Thursday, July 27, 2017

22 Year Love Affair With A Blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird

1966 Ford Thunderbird
Story and Photos by Mike Spicer
When talking about old cars my friend Dale Matthews always says “Understanding Is Not Required!”. Which explains why I started hunting for a Ford Thunderbird immediately after graduating from the University Of Oregon.

One of the best parts of getting an old car is “The Hunt". Meeting interesting people, going to places you could never imagine just to see a car. After looking at several 1964-66 Thunderbirds I stumbled on a blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird Landau at the Portland swap meet.

1966 Ford Thunderbird
I was pretty inexperienced but could sense there was a buzz around this car. People were all around checking it out as I sat alone in the driver seat with the doors closed going through the aircraft inspired interior. When I emerged from the car I walked past the swarm of people up to the owner and in an adrenaline infused state of temporary insanity I said “I’ll take it”.

1966 Ford Thunderbird 1966 Ford Thunderbird 1966 Ford Thunderbird
Filled with a mix of excitement and uncertainty I drove the car out of the swap meet catching smiles along the way and headed home. I was experiencing a very new feeling and I liked it.

1966 Ford Thunderbird 1966 Ford Thunderbird
Bought new in Portland Oregon the original owner’s son brought the car to the swap meet since his dad couldn’t drive any more. After owning the car for a while I noticed how well it had been cared for. I was pretty lucky stumbling on an incredibly original car in amazing condition with no car buying skill at all.

1966 Ford Thunderbird 1966 Ford Thunderbird 1966 Ford Thunderbird
I enjoyed driving the Bird for years. The rear seat is referred to as “the lounge” and you can see why. I often thought of the original owner as I babied it and made sure it was parked indoors at all times.

1966 Ford Thunderbird
After 22 years of enjoyment I decided to let her go. You never forget your first love and every time I see a 1966 Thunderbird I feel like a kid again ready to take the blind plunge into classic car ownership, and it feels good.

Story courtesy of Spicer Collector Car Profile
See story on Jalopnik here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Is it Weird that I Don't Like Supercars?

Is it Weird that I Don't Like Supercars?

by Marrs

First of all, that thing up there. That’s what the folks who made it over at Aston Martin call the Valkyrie. What am I supposed to do with that???

I'm the kind of guy who prefers Grand Tourers over Sports Cars. I like luxury cars, cars that shift themselves... ever heard of a Cadillac Eldorado?

My first car was a '57 Cadillac, followed by a '76 Jaguar XJ6 (famously soliloquied here) and then I was somehow lured into Porsche 944 ownership before diving into the world of Merkur in the form of two Scorpios, one for parts in the pre-internet days. The Porsche was not my idea, it was a family hand-me-down first owned by my older sister, then my parents who never drove it. I maybe drove it twice. To much shifty-shifty and no room for my friends in the nominal +2 seats hiding out behind the driver and passenger. My primary car today is a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220se, and while this one is a coupe rather than my clearly-preferred sedans, it rides, drives and feels like the cars I favor.

Next up, that thing up there. What am I supposed to do with that? There's not much vision, which would seem like a useful thing to have at 250-MPH, but heck I guess people will tell me you really only need to see what's right in front of you, which clearly is total bullshit because at higher speeds all those things existing out there in the real world, deer, errant beach balls, Bernie Ecclestone, could all come running out of the hedge at any moment and your reaction time would be much less, except... nobody can drive these cars to their full potential on public roadways. Point being, I have a better view of the road from the inside of my glove box than is offered by the Valkyrie. "Luggage? What's that?" might be the response from many supercar owners as they lift a patio-sized carbon fiber panel to reveal a carpeted box that approximates the size and shape of the smallest Chipotle burrito you've ever been served.

The '62 Benz coupe I mentioned earlier has as much visibility as the deck of an aircraft carrier and with a trunk large enough to carry probably half the number of planes. No joke, I measured. You still have to fold the wings up but they will fit in there!

