The gaudiest bespoke car ever made.
To mark the centenary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recently debuted their bespoke design, the Wraith Eagle VIII, in Italy. The collection of 50 motor cars tells the epic tale of the pioneering flight of Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown who conquered unchartered skies to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a Vickers Vimy aircraft, powered by twin Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines, exactly 100 years ago.
The new Wraith Eagle VIII’s allusions to Alcock and Brown’s flight begin with its exterior. Its two-tone Gunmetal and Selbey Grey colour scheme is separated by an almost imperceptible brass feature line inspired by the brass sextant the two men used to navigate the night skies during their flight. Meanwhile, its black grille vanes are a reference to the engine cowling on the aircraft.
But inside the car is where the magic happens. Once you open up the coupe’s suicide doors, there’s references to the historic flight everywhere you look. Cowhide leather abounds, while the doors and smoked eucalyptus wood dashboard—designed to recreate what Alcock and Brown saw when they looked out the cockpit—have their fair share of brass details, including speaker covers engraved with “1,880 miles.” There’s also a compass-inspired clock that looks just like the frozen one the two pilots had in their plane, only it works.
But the most jaw-dropping touch is the headliner, which features 1,183 starlight fibers depicting the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight. Along with hand-embroidered clouds, it shows the flight path and constellations stitched in brass thread and a red fiber optic light that indicates the exact moment the duo left the clouds to navigate by the stars.
Having put so much care and attention to detail in to the car, Rolls-Royce has also made sure that the luxe vehicle, which debuted at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, is rare, too. According to the company, only 50 Wraith Eagle VIIIs will be produced for collectors at its headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex, with the price still unknown.