In honour of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who made his name by doing things very quickly, Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division is very slowly and carefully crafting 35 Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection cars at the Goodwood factory.
The R-R Bespoke’s division clearly has a more sedate attitude to life than the Bluebird team at Lake Maggoire in 1937. Four hours is spent applying a coach stripe to the side of each car with a squirrel-hair brush, after no fewer than 80 hours have been sunk into manufacturing and hand-brushing the aluminium deck.
Given enough water and an infinite fuel tank, Campbell could be over 10,000 miles away in his Bluebird craft in that time. (Yes, we do have too much time on our hands.)
This new Phantom edition celebrates the moment Campbell smashed the waterspeed record on the Swiss-Italian border. A 129.5mph run brought to an end a five-year dominance of the record by the United States.
The feat completed a hat-trick for the Rolls-Royce R-Type engine, which by then held world speed records on land, in the air and now in water, and the Waterspeed’s exterior colour – named Maggoire Blue – has echoes of Campbell’s record-breaking Bluebird K3 and K4 boats.
Donald and Joe Wales, grandson and great-grandson of the great man himself, were shown around the Waterspeed at the Rolls-Royce factory recently, but we’re not sure if that means there are only 33 left for sale…