Now this is the really freaky part to me, see how you can look right through the bodywork on this car, sorta like how you can see through the rear haunches on the new Ford GT? I know the thin bit of fender steel doesn't do much in the way of providing protection but this would just make me feel like my legs were dangling out from the bottom of an inner tube, waiting to be bitten off by a hammerhead shark, or in this instance, a deep curb.

How do you repair these things? When even a Bugatti needs to be shipped back to Mother-France just for a set of new tires, it makes you ponder the downtime, cost and final feasibility of the repair if your half-resin go-kart kits a Camry on it's way out of Costco. Yes, rich people shop at Costco, it's easier to keep your existing money than to make more.

Where do you drive these things to? Not the grocery store, no room for the groceries. Not to the bank, they will surely flag you for investigation for insider trading. Not your in-laws, least you be inundated with requests for a "small, $4-million loan" despite protestations that "I'm good for it!"

These cars were made to be featured in video games where you can switch to a God's eye view, don't need to stow anything whatsoever, and crashes can be fixed with a simple press of a button.

Nah, I'll stick with my old man car and be happy doing it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Here's Your Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational Super Gallery; Part 1

This past weekend hundreds of vintage race cars and motorcycles of all description invaded the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (home of the Indy 500) to toss some steel, glass, and rubber around the corners as part of the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

We were fortunate to have our long-time associate, car enthusiast, and master photographer, Ryan Hornsby, on hand to capture this moment for the history books. This is part one in a two part series.

Enjoy this super-sized gallery of 130+ pics and let us know what cars or bikes are your favorite!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Only Young People and Minorities Can Save the Old Car Hobby

Only Young People and Minorities Can Save the Old Car Hobby
by Marrs

If you’ve spent any amount of time on various car forums you’ve probably seen the same line of questioning pop up every year as car show season begins; “How do we get more young people interested in the hobby?” It’s a great question, an important one also, because without a new group of interested enthusiasts coming along there will be no one to buy, collect, maintain, enjoy, or display the antique and classic cars many of us cherish. Without getting into the tired conversation about “if” kids and teens today even care about cars or driving, we will move ahead to the practical side of how to stir interest among this demographic.

First things first, young folks today aren’t used to unbending schedules and early morning arrivals, they are more used to things being fluid or on-demand. Because of this, I think the first thing to focus on is timing and length of events. Why the hell do car shows start so early anyway? Many I attend each year run from 8 or 10am until 2pm. Most people under 25 that I know (and quite a few older) don’t even wake up until 10am or after on weekends. We could easily become more inclusive if we started events later and ran them longer. One friend suggested that the current hours already work volunteers and organizers to the bone, but a simple shift in the times wouldn’t add any more hours and may in fact ease some of these issues since workers would be more likely to catch a full night’s rest. Money is often tight for young folks and if they would only be able to make the last couple of hours of an early morning event, they would likely opt to skip it altogether rather than spend the fees for just an hour or two of fun. Supporting argument: Cars & Coffee events have more people under the age of 25 than any other type of event I attend, and while the hours don’t comply with my reasoning above, the free factor and free-wheeling in-and-out vibe surely draws them in more than a fully structured event with hard start and stop times.

Speaking of entry fees, why charge younger attendees at all? Individual organizations should be able to easily view their ticket/attendance demographics and figure out the general cutoff point of attendees by age, so let’s say a local concours primarily draws attendees over the age of 20, they could make the event free for anyone 20-years of age and under. They aren’t losing anything because this is a group that was not heavily invested to begin with, and by doing so, they would likely build a “fan base” of these same folks to attend the event in upcoming years. It’s an investment in their future.

Getting this crowd even more directly involved, showing their own cars or otherwise entering festivities, can also be better accomplished by allowing, where possible, day-of sign-ups and entries, simply because Millennials often prefer to play their day by ear rather than adhere to strict schedules.

