Youngest of the three is the Dawn. Sporting satin black paint, a cherry red roof and suicide doors the Dawn is modern Rolls-Royce for a modern market. Built to appeal to a younger, more dynamic buyer, for better or worse, it’s a car that shouts louder than anything else on the road despite the fact its V12 engine is barely audible. Now owned by German powerhouse BMW, Rolls has come a long way from the days of the Derby factory. While the finish and build quality are still exceptional, in today’s light, the modern Rolls lacks the eccentric charm of its elder ancestors. Then again, it’s guaranteed to start every time and is no more difficult to drive than a VW Golf, albeit substantially more luxurious, so what’s not to love?
But comparing the trio is impossible and ill advised. While all three represent a very different era of motoring and period for Rolls-Royce, each spell out the joys of open top driving in their own unique way. From the exposed, raw luxury and craftsmanship of the Ghost and the gentle waft of the Silver Cloud through to the everyday extravagance of the Dawn – these cars are testament to the crazy but painfully considered British mentality that keeps the country at the pinnacle of engineering excellence. While Rolls might have changed considerably over the years, the British obsession with drop top driving clearly remains as incurable as ever.
Photography by Rob Cooper.