Automotive

Published on May 25th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Only 50 Wraith Eagle VIII’s Will Be Produced


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will unveil itslatest Collection Car, Wraith Eagle VIII, on the shores of Lake Como at thisyear’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, 24-26 May.

Just 50 of these highly collectable motorcars will be created for discerning collectors at the Home of Rolls-Royce inGoodwood, West Sussex – a Centre of Global Luxury Manufacturing Excellence.

WraithEagle VIII highlights:

• Exterior painted in Gunmetal/Selby Greytwo-tone to evoke livery of bi-plane

• Darkened grille slats, shadow finishwheels

• Brass used throughout interior ashighlights

• Dashboard fascia artwork expressesbeautiful night-time view from aircraft upon completion of flight

• 1,183 starlight fibres show the celestialarrangement at the time of the flight in 1919

Created by the Bespoke Collective at theHouse of Rolls-Royce, a Collection of just 50 Wraith Eagle VIII motor cars willtell the epic tale of one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century.

The exterior of the Wraith Eagle VIIICollection Car is evocative of Alcock and Brown’s compelling night timeadventure. Swathed in Gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper two-tone, the coloursare separated by a brass feature line, a hint at the detailing that lieswithin. The black grille vanes draw immediate reference to the Rolls-RoyceEagle VIII engine cowling on the Vickers Vimy aircraft, the wheels are partpolished with a translucent shadow finish.

Within, the finely executed interiormirrors the exterior hue. Selby Grey and black leather are accented by brass,redolent of the brass sextant so integral to the success of the transatlanticjourney. Executed in a contemporary fashion, the material populates key areasthroughout the cockpit of the Collection. Brass speaker covers depict theestimated flight distance of 1,880 miles and ‘RR’ monograms are embroidered inbrass coloured thread onto headrests. A flash of brass complements thenavigator door paniers, whilst the door of the driver includes a brass plaquewith Churchill’s quote commending the duo’s remarkable achievements.

Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII

Inspired by the night time flight of ourintrepid heroes, the fascia represents a modern-day abstract interpretation ofthe view the pair would have enjoyed as finally, their craft cleared the thickfog and cloud. In a fusion of contemporary and traditional practises, SmokedEucalyptus wood is vacuum metalized in gold before being inlaid with silver andcopper, to depict the rich detail seen in night time images of the Earth fromabove. The scene extends to the centre console providing both an emotive andimmersive experience for today’s occupants – the cockpit is in perspective withthe headliner. Below, the brass-stitched quilted sides of the centre tunnelprovide a direct nod to the V12 engined Vickers Vimy.

The clock of a Rolls-Royce is frequentlyviewed as jewellery, with many patrons choosing this canvas to tell the storyof their motor car in miniature. Wraith Eagle VIII is no exception. Ourintrepid pioneers recounted that their instrument panel was frozen from thehigh altitude and the poor conditions, referring to the only illuminationcoming from the green glow of the control panel lighting and the burst of flamefrom the starboard engine. In homage to this, the Rolls-Royce BespokeCollective has masterfully fabricated a clock with an iced background effectwhich glows a faint green in night time driving conditions. The red hour handsits atop compass inspired lines on the clock’s fascia, whilst the landinglocation coordinates are engraved below.

Perhaps the most alluring feature of the Collection is the extraordinary unique starlight headliner. 1,183 starlight fibres show the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight in 1919, the flight path and constellations are embroidered in brass thread, whilst the exact moment the pair left the cloud to navigate by the stars is indicated by a red fibre optic light. Clouds are embroidered and a plaque reading, “The celestial arrangement at the halfway point 00:17am June 15th 1919, 50” 07’ Latitude North – 31” Longitude West” shows the half-way point of the momentous journey.


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