CELEBRITIES!!! Got your attention? No? OK, well anyway, this *would* have gotten the attention of many in the pop-culture obsessed, TMZ-mainlining, celebrity-emulating, youth market. We are fortunate to have more automotive-related celebrities these days than ever before thanks to the proliferation of TV shows and enthusiast websites. I can imagine youngsters seeking face time or autographs from the likes of Edd China, the Gas Monkey fools, any one of the virtually interchangeable “big personality” owners of a customizing shop, or anyone who has ever skidded across a shop floor on an office chair powered by the thrust of a fire extinguisher in front of a camera.

More than that is perhaps the general culture of cars, one that seems to be among the slower hobbies to modernize. Personally I notice this quite clearly as a separation between forums that tend to cater to an older clientele and those geared towards under 40’s. Without naming any names, I can report first-hand witnessing name calling, rudeness, disrespect, vitriol, hate, homophobia, racism and other unsavory acts on forums that specialize in older autos, tho you rarely see these same issues on youth oriented/accepting forums and seems largely due to the age and associated open-mindedness of their members as compared to the older and perhaps more stubborn members of the older car crowd and their retained cultural biases. Clearly this does not relate to all “old folks” but it seems to be more common than it really should be in this day and age.

How do we change this problem? By speaking up. Whenever you read something that would be considered hateful or otherwise insulting to a reasonable and rational adult, speak up! Call the poster out for their behavior without engaging in an attack yourself. Be polite but firm, speak your mind and explain why you’re disagreeing with their remarks. If it does cross the line into hate speech, homophobia, or racism, then go ahead and also report the post to a moderator or “flag it” if there’s the option. I truly think this feeling of accepting others even if they are different from yourself is one thing that has leapfrogged modern society more than many other pieces of cultural phenomenon, especially among Millennials, simply because they have been exposed to other races, cultures, and out-of-the-box concepts by spending much of their young lives on the internet sharing and getting to know people from other places and with differing points of view.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed a fairly low representation of “minorities” at events, and I put that in quotes because a minority at a car show is pretty much anyone who isn’t white, male, and between the ages of 50-70 years old. It’s not just teens and young adults we need to welcome with open arms, but people of color of all ages, women, people with disabilities, and basically anyone you see in regular everyday society but rarely notice at car events. This might require specific outreach to a community organization that works with minorities, a women’s club or group, a children’s charity, hospitals, convalescent homes, outreach programs, and so on. Again I would suggest the model of free admission to members of a specific facility or group to encourage attendance. You’re much more likely to convince a small group to attend your event than by approaching individuals who may not know anyone else who’s interested. People are people and cars can be a powerful tool in bridging the gaps in society that we don’t normally get to address.

You know who else often gets left out? Our immediate family members. We all have friends or car-buddies that we know have a family, we have heard countless stories about their kid's ball games, or their wife's promotion at work, yet we never actually see these people. Of course not everyone is interested in cars, and I get it that for some people this is their getaway from the daily grind of family life and they want to be alone for a while with their gear head pals, but I encourage you to step out of your conditioned mindset and give real thought to inviting your kid or wife along one more time, who knows, if you ask with enough conviction they may come around! Rather than. "I'm heading out to the car show, anyone interested?" try a more direct, "Hey, I know this isn't exactly your cup of tea, but it would be really nice to spend some time outside today with you!" or even address specific reasons your family members normally choose not to attend, "I know you don't think you know a lot about cars, but there will be lots of really cool and beautiful ones there today that I know you will enjoy just looking at!" If your own family isn't in the cards for whatever reason, how about that friendly neighbor, or the coworker you always plan to hang out with but it never seems to happen? Already have plans? Thinking outside the box and meeting up first at a non-traditional venue like a local car show before heading off to golf, Sunday brunch, or whatever your routine is, can be a real blast!

One thing is for certain, attendance at car events does seem to be dropping as a whole across the country, and we need to get active and address the matter before it is too late, but only by stepping outside our preconceived notions of what a car show is and is not, and seeking new and innovative ways to be more inclusive, is the only way the hobby will survive in any meaningful way. With the coming advent of driverless cars, we will face yet another “roadblock” in creating and maintaining car enthusiasts, and who knows how we will handle that, but it probably won’t be you or I who that responsibility falls to, it will be the next generation of enthusiasts, those we must embrace and bring into the fold today to ensure our collective tomorrow.

