Almost exactly a year after the first was revealed to the world, Rolls-Royce has unveiled the second Boat Tail at Villa d’Este in Italy. And my word, it’s quite a machine.
This is the second of three Boat Tails that will be constructed by Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, the department responsible for creating cars that go beyond even the normal levels of customisation offered when buying a ‘normal’ Rolls-Royce. While the first Boat Tail was said to have been commissioned by Jay Z and Beyoncé, this has been built in a tribute to the owner’s father, a businessman whose company grew from his father’s origins in the pearling industry.
It is, in a word, stunning. No, in reality no one needs a car with an umbrella and a wooden rear deck, but it’s impossible not to look at the details and the overall execution and not gawp in awe.
First of all, the colour. Rolls-Royce details how the customer came to the company with four pearl shells, which led to one of the most complex paint finishes ever concocted, a mix of rose and ‘oyster’ with flecks of white and bronze mica flakes. The bonnet is finished in ‘congac’, with mica flakes of bronze and gold, on top of which there’s “a layer of crystal and iced matt clear coat”. The rear deck is finished in Royal Walnut veneer, inlaid with rose-gold plated pinstripes.
The ”butterfly-design hosting suite” holds within it china plates and rose gold cutlery (there are even a few very subtle and incredibly tasteful carbon-fibre details), crystal champagne glasses, a fridge and what appears to be a truly exquisite rose-gold butter dish. Everything is immaculate.
As if the tapering bodywork or bespoke fabric roof wasn’t impressive enough, the grilled is milled from a single piece of billet aluminium and the Sprit of Ecstasy made from rose gold.
The interior is other worldly. A mix of cognac and oyster-coloured leathers to reflect the exterior, there’s more Royal Walnut veneer, more rose gold and a timepiece on the dash made from mother-of-pearl, supplied by the client “from his own collection”.
“Coachbuild elevates our work as a House of Luxury into a new space,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO. “It is the haute couture of our industry. For the commissioning patron it offers the ultimate in individuality, self-expression and Bespoke service. Far more than just a beautiful motor car, a coachbuilt creation becomes a legacy that embodies something extraordinarily personal and emotionally resonant for each client.
“For our designers, too, Coachbuild provides unparalleled creative freedom; opportunities to take design, materials, engineering and craftsmanship to the very highest levels. For Rolls-Royce as a marque, it is both a return to our roots and a contemporary revolution, in which we deliver the impossible in conventional automotive manufacturing into a stunning reality.”
The price? We’ll never know. Some have guessed £20m, others less, but whatever was paid for it, a seriously remarkable car has been produced. Bravo, Rolls-Royce.