Rolls-Royce recently announced that they will include a refrigerator with ‘Summer and Winter’ modes in their cars. Pretty neat. But more than the fridge itself, this quirky enhancement got fans talking about what other developments in the rich 116-year heritage of the brand have happened along the way.
So, here are 20 facts about the Rolls-Royce Phantom that you may not already know, but need to…
1. In the same year the marque launched its eighth Phantom, Bloomberg conducted a study that researched the most mentioned brands in pop music. Rolls-Royce topped the list, beating other super-luxury brands.
2. Product Designer, Thorsten Frank, was commissioned by the marque to create an artistic impression of a client’s DNA. Frank used a unique algorithm to create the piece, which was 3D printed in stainless steel then plated in 50g of 24-carat gold before being placed in Phantom’s gallery.
3. Before building the ‘Clean Room’ where the ‘Gallery’ fascia within Rolls-Royce Phantom is assembled, associates from The Home of Rolls-Royce visited pharmaceutical and microprocessor Clean Rooms in order to fully understand these complex manufacturing laboratories.
4. Every single component that makes a Phantom Gallery is painstakingly cleaned by hand inside a particle proof cleanroom before final assembly – this takes two people two hours to complete.
5. The Gallery Clean Room contains four medical-grade, positively pressurized spaces. A highly technical sensor continually measures the particulate concentration of each space. Any particulates measuring above 0.001 of a micron are detected, a staggering statistic considering a human hair is between 50-100 microns in diameter.
6. There are only five associates at the Home of Rolls-Royce trained to operate in the Gallery Clean Room, with only two permitted to enter at any one time. These associates must comply with strict guidelines to prevent possible contamination. No cosmetics, hair products, or deodorants may be used.
7. Phantom’s world-leading sound insulating properties were employed by London-based musician Skepta, who was able to record a track in its entirety from the rear seat.
8. The Rose Garden at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, is the only place in the world that the Phantom Rose is grown. This flower has been bred exclusively for Rolls-Royce by British rose breeder Philip Harkness of Harkness Roses.
9. London-based art collective, Based Upon, were called upon by a patron to create a unique artwork for their Phantom’s gallery space. A swath of silk was pulled through a tank of water, captured on camera, then remastered in clay. This sculpture was digitally mapped enabling the design to be machined from a solid billet of aluminium, which was mirror polished then installed in the motor car.
10. The 48 painstakingly crafted wood parts that comprise a Phantom interior take 28 days to produce. A sense of seamless flow of grain is ensured by only using wood from one tree for each motor car.
11. Mark Court is the only man able to hand-apply a perfectly straight Phantom coachline. In total it takes 3 hours per side. He uses special brushes made from ox and squirrel hair to ensure the line is precisely level and a uniform 3mm in width. He honed his steady-hand painting pub-signs.
12. The deep blue exterior finish of the one-off Phantom Celestial was achieved by integrating fine glass particles into the specially created paint. Customer requests for very special finishes have also been realised using gold flakes and mother-of-pearl.
13. During extreme suspension testing of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, a seismometer was triggered 20 miles away from the Home of Rolls-Royce in Worthing, Sussex.
14. For the first time in Rolls-Royce history, in the Phantom Tranquillity a meteorite has been incorporated into the interior of a car. Shavings of the Muonionalusta meteorite, which fell to earth in Kiruna, Sweden in 1906, adorn the Volume Controller, with a detailed engraving of the location and date of its discovery.
15. Esther Mahlangu, the globally celebrated South African artist, has been commissioned by a South African patron of Rolls-Royce to create a unique work of art for the Gallery of a one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce Phantom. Dr. Mahlangu, the visual artist from the Ndebele region and respected South African cultural ambassador, became the first artist to create an artwork in this way. This unique motor car is named, ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’ in the artist’s honour.
16. For the conceptualization of the Horology Phantom, a designer from the Home of Rolls-Royce traveled to La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland to meet with master horologists to understand the complexities and exotic movements of contemporary timepieces. Amongst various elements redolent of fine timepieces is the Rolls-Royce clock which is prominently housed in the Gallery and is set in a solid silver guilloché case.
17. An enchanting new Rolls-Royce Phantom has been commissioned by a Stockholm-based entrepreneur with an extraordinary passion for flowers. The patron, with a wife and two of four children named after flowers, challenged the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective comprising designers, craftspeople and engineers, to envision a car that immerses its occupants in a beguiling floral scene. The result is a sanctuary of true luxury, a vision of flowers, created with a million embroidered stitches.
18. Rolls-Royce Phantom is the most silent motor car in the world. An incalculable effort was expended to create ‘the most silent motor car in the world’, including 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car and more than 130kg of sound insulation.
19. Throughout history, the power brokers and history makers have negotiated some of the most historical agreements in confidence thanks to the ‘luxury of privacy’ afforded to them by the rear compartment of a Rolls-Royce. In this spirit, Rolls-Royce introduced the ‘Privacy Suite’ for the Extended Wheelbase Phantom, an innovation that provides unrivaled levels of privacy and luxury.
20. On 3 June 1965 – the same day that Edward H White left the capsule of his Gemini 4 to become the first American to walk in space – John Lennon took delivery of something rather special. It was a Rolls-Royce Phantom V in Valentine Black. He would later say that he always wanted to be an eccentric millionaire, and the Phantom would become an important step towards that dream.