(Photos: Allen Stephens and son Jacob at the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance; 1964 Ferrari 250GT/L Lusso at the same event; Boy enjoying classic car by Hugh Holland; Land Rover lineup at Portland's All British Field Meet; Child takes pic of Pierce-Arrow Land Speed Record mystery car in Florida.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rolls-Royce Unveils Sweptail Coupe; World's Most Expensive New Car

Rolls-Royce Unveils Sweptail Coupe; World's Most Expensive New Car 
By Marrs

-Villa d’Este for Concorso d’Eleganza, Italy
When Rolls-Royce unveiled the Sweptail coupe at the Villa d'Este Concours over the Memorial Day weekend it caused quite a stir, but not only for it's lavish lines, exquisite attention to workmanship, jaw-dropping price estimate (speculated to be $12.5 million USD) and sheer audacity... it also pointed a tightly focused laser squarely at the future of high-end motoring in a way that perhaps few understand outside of Rolls-Royce themselves. Hinted at in the press release below, right there in the first paragraph, we read, "This Vision Vehicle envisaged a world of completely personal luxury mobility where new technologies would allow every Rolls-Royce to be designed in their owners’ image, should they wish." What does that mean exactly? Well, that subtle line speaks volumes about Rolls-Royce's future commitment to electric vehicles, and specifically making use of one of the most relevant aspects of current electrified autos, the separate chassis containing the battery packs and hardware that would allow every new car from Rolls-Royce to be a candidate for a bespoke body and interior.

Remember that many electric cars today do not use the traditional unibody method of construction that has reigned supreme for at least 60+ years, replacing the body-on-frame style that was common previously.  While this may seem like a step backwards, it is actually best suited to today's production methods, having one, or only a handful, of standard electric powered chassis that could accept a manufacturer's range of bodies, each essentially snapping into place on the chassis. While future makers such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and others will most assuredly attach bog-standard production line bodies to their cars, some top-market builders such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, and so on, will take absolute advantage of the opportunity to once again, just as in their glorified past, offer fully bespoke automobiles just like the Sweptail we feature here today. 

In the accompanying video, we see that this body and interior were created in exactly the same manner as they would have been 100-years ago, hammering by hand sheets of aluminum over wood bucks until the body lines begin to take shape, fitting, shaping and refitting again and again until the lines are all just right, hand stitching the full leather interior, polishing the massive grille until it gleams like a still pond in moonlight. Yes my friends, the elegance and glory or coach building is back, and in a huge way, and yet it slips past the world's automotive cognoscenti in the clever guise of a one-off automobile built simply to the whims of a well-monied individual. No, this is no one-off, perhaps in the truest sense of the word, in that another just like it will likely never be built again owing to it's place in the world as a truly special and unique automobile, but a piece of the Sweptail will be in every future Rolls-Royce in the sense that it's the first example of what these finest-of-the-fine will become in just a few short years once electrification, and eventually automation, are upon us. 


When, approximately one year ago, Rolls-Royce presented 103EX to the world, it invoked its coachbuilding coachbuilding heritage to inspire its future clientele. This Vision Vehicle envisaged a world of completely personal luxury mobility where new technologies would allow every Rolls-Royce to be designed in their owners’ image, should they wish. Such a Rolls-Royce would represent the truest meaning of luxury – a personal, Bespoke motor car like no other for each individual commissioning patron.

The mere idea of a modern coachbuilt Rolls-Royce was not enough for one Rolls-Royce connoisseur however. This individual approached the marque with his own idea of a two-seat Rolls-Royce that he wanted to be created in the here and now. That motor car is here, now and is christened ‘Sweptail’. In a nod to the swept-tail of certain Rolls-Royces from the 1920s, admired by the client so much, he asked Rolls-Royce to reimagine this feature on his one-off motor car.

