Rolls-Royce Make Overview
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Older Rolls-Royce Models
|Rolls-Royce Corniche||Rolls-Royce Park Ward||Rolls-Royce Phantom|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe||Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe||Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud|
|Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost||Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph||Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow|
|Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit||Rolls-Royce Silver Spur||Rolls-Royce Wraith|
One of the world's elite automakers, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been creating high-quality, hand-crafted luxury cars for more than 100 years. The company traces its roots back to the year 1903, when Frederick Henry Royce, unhappy with the quality and reliability of a French-built car he had recently purchased, decided to build his own cars. Royce's apprenticeship with a railroad company gave him the mechanical background he needed to create three cars, which were well-received by friends who drove them. Through one of those friends, Royce met Charles Rolls, an engineer and car aficianado who had made his money in real estate. Rolls and Royce agreed to join together to build and distribute cars, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was born.
Many of the cars produced in Rolls-Royce's early years, such as the Silver Ghost and the Phantom I and II, helped establish the automaker's worldwide reputation and have since achieved legendary status. As the company's car-building business flourished, Royce also designed and built airplane engines, which further established the company's reputation. Tragically, Rolls died in 1910 at the age of 33 in an aviation accident and never lived to see how successful the company that bore his name would become. In 1931, Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley Motors, and shortly after, in 1933, Royce passed away.
By that time, Rolls-Royce had moved from its original factory in Manchester to a larger facility in the town of Crewe in western England, where the automaker established its headquarters after World War II. The company also had established a factory in Springfield, Mass., in 1921. Rolls-Royce enjoyed good years through the 1950s and '60s but stumbled in the early 1970s, when the jet engine and automotive divisions were separated into two companies. In 1980, the automotive branch of Rolls-Royce was purchase by Vickers, a British defense company, and in 1998 BMW took control, while Volkswagen assumed ownership of Bentley.
Today, thanks to BMW's backing, Rolls-Royce looks as strong as ever, with an impressive stable of luxury automobiles, which are still hand-crafted in a new eco-friendly factory in Goodwood, England. Current cars include the Phantom, a V12-power saloon (sedan) that debuted in 2003, and the Drophead Coupe, a convertible that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2007. Both retain the distinctive Rolls-Royce exterior lines, Rolls-Royce grille, Spirt of Ecstasy (the "flying lady" atop the grille), and wood-and-leather luxury interiors.
In addition, Rolls-Royce maintains its Bespoke (customization) program, which can personalize any car to the new owner's desire, or new owners can choose from three pre-customized cars in the Bespoke Collection: the Phantom Pearl, the Phantom Silver, and the Phantom Tungsten. All feature luxury details that have helped define Rolls-Royce cars since the early years of the 20th century.