The Phantom Drophead Waterspeed Collection is full of firsts for Rolls-Royce, but the 'Maggiore Blue' V12 alone was worth their effort. Prepare your eyes for a magnificent ride.

I got a peek at one of the 35 Waterspeed cars right at the end of the assembly line in the Goodwood factory, but many details remained hidden at that point.

The Drophead Waterspeed represents the first time in Rolls-Royce history that the exterior finish extends to the engine, just like it did on Sir Malcolm Cambell's Rolls-Royce R-powered speedboats. The Maggiore Blue paint is also used as an accent on the polished eleven-spoke wheels of the car.


There's also a coachline complete with a Bluebird motif that takes four hours to apply by hand. The crown of the exterior is the brushed steel rear deck. Following pressing, it's panel-beaten by hand for 70 hours and brushed for another 10.

Inside, those 35 lucky individuals will find hand-engraved door armrest tunnel caps also featuring Campbell's Bluebird motif in a contemporary fashion. It takes eight hours to make each. Rolls-Royce also introduced a new wood for this car, Abachi, which they say is "cool to the touch with a satin-like tactility, and is bookmatched at an angle to echo the wake left by a boat moving at speed."

What's even cooler is that they gave the power reserve dial a new look, too, with the dial moving backwards towards a yellow and blue zone now echoing Campbell's original K3 boat's 'going into the blue' at maximum engine revolutions. The dial is accompanied by a brand new clock design and a bit of Wikipedia in the glovebox. The two-tone steering wheel is also a first from Rolls-Royce. Maggiore Blue works.

The car will be previewed at the site of the original Bluebird Motor Company – now the Bluebird Restaurant – on the King's Road, London today:

The Bluebird Motor Company building was commissioned in 1923 to be Europe's largest garage and was built in the era's characteristic Art Deco style, a style which it preserves today. The business would ultimately help fund Campbell's pursuit to wrest the Waterspeed record from its American holders.

The car will then head to the world-renowned Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa D'Este on the shores of one of Italy's world-famous lakes, Como, where it will be unveiled to the public for the first time. It was on the adjacent Lake Maggiore where, on 1 September 1937, Campbell established his legend, setting a world-record speed of 126.33 mph in the famous Bluebird K3 boat powered by a Rolls-Royce R Engine.

American clients will love those cup holders.