Rolls Royce announced today the launch of a new Bespoke Waterspeed Collection that will be applied to a series of 35 Phantom Drophead Coupé . This new collection pays tribute to a legendary record established back on September 1st, 1937.
On that day, Sir Malcolm Campbell took a Bluebird K3 hydroplane boat powered by Rolls-Royce’s R-Type engine to a top speed of 126.32 mph on Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian frontier. The next, day he did even better, as he sped the boat to 129.5 mph, breaking a five-year-old world water-speed record.
Of course, this amazing result was possible, thanks to the incredible Rolls Royce engine that powered the boat, and immediately after the record, Rolls Royce managed to reaffirm the superiority of its engines. What better way to honor the record than by building a bunch of expensive cars?
Updated 04/02/2014: Rolls Royce unveiled a new set of teaser images and new details on its new Waterspeed Collection that will be officially unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Click past the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Bespoke Waterspeed Collection.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Bespoke Waterspeed Collection in Detail
Few details were released on this new Bespoke Collection, but the first details reveal that Rolls Royce uses the finest contemporary materials, all of which have never before been used by Rolls-Royce.
The Bespoke Waterspeed Collection models are painted in a specially developed Maggiore Blue color scheme combined with brushed steel. The interior adds, among many other things, hand-crafted wood inlays inspired by the high-end luxury boats.
More details on this new Waterspeed Collection will be unveiled in the upcoming months, and the car should be put on sale by the end of the year.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to reveal an exclusive sketch of the Bespoke Waterspeed Collection, a series of 35 Phantom Drophead Coupés that seeks to celebrate a seminal act of British daring and endeavour.
On the morning of 1 September 1937, at the height of the battle between the United States and Great Britain to be the fastest nation on water, Sir Malcolm Campbell headed out onto the calm blue waters of Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian frontier. On taking the wheel of his Bluebird K3 hydroplane boat, powered by Rolls-Royce’s R-Type engine, he established his legend, setting a record of 126.32 mph. The following day he went one better, piloting his craft to 129.5 mph, in doing so emphatically breaking the United States’ five-year stranglehold on the world waterspeed record. Campbell’s momentous achievement captured the world’s attention and reaffirmed the Rolls-Royce R-Type engines’ record-breaking superiority after triumphs on land and in the air.
Echoing the cutting-edge technology employed in the construction of these craft, only the finest contemporary materials never used before on a Rolls-Royce furnish the Waterspeed Collection. Brushed steel perfectly complements an exclusively developed Maggiore Blue colour scheme whilst hand-crafted wood inlays evoke the sense of a boat effortlessly gliding through water at pace.
“Sir Malcolm Campbell’s successful pursuit of world-speed records on land and water were the result of his commitment to the most exacting standards of British design and engineering excellence,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Such attributes are hallmarks of every Rolls-Royce motor car, ensuring the marque’s position at the pinnacle of super-luxury manufacturing. This special Collection, and those to follow in 2014, serve to display the breadth of Bespoke personalisation available to every Rolls-Royce customer. I very much look forward to revealing these remarkable cars over the coming months.”
Following the release of this design sketch that gives a candid insight into the conception of Rolls-Royce’s latest Bespoke project, further details will be revealed over the coming months telling the story of the creation of the Waterspeed Collection.
“I am delighted that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has chosen our grandfather’s iconic Bluebird Waterspeed boats as inspiration for this special Collection,” said Donald Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell. “I am certain Sir Malcolm would be extremely flattered to see his name still closely associated with such a prestigious brand 75 years after his last world Waterspeed Record. I know that I speak for our whole family and the Malcolm Campbell Heritage Trust when I say that it is a great honour and we look forward to seeing the first car off the production line.”
Press Release 2
Donald and Joe Wales, the grandson and great grandson of pioneer record-breaker Sir Malcolm Campbell, have given their seal of approval to the first of 35 Bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection cars at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.
Built to commemorate Campbell’s seminal act of British daring and endeavour, this latest creation by the marque’s Bespoke department takes inspiration from the Bluebird craft in which the records were set. A specially created exterior finish named Maggiore Blue takes its name from the lake on the Swiss-Italian border where Campbell broke the United States’ five year strangle-hold on the waterspeed records in 1937. This very special collection also pays homage to a period when the Rolls-Royce R engine held speed records on land, water and in the air.
Donald and Joe enjoyed a walk through the manufacturing plant with Bespoke Designer Alex Innes before reviewing the specially commissioned car. On seeing the collection car, Donald, himself a record breaker, said, “I have no doubt that my grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell would feel extremely proud to see his achievements honoured in this way. The Waterspeed car is a work of art; the blue and brushed steel evoke connotations of my grandfather’s World Record boats, Bluebird K3 and K4. This car is a lovely addition to the Rolls-Royce collection and a fabulous homage to a very important part of our racing heritage.”
It takes over 80 hours for a Rolls-Royce craftsperson to manufacture and hand brush the car’s striking brushed steel deck, whilst the coachline, complete with Bluebird motif, took another four hours to hand-apply using a squirrel hair brush.
Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke Designer, said, “It gives me great pleasure to reveal Waterspeed to Donald and Joe Wales. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars echo Sir Malcolm Campbell’s commitment to engineering excellence and the constant pursuit of the ultimate in British Design. Using only the finest materials and exceptional craftsmanship, we have created a car which demonstrates the possibilities of Bespoke personalisation available to all Rolls-Royce customers.”
The Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection features a number of exquisitely designed and crafted Bespoke design features that have never appeared on a Rolls-Royce before. Further details revealing an insight into the creation of the cars will follow in the coming weeks.