Do you have a truly bespoke pair of shoes, hand-made, to the tune of $1,000? Or a truly bespoke suit, not just one off the plebeian racks of Armani or Ermenegildo Zegna? Watch out, “bespoke” is losing its worth faster than a dollar during the peanut president regime. Oddly, it is Rolls-Royce that is behind that dangerous paradigm down-shift. (Read More…)
H.J Mulliners gave this model design the name “Flying Spur” which is well documented as the heraldic symbol of the Johnstone Clan in Scotland. The “Flying Spur” was awarded to the Johnstone clan for their help in allowing Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape on horseback.
That’s authentic British heritage, no Bentley-by-Breitling-by-Bentley-by-Brietling-by-Volkswagen needed. You’re looking at one of seven Flying Spurs for sale, from the collection of a Hungarian who escaped that Communist state to become an engineer, succeed beyond his wildest imagination, and acquire top-shelf examples of the Flying Spur wherever they could be found. That’s even cooler than the cars themselves, right?
In the olden days, when a Bentley was a rebadged Rolls Royce (or vice versa), it was easy to mistake one for the other. Bentley cleverly leveraged its “smart shopper” image into sales that were an order of magnitude higher than those of Rolls. Ever since Volkswagen forgot to check the trademark files, and subsequently lost Rolls to BMW while keeping Bentley (to still much bigger success), those days are over, and the respective overlords in Wolfsburg and Munich get alarmed if there is any confusion. The news still haven’t reached Indonesia, or so it seems. (Read More…)
This will be a wee complicated and very British: The Schneider Trophy, a prize competition for seaplanes was won several times by a Supermarine S6B, which in turn was powered by a Rolls-Royce R Type engine. Follow so far? What does this have to do with cars? Honestly, not the foggiest. But Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection, which is said to be inspired by said seaplanes. Still with me? Alright. (Read More…)
A 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, adorned with over a million Swarovski crystals is on display at the Four Seasons Hotel in Munich, Germany. (Read More…)
It hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as the handful of early production Tata Nanos that caught fire, or the Ferrari 458 recall, also for fire safety issues, or the newly expanded investigation into Jeep Wranglers burning, and certainly not nearly the attention given the near non-event with that one crash tested Chevy Volt, but BMW appears to have a corporate wide fire problem with turbocharged models that has now resulted in recalls of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles. (Read More…)
Even when on vacation, I can’t help tripping over interesting stuff. In this case, quite literally. Ouch. My toe’s still bleeding. (Read More…)
When I came to China for the first time in 2004, I would have never thought that the country would one day be the benchmark for the consumption of luxury automobiles. A few weeks ago, I thought the headline “U.S. may overtake China’s rich in Rolls Royce race” to be an impossibility. But here it is. At Reuters, an even-keeled wire when it comes to the auto beat. But first things first. (Read More…)
Derek Kreindler’s provocative defense of the Maserati Kubang sparked off an interesting discussion among TTAC’s Best and Brightest yesterday, about the the macroeconomic outlook for luxury brands. Sure, the American economy is struggling to stay out of a double-dip recession, credit is no longer as available as it was in the pre-Lehman days, and some argue that worse is still to come… but for the moment, the high end of the luxury market couldn’t be doing better. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes tells Reuters [via AN [sub]] that his brand will set a new sales record this year, and that the outlook for 2012 is good, saying
I have not seen any reluctance to consider buying a Rolls-Royce. I do not feel that sentiment is deteriorating in the luxury market. We are dealing with people who are unusually wealthy and never really have to ask themselves, can I still afford this or not?
And it’s one thing to just talk, but Rolls is also putting its money where its mouth is, initiating a $16m expansion to its Goodwood plant. And it’s not the only luxury brand that seems to be confused about this “recession” that the peasants keep going on about…
At last year’s Beijing auto show, a man walked up to the Roll Royce booth with a suitcase full of “Red Maos” – as the 100 yuan note is called in China, the largest note equals $15.40 – and walked away as the owner of a Rolls Royce Phantom. At least that’s what AFP heard. Because of taxes and duties, a Rolls-Royce Phantom started at 6.6 million yuan ($1 million) a year ago. That translated into 66,000 red banknotes. (Read More…)
How many people do you think called their neighborhood Rolls Royce dealer and asked: “Do you have a plug-in Phantom?” Never mind. BMW-owned Rolls Royce shows one anyway at the Geneva Autoshow. Don’t worry, they don’t really mean it, it’s a prototype only. (Read More…)
The worldwide auto industry is officially on the mend. Carmageddon is behind us. The future is bright and shiny. How do I know this? If Rolls Royce can have higher annual sales than in any of the 30 years before, life must be good again. And there still are 2 months to go, with some possible Rollers under some possible Christmas trees. (Read More…)
With Maybach folding up its tent after an uninspired campaign to unseat Rolls Royce at the top of the luxury sedan heap, only Bentley and Bugatti remain as potential challengers to the Phantom (Geely doesn’t count). Bentley has always had a slight inferiority complex when comparisons to Rollers come up, and though the new Mulsanne offers an alternative to the Phantom, it won’t replace it as the undisputed champion of four-door luxury. No, it seems as though the Volkswagen Group is trying to bracket BMW’s Phantom, with the Mulsanne nipping at its heels, and the Bugatti Galibier concept indicating what on might purchase in order to put all the Phantom owners in their place. It might not be as purely luxurious as the Rolls, but the Bugatti name, the 800 HP and the Galibier’s dramatically opulent looks have the potential to yield an icon capable of unsettling the high-end, four-door order of things. But will it be built? According to Autocar‘s Bugatti sources:
It will be made one way or the other.. We’re the smallest VW Group member and there’s a recession on so we’ve not been a priority. But we can expect to announce something by the summer; it looks good, people like it and it wouldn’t be a great financial commitment in the context of the Group.
But evo Magazine’s Harry Metcalfe says it ain’t so. The Galibier, he says, is over, and with it Bugatti’s ambition to build the world’s most powerful and expensive four-door.