Rare Rides: The 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Hyperion by Pininfarina, Only One Made

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 2008 rolls royce phantom hyperion by pininfarina only one made

We’ve featured exactly two Rolls-Royce creations previously at Rare Rides. The first was the completely bespoke mega-buck Sweptail in 2017, and more recently the Silver Spectre, a shooting brake based upon the Wraith coupe.

Today’s Rare Ride falls somewhere between those two on the cost spectrum. It’s a one-off creation from famed design house Pininfarina.

The Phantom’s lineage at Rolls Royce is a long one. Dating back to 1925 as a flagship sedan, the model took a hiatus after 1990. It reappeared in its seventh generation iteration in 2003, after BMW took ownership of Rolls-Royce. Riding on its own bespoke platform, the Phantom resides as the flagship of Rolls-Royce. That seventh-generation started as a stately sedan but expanded into the Drophead convertible in 2007, and Phantom Coupe in 2008. Notably, the Drophead eclipsed the standard Phantom in price, and in 2015 was the most expensive car on offer from the brand at $533,000. Both Drophead and Coupe lived through 2016; the Phantom sedan was again a singularity in 2017. It was replaced that year by the eighth-generation Phantom, which exists today only as a sedan.

The Phantom Drophead was based almost directly on the 100EX concept car, which debuted at NAIAS in 2007 in recognition of the centennial of Rolls-Royce. A four-seater affair, the Drophead was notable for its rear-hinged coach doors and tonneau cover made of wood. All examples were powered by the 6.75-liter V12 from the Phantom which produced adequate horsepower, paired to a six-speed automatic.

Shortly after its introduction, Rolls-Royce collector Roland Hall contacted Pininfarina and asked them to design an even more exclusive version of the Phantom Drophead. Pininfarina set to work on the project and reworked the Drophead into a fairly different-looking car.

The results were – let’s be diplomatic – interesting. Smoother lines ended in a shortened rear deck, which turned the four-seat Drophead into the two-seat Hyperion “roadster.” The wood tonneau cover remained at the rear and spawned a matching one on the hood. Rolls-Royce badging on the trunk was replaced by a smaller dual-flag logo that represented Rolls-Royce and Pininfarina, and Pininfarina badging appeared on the front wings. In a costly edit, lamps front and rear were of a new, bespoke design. Though it was short two seats, the interior remained largely factory.

Mister Hall owned the Hyperion for around two years and drove it not at all. It was shown at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours before being put up for sale in 2009, where it sold for around $5 million. The Hyperion then moved to the UAE, where it’s presently for sale in Dubai. Current ask for this zero miles roadster is $3.267 million. Any interest?

[Images: Pininfarina]

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