the rolls-royce phantom drophead coupe waterspeed collection
all images courtesy rolls-royce motor cars
during the occasion of the 2014 concorso d’elegenza at villa d’este, the rolls-royce phantom drophead coupé waterspeed collection makes its public debut. it was on the adjacent lake maggiore where, in 1937, sir malcolm campbell set a world-record speed of 126.33 mph in his boat, ‘bluebird K3′, which was powered by a rolls-royce R engine. conceived as contemporary tribute to campbell’s famous craft, the luxury vehicle is finished in a specially developed ‘maggiore blue’ paint, directly referencing the bluebird’s original color scheme.
the exterior is completed with a hand-painted coachline, taking four hours to apply by hand
nine layers of paint are applied before a process of hand-sanding and the application of a cutting-edge powdered lacquer is undertaken. for the first time in rolls-royce history, the exterior finish extends to the engine, creating a visual homage to campbell’s records. the finish also adorns the phantom drophead coupé waterspeed’s fully-polished eleven-spoke wheels. each individual piece of material manually panel-beaten for 70 hours following initial mechanical pressing; the process is followed by a rolls-royce craftsperson hand-brushing the metal for over 10 hours.
‘this very special motor car serves to pay a perfect homage to my grandfather’s remarkable acts of british daring and endeavour,’ said donald wales, grandson of sir malcolm campbell. ‘the extraordinary attention-to-detail and commitment to engineering excellence so evident in these motor cars perfectly echoes the lengths my grandfather and his colleagues went to in their pursuit of the waterspeed records.’
reference to campbell’s craft is made via a new interpretation of the speed boats original ‘power reserve’ dial. as the driver presses on, the needle moves backwards towards a yellow and blue zone. the dash also integrates a bespoke front-lit clock and meters hewn from a solid cylindrical block of aluminum.
the steering wheel is presented in two-tone for the very first time with maggiore blue accents
the glovebox features a hand-embroidered panel showcasing the records campbell achieved
hand-engraved door armrest tunnel caps featuring a bluebird motif, alone taking eight hours to complete