Music legends and luxury collide in Rolls-Royce special editions
The attention to detail shown in the Rolls-Royce Wraith is unmatched in the motoring world, but even high-end luxury can be improved upon. Given the task of making a more exclusive, special luxury coupe, the design team in Goodwood has tapped into the minds of some British music legends.
Roger Daltrey: Tommy & The Who
The most dramatic rework of the Wraith was designed by Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who, in collaboration with artist Mike McInnerney as a tribute to The Who's Tommy. Perhaps the clearest link to the 1969 "rock opera" is the painted bonnet, which mirrors the original 1969 album cover. The birds painted on the rear three-quarter panel of the car are also a nod to the cover, and contrast neatly with the bronze paintwork.
Inside, the headrests are each stitched with unique motifs from the album cover, and the "leather waterfall" between the rear seats was inspired by the song Pinball Wizard. Even the door trim has been given a bespoke overhaul, with lyrics from Tommy Can You Hear Me and Listening to You/See Me engraved in the copper. The car will be auctioned for charity later this year.
Daltrey also developed a special Wraith inspired by The Who, with the band's bullseye motif featuring throughout the cabin.
Sir Ray Davies: The Kinks
Unlike the rolling tribute to Tommy, the Rolls-Royce dedicated to The Kinks is a more subtle proposition. On the inside, the door panels are engraved with lyrics from Arthur, engraved in Sir Ray's own handwriting, and the leather panel between the rear seats has an embroidered Kinks logo. Even the umbrellas – housed within the doors – have been treated to a makeover, with the lyrics from Sunny Afternoon engraved on the handles.
Sir George Martin: "The Fifth Beetle"
Those familiar with The Beatles will know Sir George Martin, legendary record producer, as the "Fifth Beatle." Designed by his son, Giles Martin, the special edition Wraith pays tribute to the 30 chart-topping singles he was involved with. The title of each of those songs is engraved between the rear seats, and his signature is stitched into the headrests.
Meanwhile, the door cards are adorned with Martin's most famous quote: "The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear."
Dame Shirley Bassey
Dame Shirley Bassey is a musical legend in the UK, with a body of work including 37 studio albums and three James Bond theme songs. Her Wraith serves as a greatest hits collection, celebrating some of her favourite moments from the last 60 years in music.
The doors are engraved with lyrics from I Am What I Am and Big Spender, while the headrests are embroidered with a design borrowed from Bassey's Get The Party Started. The 007 connection has been explored as well, with gold detailing to celebrate Goldfinger and diamond-embroidered leather as a nod to Diamonds are Forever.
Francis Rossi - Status Quo
By now, the formula for these cars should be clear, and it hasn't changed here. The above image is actually taken from Bassey's car, because Rolls-Royce hasn't released images of the finished Status Quo Wraith yet, but the interior has been finished to celebrate the finish of Rossi's Fender Telecaster guitar. A silhouette of the band has been embroidered between the back seats, and the door cards are engraved with the lyrics from Caroline/Don't Drive My Car.
Ronnie Wood: "I Feel Like Playing"
Although he's known for his work with The Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood has chosen to tailor his Wraith around his solo career. His signature is stitched into the headrests, and lyrics to I Gotta See are engraved into the doors. The cover art from his 2010 album is also embroidered between the rear seats of the car.