Unbeknownst to many, Rolls-Royce does more than just make some of the most luxurious cars on the road today. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc has been around for 104 years and was the 16th largest defense contractor in 2018. This is because Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is the second-largest manufacturer of aircraft engines. I mention this because Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight with the new Wraith Eagle VIII Collection. Why? Because it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines, hence the special edition car’s name.
It was in June 1919 that Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown took to the skies for the historic flight. Their vehicle was a World War I Vickers Vimy bomber, fitted with the twin Rolls-Royce engines. The Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII Collection that was unveiled today celebrates both the flight and the aircraft itself.
On its exterior, the special edition Rolls-Royce Wraith is finished in a two-tone paint scheme that consists of Gunmetal with Selby Grey. In between the two paint choices is a brass line. Rolls-Royce notes that this exterior is meant to pay homage to “Alcock and Brown’s compelling nighttime adventure.” Even the black grille veins mirror the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine cowling.
Inside, a Selby Grey and black leather color scheme mimics the exterior. Brass accents are also quite abundant in the cabin. In front of the driver and front passenger is a very unique dash comprised of Smoked Eucalyptus wood that has been vacuum metalized in gold and inlaid with silver and copper. The result is a unique design that imitates what pilots would see looking down to Earth from the night sky.
Being Rolls-Royce, they went above and beyond for this special edition and even had a unique clock crafted by Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective for the cabin. Rolls-Royce notes that Alcock and Brown encountered a frozen instrument panel during their flight, which was the inspiration for the clock. The result is a clock with an “icy” background effect that has a faint green glow to it during the night time.
One feature that’s synonymous with Rolls-Royce is the starlight headliner. The Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII not only has one of these headliners, but the 1,183 starlight fibers are laid out in a very particular manner. Each of the fibers glow to represent the exact pattern of the stars that the pilots saw the night of their flight in 1919. Rolls-Royce even embroidered clouds among the stars on the headliner.
Only 50 examples of the extraordinary Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII special edition are planned for creation.