It’s not every day we get a press announcement from our chums next door headlined: Rolls-Royce, The Rock & Roll Years. Sort of hard to avoid reading that one.
Rolls-Royce and rock stars – where to start? Apparently in 1961 when Elvis ordered a Phantom V. From then on all rock gods worth their salt wanted Rollers, although not always in a good way.
John Lennon had his Phantom V repainted psychedelically and a high-spirited Keith Moon drove his R-R into the hotel swimming pool at the Holiday Inn in Flint Michigan on the night of his 21st birthday party.
Or did he?
‘It is categorically untrue and is probably an overblown conflation of two stories,’ said a Rolls-Royce spokesman this week.
What actually happened, added the spokesman with characteristic Rolls-Royce diplomacy, was that ‘with a regrettable yet entirely understandable lapse of concentration, Mr Moon failed to fully secure his Rolls-Royce’s handbrake. Unfortunately he had parked on a slope leading to a half-constructed swimming pool. The car made a characteristically graceful descent down the hill before coming to rest at the bottom of the unfilled pool.’
The Who drummer did however once park an American car in an ornamental pond, so that still makes him a hero in our book…
One wonders, of course, what Elvis, Lennon and Moon, among countless other R-R driving music legends, would do to today’s Wraith. Paint it? Drown it? This is precisely what Rolls-Royce has been wondering as well. And that brings us neatly to the point of the story (and the press release). Rolls-Royce has a new model!
It’s the latest in the ‘Inspired by…’ series of bespoke models based on the Wraith, this one with the theme of all things musical. But it’s less a special edition with a great audio system, more ‘the most exclusive music venue’. That just happens to be on four wheels.
The Wraith Inspired by Music is its name and, in case you’re wondering, it comes with 1300 watts, 18 channels, two bass speakers, seven tweeters, seven mid-range units, two ‘exciter’ speakers and – the really new bit – a super-cool new look inside, whose bespoke craftsmanship uses copper, beloved of all audio engineers, as the central theme.
Copper tones and finishes are, in fact, used throughout the car, including the exterior coachwork, seats and door inserts. There are other special features for the Wraith Inspired by Music as well, including woven leather panniers and mats. How rock ’n roll’s that?
‘The contemporary use of copper creates an atmospheric setting for the most encompassing music system on the market,’ commented Torsten Müller Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Would Elvis, Lennon and co approve? We reckon they would.