British Music range
Roger Dalrey pictured with the Tommy Wraith – the second of his two designs as part of the ‘Inspired by British Music’ range
This is the first of two designs created by the front-man on albums including ‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘Who’s Next’ that is, according to Rolls-Royce, ‘inspired by his own personal music legacy’.
It includes the band’s ‘bullseye’ logo on the dashboard clock and stitched into the leather ‘waterfall’ panel – the section that slots between the two rear seats.
The headrests are embroidered with Daltrey’s signature, while the back of the driver’s seat headrests features a nod to the band’s habit of destroying its instruments at the end of a show – including Keith Moon’s ‘Pictures of Lily’ drum kit exploding.
2. ‘Tommy’, by Roger Daltrey
The second Rolls-Royce Wraith designed by Roger Daltrey is the ‘Tommy’, named after The Who’s 1969 album
The car features birds from the album cover sleeve flying away from the blue coachline running down the side of the car. All four headrests have an individual motif from album artwork too
The album artwork has been recreated on the bonnet of the car, with the help of the original artist who first penned the design
Daltrey’s second car is named after the band’s 1969 album ‘Tommy’ and features the artwork from the same album on the bonnet.
Rolls-Royce even drafted in the artist who originally penned the cover, Mike McInnerney, who worked alongside the surface finish experts at the carmaker to remake the iconic ‘hatched’ sleeve design.
Even the blue coachline on the car has a flock of birds – another reference to the original album sleeve.
But it doesn’t end there – each of the four headrests are also stitched with unique design motifs from album artwork, while lyrics from the song ‘Pinball Wizard’ have been sewn into leather panels in the boot, along with a depiction of a pinball machine with contrasting pinball and flippers.
Daltrey said: ‘It’s been immense fun working in collaboration with Rolls-Royce to create two cars which capture some of The Who’s iconography so beautifully.
‘The ‘Tommy’ car is truly a work of art, and Mike McInnerney and Rolls-Royce’s designers have done a great job bringing to life themes from the album and its artwork.’
3. ‘The Kinks’, by Sir Ray Davies
All nine of the Wraiths will be finished in ‘Lyrical Copper’ exterior paint finish – including this Kinks version
The Kinks’ brand logo and Sir Ray Davies’ name are etched into the leather panels in his Rolls-Royce Wraith
Sir Ray Davies created a tribute to his band, The Kinks, pictured here in 1964. From left to right: Pete Quaife, Mick Avory, Ray Davies, Dave Davies
Ray Davies pictured with The Kinks car. Even the umbrellas hidden in the door panels have been given the bespoke touch with lyrics from hit ‘Sunny Afternoon’
Sir Ray Davies has created a tribute to his band, The Kinks, one of the most influential British rock groups of all time.
Davies selected lyrics from ‘Shangri-la’ and ‘Drivin’ – from The Kinks’ 1969 album ‘Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)’ – to be expressed on the door-flights, engraved in Sir Ray’s own hand-writing no less.
The leather waterfall in the rear of the cabin is embroidered with the band’s iconic logo and the headrests with Sir Ray’s signature.
Even the umbrellas hidden in the door panels have had the bespoke touch – each is engraved with a befitting lyric from ‘Sunny afternoon’.
Davies said: ‘Working with Rolls-Royce’s designers on this car has given me the chance to express some of the themes of the music The Kinks enjoyed performing for many years.
‘There were various elements of the car to work on and we had lots of opportunities to get creative with The Kinks-related themes.
4. ‘Number Ones’, by Giles Martin, son of Sir George Martin
The Sir George Martin tribute Rolls-Royce Wraith pictured at the famed crossing used by The Beatles on Abbey Road
All the cars has the name of the commissioning artist engraved on a plaque in the door sills and on the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet. This Sir George Martin tribute has all 30 number one hits he produced on a leather panel
Sir George Martin pictured with The Beatles holding the silver disc they were awarded after selling a quarter of a million copies of their hit single ‘Please Please Me’ in 1963
The final installment of the first four offerings has been penned by songwriter and producer Giles Martin as a tribute to his father, Sir George Martin, the famous record producer who was dubbed ‘the Fifth Beatle’ by Sir Paul McCartney.
This tribute celebrates Sir George’s 30 number-one hit singles. Don’t remember them all? Well they’re all embroidered in the back seats. The producer’s signature has also been stitched into the headrests.
The two copper door-flights also feature a favourite quotation of Martin – ‘The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear’ – and the other has engraved details from the original handwritten arrangement for ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles.
Giles Martin said, ‘My father had a huge impact on British music during his career, and I wanted the Wraith to celebrate a lifetime of achievements.
‘It was a thrill working with the Rolls-Royce team to feature each of his 30 number-one hits, and I hope this is a fitting tribute to a figure who did so much to influence and enhance the world’s perception of a golden era in British popular music.’
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online