Rare Rides: The 2021 Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, for Luxury Picnic Enjoyment

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Rolls-Royce unveiled a Rare Ride today, marking the first time we’re featuring a car in this series on the day of its release. Ultra-luxurious, it’s intended to showcase its owner’s wealth, exclusivity, and picnic planning skills.

The new Boat Tail is a continuation of the bespoke car program at Rolls-Royce. Initiated a few years ago by the enormous Sweptail coupe, the $13,000,000 one-off of 2017 proved there was at least some market for the bespoke modern automobile. Today’s coupe is the first in a series of three cars, each with a different personality.

Designed with considerable input from the individuals who commissioned them, the new set of coupes marks Rolls-Royce Coachbuild as an official program within the company. Each coupe will first and foremost represent the taste and personality of its patron, as one terms one’s support of the true arts. Thus far, Rolls has revealed only the first Boat Tail with its Hors d’Oeuvre on the Lawn theme and is keeping the other two hush-hush.

At nineteen feet long, the new Boat Tail features modern Rolls-Royce styling themes but also visits other design tropes without the restrictions of non-artisanal corporate mass production. The general theme per its name is a nautical one: windows, pillars, and body edges are all reminiscent of powerboats. Funny enough the customer’s favorite color is blue, so the land yacht’s theme carries through to the paint, which is blended with metallic and crystal flecks. Rolls had an employee run a finger over the body line before the paint dried to ensure a soft finish. The hood is painted with an ombré effect with its deepest blue at the front and is the first time Rolls has applied such a paint technique. Blue fiber is also woven into the lower panels of the car at a 55-degree angle, to mimic the wake of a watercraft.

Blue continues into the bespoke interior, darker at the front and graduating to lighter at the rear. Stitching on the interior is a more intense shade of blue, and matches the central clock (more on that shortly). The look is supplemented by open-pore Caleidolegno wood (a dark grey shade) applied to the lower portions of the interior and the floor, as on a hull. The wood is installed at 55 degrees along the exact center of the interior, so it always looks balanced from any angle.

To help the owner keep with appointments there are two, two-sided tourbillon timepieces included in the car. Developed with Swiss maker BOVET 1822, Rolls spent three years creating them. They’re regular wristwatches to be worn by the owners, or optionally converted to mantlepieces. They can be installed in the Boat Tail’s fascia as the clock.

The pièce de résistance of the Boat Tail is its rear accommodation. No not the back seats, but rather the trunk arrangement. Rolls-Royce has fitted per the customer’s request a rear parasol, which is produced by the Boat Tail at the press of a button. It recalls the tradition of the Rolls-Royce rolled umbrella except really extra. Wooden panels atop the trunk open to present cocktail tables and stools, all stowed at the rear. The stools are composed of the same material as the car’s exterior, and allow seating for two at the “hosting suite.” There are glasses, a double champagne fridge, cutlery, you name it. By the way, fridge cradles hold only the specific Armand de Brignac champagne the customer prefers.

The press release for the Boat Tail is about 40 pages long, but we’ve hit the high points of this extreme luxury coupe. It might be for sale in a decade or so, at some “Price Upon Request” figure. It’s certainly a lot, but it’s also certainly unique. Hats off to an owner for committing the time and money necessary to make a truly bespoke modern car happen.

[Images: 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 29 comments
  • RHD RHD on May 28, 2021

    A fender bender will be a challenge to be met by the body and paint guy. Blending and matching the new paint with paint whose color fades from front to back will require all of his artistic talents.

  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on May 28, 2021

    The back looks like the back end of a very beautiful car that looks nothing like a RR Wraith. Grafted to a Wraith the effect is just kind of comical, sort of a scaled-up version of one of those RR front ends people put on VW Bugs.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...