James Bond may be a fictional character to all of us, but the dashing debonair / awesome secret agent is still an inspiration to all of us. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? He’s got a killer job, he scores the hottest women, and best of all - at least in our case - he drives the fanciest cars.
That last part is such an integral part of the Bond legend that an exhibition is actually being planned to showcase the largest collection of James Bond vehicle to ever be displayed. The whole event is being prepared through the collaborative efforts of the UK’s National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and EON Productions, which is doing the groundwork for the event in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s Bond franchise.
The exhibit will be held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, United Kingdom and will run the entire length of the 2012 calendar year.
“Following the success of the first Bond cars exhibition staged at Beaulieu in 2001, we are delighted to be working with EON again on this new display, bringing together the world’s largest collection of Bond vehicles, Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said.
The exhibit won’t open for another few months, but it’s safe to say that we’ll be dropping by to check it out if we find ourselves in the area next year.
Rolls-Royce isn’t exactly the type of marquee that rolls out special edition models on the fly, but since the company has expanded its in-house Bespoke division, it seemed like a good idea to introduce a special edition range of sedans for the Chinese market.
For their first offering, Rolls-Royce is paying homage to 2012 being the Year of the Dragon.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to cross the t’s and dot the i’s on why the British luxury brand has decided to roll out this special edition line. Next year, at least according to the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Dragon, one of the most revered mythical creatures in the country. So to honor that special occasion - and butter up to the Chinese market - Rolls-Royce is gearing up for a number of Phantom models bearing the Year of the Dragon bespoke package.
UPDATE 11/23/11: It’s only appropriate that a special edition, China-exclusive Rolls-Royce was introduced at a Chinese auto event, particularly that of the Guangzhou Auto Show. And true to Chinese lore, Rolls-Royce will only be releasing eight models of this ultra-exclusive luxury car.
UPDATE 01/29/12: For a car that costs a staggering $1.2 million, you would think that Rolls-Royce would find a difficult time finding buyers for their ultra-exclusive Phantom "Year of the Dragon" Bespoke special edition model. Think again. About as quick as you can say "Kung Hei Fat Choy!", the entire allotment of Year of the Dragon Phantoms have all been spoken, taking only two months for all the units to be spoken for. What recession, right?
Details on the Rolls-Royce Phantom "Year of the Dragon" Bespoke Collection after the jump.
The power of extravagance knows no bounds, especially for those who just can’t seem to get enough of it. Then again, when you have the ability to just throw money around like its disposable paper, we suppose that you can do pretty much anything you want, including plating your Ferrari supercar in gold.
This is the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano that has been worked on by Hamann so there’s some top-level tuning in the car already. We already saw this car in the past but it’s certainly worth repeating: this bad boy is plated...with gold.
Apparently, the car belongs to a wealthy and high-profile individual from Dubai and was recently spotted in London being accompanied by no less than a Mansory-tuned Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. If a six-figure Rolls-Royce can serve as the ’bodyguard’ of this gold-plated 599 GTB Fiorano, then it certainly speaks volumes as to how extravagant this 673-horsepower, gold-plated Ferrari really is.
The only thing that boggles our mind is how he can get around town, let alone bring it to another country, without being worried about all the eyes that will inevitably fix their attention on his one-of-a-kind Ferrari.
Check out this gold-plated 599 GTB Fiorano in the streets of London after the jump
Rich and famous individuals around the world are known for leading extravagant lifestyles. Motor vehicles are often a way to show the world just how much money you have and one car in particular does this better than almost any other; the Rolls Royce Phantom . These bespoke automobiles have been the most luxurious and expensive items on four wheels since the company was first started. In the early part of the past century, Rolls Royce was often commissioned by heads of state and wealthy tycoons to build one off custom creations to fulfill their various desires. This 1925 Phantom I is perhaps the most indulgent of all being commissioned by the Maharaja of Kota specifically for the purpose of hunting Bengal Tigers.
Today, it would be very odd to think about taking a Rolls Royce on a dirt road, let alone trudging through mud and brush on a big game hunting trip. Those jobs would be best suited for a Land Rover Defender or even a Mercedes G550 , but in 1925 Rolls Royce stood for more than just luxury. These were the most mechanically and structurally sound vehicles being produced and thus provided for the greatest reliability of anything around. Not to mention Rolls Royce was willing to do anything a customer desired as long as the price was right.
This car will be auctioned off at the Bonham Quail Lodge sale on August 19, 2011. It has changed hands several times since being discovered in the late 1970’s and has undergone two extensive restorations. Experts predict that this rare Rolls Royce could fetch anywhere from $750,000 to $1,000,000 when it crosses the block.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I
Rowan Atkinson is known by most as the one of the world’s funniest, albeit quirky, men. After all, Mr. Bean hardly needs much of an introduction, but what most people don’t know is that Mr. Bean is also an avid car lover and collector. Move aside, Jay Leno, because Atkinson knows his fair share of automobiles too, and drives them like a pro.