Presenting the car to the media at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este on Saturday 27th May 2017, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said, “Sweptail is a truly magnificent car. It exudes the romance of travel for its own sake, and immediately places ‘Sweptail’ in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. Rolls-Royce’s history as the world’s leading coachbuilder is at the very core of its identity as the world’s leading luxury brand. The arrival of 103EX shone a light on the future of Rolls-Royce in this field, and ‘Sweptail’ is proof, today, that Rolls-Royce is at the pinnacle of coachbuilding. We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”Through this commission, Rolls-Royce has proven once again to be the world’s leading luxury goods provider.

‘Sweptail’ – how the vision became the reality“Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture,” comments Giles Taylor, Director of Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”

In 2013, Rolls-Royce was approached by one of its most valued customers with a very particular request. A connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private aircraft, this gentleman came to Rolls-Royce to realise his vision of a one-off luxury motor car like no other.

The client immediately established a close rapport with the design department led by Taylor, who set about bringing the idea to life.

Inspired by the beautiful coachbuilt Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s, the client’s desire was for a coachbuilt two seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof. As a connoisseur of Rolls-Royces, he was inspired by many of his favourite cars from the marque’s golden era of the early 20th Century, as well as many classic and modern yachts.

The grandeur, scale, flamboyance and drama of the 1925 Phantom I Round Door built by Jonckheere; the svelte tapering glasshouse, dramatic dash to axle proportion and up-sweep of the rear departure angle of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon by Park Ward; the elegantly falling waist-rail, swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon, and the flowing roofline, rising departure angle, and again the swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Park Ward 20/25 Limousine Coupé were all considered by today’s Rolls-Royce designers in the creation of this very distinctive motor car.

Over the course of a number of years, Taylor and his team of designers engaged with the client in a wonderfully intellectual journey as they worked together to realise the customer’s distinct vision and bring it to life.

“Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” comments Taylor.

The result of this one-off coachbuild project is the completely unique Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’.

‘Sweptail’ – A distinct visionThe ‘Sweptail’ is without question a Rolls-Royce that fits to the marque’s DNA. Its initial formality when seen from the front signals that this is one very different and distinct Rolls-Royce. One’s attention is first attracted by the confident and solid character of the front profile, centred on a new treatment of the iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille. The largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, the grille is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The periphery of the front face of ‘Sweptail’ is framed in brushed aluminium.

As one moves around to the side of ‘Sweptail’ one finds that it is the striking silhouette that defines its unique character. Flowing as they do from upright and formal frontal aspect, the lines of ‘Sweptail’ resolve into a sveltely elegant form. The scale and grandeur of this regal looking coupé is evident. From the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasise its length. The longer side window graphic and wide C-pillar finisher underscore the length and proportions of this more wondrous of conveyances.

The coup de gras of the rear is the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts that inspired the client, with its raked stern. Seen directly from behind, the rear taper contrasts strongly with the front of the motor car, shaping a completely new perception of a dramatic Rolls-Royce Coupé.

Both the roof line as it tapers towards the centre line of the car, concluding in a ‘bullet-tip’ that houses the centre brake light, and the sweeping lower bumper area of the motor car, combine to create a greater feeling of elegance in motion.

The cleanliness of the surface of ‘Sweptail’ is maintained as the bodywork wraps under the car with no visible boundary to the surfaces, a treatment that is akin to the hull of a yacht. The underside of the motor car was designed to deliver the visual of a progressive upward sweep at the rear departure angle of the car, culminating in the swept-tail that gives ‘Sweptail’ it name.

And finishing off the uncluttered rear of this one-off motor car, is its identifier and registration number, 08. Two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand polished.

The panoramic glass roof invites one into the magnificent interior, along with the natural light
The highlight feature of ‘Sweptail’ however is that specifically asked for by the client. An uninterrupted glass roof, one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a motor car of any marque, allows the cabin to be flooded with natural light, animating a host of beautifully handcrafted materials and componentry.The size, scale and complexity of the glass roof’s curvature is a marvel to behold, and from above again accentuates the speed and elegance of ‘Sweptail’. Creating the ambience of the interior of the motor car, the glass of the roof is framed by polished aluminium rails that channel it into a vanishing point at the rearmost extremity of the cabin.

