Rare Rides: The Rolls-Royce Sweptail, a Bespoke Ultra-Luxury Coupe

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Sweeping fender flares sculpted by hand, luggage trunks affixed to the rear by the help, and huge headlamps housed in metal spheres. These details come to mind when considering the old era of coachbuilding. Grand vehicles reflected personal touches and design cues requested by the customer, which the coachbuilder was all too happy to include in the vehicle in exchange for large sums of money.

This tradition is alive and well today at Rolls-Royce, which recently debuted a one-off bespoke coupe for an unnamed customer of taste and subtlety in design.

I present to you the Sweptail.

This grand coupe looks very different to the current production coupe on offer from Rolls-Royce, known as the Wraith, or as Dawn in cabriolet format. Rolls-Royce published a long and breathless press release on the Sweptail, which one may read if one has chosen to enjoy such verbal finery in one’s life.

When putting this article together, I noticed something interesting. Although Sweptail is the name for this coupe, I’m not certain this was always the case. Almost all images downloaded from the Rolls-Royce media site contained “Rolls-Royce Torpedo” in their titles.

Another interesting item of note from the linked press release is the reference to the House of Rolls-Royce. The company has applied the “House of” moniker to their design and bespoke vehicles department. Though those particular words are normally applied to high-end clothing designers, the branding must be effective for cars as well. Media outlets are generally reporting Rolls-Royce received $12,000,000 for this two-seat giant.

The customer’s desire was to blend the design cues of golden era Rolls-Royce vehicles with those of classic and modern yachts. I’ll leave you to determine whether this implementation accomplishes the goal.

Two digits make up the permanent number plate embedded in the back of the vehicle. With just a two-digit, permanent plate, you won’t likely see this vehicle driving around North America.

As with any Rolls-Royce or yacht-based item, there is much impressive decking made from rare and valuable wood. The center chevron pattern is particularly appealing.

Though this vehicle is huge in proportion, the interior is suitable for only two persons of immense wealth. A rear seat is notably absent from the vehicle, but remaining passengers are entertained by the lighted hat shelf and wood sculpture area.

The tapered rear does allow for extensive use of wood and aluminum, and the Art Deco design cues really work from this angle. Kudos are due here, as it’s beautiful.

Up front, it’s all business. The Sweptail features the largest Rolls-Royce grill ever. Carved from a single block of aluminum, the grille is polished by hand to shine like all the coins you’ve spent.

What say you? For around $12,000,000, the House of Rolls-Royce will build you your very own bespoke luxury vehicle. Like it or not, this is really the ultimate expression of a Rare Ride.

[Photos via Rolls-Royce]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 43 comments
  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Jun 17, 2017

    I'm in two minds about this. I am reminded that over a decade ago they made the €1 million euro Bugatti Veyron and that was supposed to be the nadir of billionaries rides. How things snowballed. In some ways you could say this was a symptom of wealth inequality but really, isnt this just an advertising exercise for RR? They hand build one car and the put out breathless PR and they get their name out... do they even have a buyer? Who cares. There's many many people who wouldnt blink at a $12 mil car or even worse so of course there's no shortage of loyal RR buyers. As far as aesthetics goes... again, who cares. This is a tool. This thing will live out its days at Goodwood, aircon garages and exhibits.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jun 23, 2017

    I like it. Not $12m like it, but I do like it.

  • Akear Toyota wins once again, while GM has egg on its face.
  • Slavuta Why America needs school buses altogether? When I was in school, I rode on a regular city bus
  • Jeff Buy whatever works for you if you own an EV and are happy with it good, if you buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and it works for you good, if neither and you like your ICE the way it is that is also good. I believe over time EVs will get better and have a larger segment of the market.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Is New Jersey better than Old Jersey?
  • Tassos Jong-iL Looking forward to buying 2 of these with all of those Rubles we have been earning lately.