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.
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.