Words and photos by Manny N. de los Reyes
GOODWOOD, UK — Count on Rolls-Royce to make everyone attending the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed to feel right at home. Goodwood, after all, is literally the Home of Rolls-Royce, the iconic luxury automaker having made this tranquil English estate in the Sussex countryside its headquarters since Jan. 1, 2003.
The bespoke English brand served a highly contemporary presence at the recently concluded Goodwood Festival of Speed, presenting a spectacularly faithful recreation of the Grand Courtyard at the Home of Rolls-Royce.
No less than 14,000 cobbles and 50 tons of sand were employed to authentically recreate the picturesque Nicholas Grimshaw-designed entrance to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars on the Festival of Speed’s Laundry Green where highly bespoke displays of the brand’s full product portfolio were presented to the public.
The Phantom, the marque’s flagship, was presented front and center, reflecting its standing as the rarest and most desired object in the luxury world.
During the development of the new Phantom, many clients informed Rolls-Royce that they often drive their Phantom rather than employ a chauffeur; they enjoy its commanding stature on the road and, by taking the wheel, they can further absorb themselves in the experience that they had curated through Bespoke design.
This shift in user case has led clients to more vibrantly express the marque, often displaying a refreshing irreverence towards the expected codes of automotive luxury. Conveying both the rebellion and tradition that exists at the heart of Rolls-Royce, a head-turning Salamanca Blue exterior is balanced by Scivaro Grey leather with Cobalto Blue accents.
Following its global launch in the peaks of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming, the Cullinan ultra-luxury SUV has embarked on a remarkable Bespoke journey with the brand’s patrons who continue to create truly personal expressions of their lifestyles. An exclusive Cullinan has been curated in recognition of this extraordinary adventure.
The commission boldly reconciles the distinct notions of luxury and utility that Cullinan embodies. The brand’s hallmark high-gloss paint finish is rendered in Dark Indigo, while Selby Grey with contrasting Tailored Purple interior appointments represent a more playful expression of the brand. In addition, natural Open Pore Blackwood veneer is jeweled with a bespoke timepiece and highly polished aluminum bespoke audio speaker grilles, referencing the technical capability of Rolls-Royce’s proprietary audio system.
Since the introduction of the marque’s family of Black Badge models, younger, more dynamic patrons of luxury have responded by progressing the marque’s bold alter ego through their own highly personal Bespoke commissions. For the 2019 Festival of Speed, Rolls-Royce presented three powerful visions informed by the taste patterns of this new breed of owners.
A Magma Red exterior finish was selected to signify the dramatic intent of the Ghost Black Badge commission. Beyond the marque’s hallmark nine-coat paint finish is a Mugello Red leather interior that is emboldened by a Starlight Headliner with 1,340 individual red fiber optic lights, confidently underscoring the interior’s theme.
A Wraith Black Badge, meanwhile, was presented in heavy metallic Dark Emerald coachwork with a deep gloss black hood. The exterior colorway is extended to the interior: black textured Natural Grain leather is discreetly highlighted with fine cotton Dark Emerald monogramming to the headrests.
The dynamic substance of Dawn Black Badge is sensationalized by Galileo Blue coachwork and a modernist Selby Grey interior, complemented by the marque’s carbon fiber Aero Cowling, trimmed in Selby Grey, creating the elegant silhouette of a two-seat roadster.
A visceral demonstration of the most assertive expression of the marque, a Wraith Black Badge ascended the rigorous Hillclimb course at Goodwood during the Festival’s Supercar Run. It was driven by a House Driver from Rolls-Royce’s Black Gloves Program, a bespoke driving curriculum for Black Badge patrons who wish to exploit the full dynamic potential of their motor car.
The Course Director’s car at the Festival of Speed is recognized as the vehicle that carries celebrities, dignitaries and media guests throughout the event. The marque’s flagship, Phantom, was selected for this honor and was a regular presence on the course.
Last but not least, taking every Festival-goer utterly by surprise, a completely stock Cullinan took to the track for an improbable flat-out run — the huge automobile hurtling through the high-speed curves and corners supremely confident and composed, despite all four tires squealing. It was an absolutely surreal sight — and one that marked Rolls-Royce not just as a bespoke brand of luxury, but one of genuine driving excitement.