Regal but modern interiorThe cleanliness and grandeur of the bodywork from the side view, the lengthened side windows and the panoramic glass roof combine to illuminate the two singular occupants of this most singular Rolls-Royce and its modern, minimalistic handcrafted interior. The provision of only two seats in a motor car of this size exudes the romance of travel for its own sake, and immediately places ‘Sweptail’ in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. This is furthered by the overall design of the interior, which has been conceived in a classic two-seat GT configuration, echoing the touring nature of its exterior body lines.

And what a place to be as one watches the world slip by through the vast windows and roof, detached from the outside world in a cocoon of luxury whilst feeling one is part of that passing landscape.

The interior is ruled by a philosophy of simplicity and minimalism leading to a distillation of componentry and a purification of clutter. The value of beautiful materials takes precedence here, resulting in a fastidious suppression of switchgear to the absolute minimum to make way for the richest of materials applied in the most honest of fashions. An uninterrupted and harmonious visual experience of every surface inside the cabin is ensured.

Generous quantities of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao adorn the interior, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary. All their forms however are thoroughly modern as they echo the exterior lines of ‘Sweptail’, hand-formed to encircle the occupants with some of the most beautiful natural materials in the world. This choice of dark and light, Ebony and Paldao, is set off by contrasting light Moccasin and Dark Spice leathers that adorn the seats, armrests and dashboard top.

But it is what those materials have been made to do that is the most fascinating aspect of this one-off cabin. True to the spirit of a transcontinental GT that Rolls-Royce established in the 20s and 30s, in place of the rear seats is a vast expanse of wood creating a mid-shelf with an illuminated glass lip, and a hat shelf which flows to the outer limits of the interior volume. Sitting under the rear opening backlight through which it can be accessed, the hat shelf is in itself a thing of beauty, highly polished and inset with luggage rails.

Behind the occupants, a feature named the Passarelle flows from the rear edge of the windscreen to resolve in a teardrop as it connects to the hat shelf to join all interior volumes. This element also includes the only visible presence of this singular motor car’s name as ‘Sweptail’ is discreetly debossed into the surface, exactly on the centre line.Other modern materials and modern uses of those materials feature. The Macassar Ebony veneer seen around the cabin has been handcrafted to adorn the dashboard in the most modern way. The cleanest Rolls-Royce dashboard to date, the minimalist ethic not only dictates that only one control now appears on it whilst all other switchgear is discreetly relocated, but that the clock blends seamlessly too. In a world first, the face of this singular Rolls-Royce clock is also handmade of the thinnest Macassar veneer, visually embedding the clock into the fascia.

The delicacy of this particular piece of veneer allows for its rear illumination to pass through to show the hour marks, meaning the only physical elements on the clock are its hands that are precision machined from titanium. This use of titanium then extends to the faces, numbers and hands on all three hand-assembled instrument dials.

Two final surprise and delight features have been secreted inside ‘Sweptail’ to the stringent standards of the client.

Concealed in the outboard walls on either side of the motor car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier, when activated, deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop device. The cases themselves have been hand-constructed from lightweight carbon fibre, wrapped in the finest leather that matches the interior of ‘Sweptail’ and detailed with machined aluminium and titanium clasps and locks.

These attaché cases are twinned with the full set of luggage also developed by Rolls-Royce Bespoke for ‘Sweptail’. The luggage resides in the trunk of the motor car, a trunk beautifully clad in the same wood as the hat shelf and inset with polished aluminium luggage rails.

The coup de gras of this one-off masterpiece is as personal to the owner as every other feature of ‘Sweptail’. The entire centre console now houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the client’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action articulates the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up.

A most personal, coachbuilt Rolls-Royce for a specific customer, every aspect of the material treatment of ‘Sweptail’ exudes handcrafted quality and exacting attention to detail. In short, it is a Rolls-Royce – but like no other before.

Enjoy this video presentation of the Rolls-Royce Sweptail's design and construction.

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