The proof is in the pudding and while dropping in on the gang at BBC’s Top Gear, Mr. Atkinson brought along one of his prized possessions: a very special Rolls-Royce Phantom . We say special because it doesn’t feature the Phantom’s usual 6.75-liter V12 engine, but a unique 9.0-liter V16. According to Atkinson, Rolls Royce designed the Phantom especially for this engine, but changed their mind at the last minute. The V16 engine was hanging around the company’s store until Atkinson - knowing of its existence and history - specifically asked for it to be dropped into a Phantom. The best part is that the V16-powered Phantom will be used for one of Atkinson’s upcoming movies - Johnny English Reborn - set to air in the States on August 18, 2011.
We can’t say that we were looking forward to the premiere episode of The Car Show, simply because we didn’t feel that Adam Carolla was going to be all that funny. If he was, then The History Channel would have considered keeping him as part of the Top Gear USA trio . Turns out, we were absolutely wrong.
Adam Carolla may be a jumbling, mumbling mess at times, but his delivery actually makes him a bit funnier. It helps that he was teamed up with Dan Neil (automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal), John Salley (4-time NBA Champion and actor), and Matt Farah (SmokingTire.com), who seemed to deliver more chemistry in the first episode of The Car Show than Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara, and Ruttledge Wood had in their entire first season. Don’t get us wrong, we actually like Top Gear USA, but we may like The Car Show even better so far.
Hit the jump for details on the first episode of The Car Show.
In the world of high-end luxury, very few automakers can match the esteem and reverence attached to the Rolls-Royce brand. So when you’re on the drawing board for a design study of a Rolls, the first thing that immediately pops in your head is how you can take the luxury to a whole new level.
Turkish designer, Timur Bozca , understands that and his latest study all but confirms the route to take when dressing up a Rolls-Royce Phantom : add as many expensive materials - like say, gold, for example - on the car to drive up the extravagance. The first thing he did was use the aforementioned gold material to cover some of the car’s exterior, including the grille, the rims, the outline on the lights, the badging, and even the plate casing.
Even the Phantom’s interior wasn’t spared from the luxury overload with plenty of gold to go around, showering the occupants with enough bling to make Mr. T blush with envy. Nothing looks better in gold than a dressed up Rolls-Royce Phantom, right?
The car is definitely a call to luxury, whether some people think it’s excessive or not. The only downside to having all this gold on your car is that it immediately becomes a target for those with kleptic hands.
Typically, automakers don’t create vehicles just for the sake of making them weekend riders, but that’s because many of us can’t afford to buy a car just to use it two days out of the week. Rolls Royce owners, on the other hand, can have a different car for every day of the week and it wouldn’t matter. Maybe that’s why the British luxury automaker decided to offer its British customers a very special Phantom Drophead Coupe that "was designed to capture the essence of a perfect weekend get-away, offering drivers and their passengers the ultimate luxurious and relaxing experience in roof-down motoring."
This one-off Phantom model will be painted in a Mazarine Blue - a color inspired by the Mazarine Blue butterfly - and will also receive a one-off Asprey jewelery box, housed discretely in the glove compartment. Think of it as the perfect place to store rings, cufflinks, earrings, and while you’re at it, throw in your diamonds too. Other features of the interior will include a luxurious natural-grain leather in a Seashell color contrasted by Navy Blue floor and door panels with embroidered R-R logos finished in the headrests. There is also a yacht-inspired teak decking, with mother-of-pearl inlays throughout cross-banded Santos Palissander wood veneers. And as a final touch you will also get white instrument dials, rotary controllers, and a clock finished in mother-of-pearl.
Adding on to what is already a high-brow look, Project Kahn gave the Phantom a shadow-line finish to go with clear side lights, head light surrounds, window surrounds, rear light surrounds, and under floor lighting. On top of that, the British tuner added a bullet resistant glass to fit into their high-security profile. And to round out the aesthetic goodness, Project Kahn fitted the Phantom with a new set of diamond-polished 22” Kahn Silver Mist Rolls Royce wheels.
Meanwhile, the interior of the Phantom, at least according to Project Kahn, can be tailor-made depending on the customer’s tastes and whims. In a statement, the company said: “Inside is a complete bespoke interior design service available to suit individual tastes. By buying a Project Kahn vehicle, you are given the opportunity to really make it your own.”
For those that can afford this car and all the upgrades Project Kahn offers, feel free to knock yourselves out. For the rest of us lemmings, these photos are about as good as it gets.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the vehicles ready to take center stage during one of the decade’s most talked about event. The world seems to have Prince William and Kate Middleton fever, and we’re catching the bug when it comes to the royal carriages housing the guests of honor during one of the most important days of their lives.
The Royal Mews houses one of the oldest and most meticulously cared for carriages in the world. This division is responsible for ground transportation of the Queen and other Royals in England, and Prince William and Kate Middleton will be making good use of several of these carriages and other vehicles in the collection during their royal wedding extravaganza. Separate vehicles will be taken by the Prince and Kate on their way to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony and they will leave together in one of the most famous carriages.
Hit the jump to check out which vehicles will be used for the grand wedding event.