Rolls-Royce collaborates with British music legends for series of bespoke Wraith models
April 3, 2017: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced a series of nine remarkable Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ cars, created in collaboration with, and celebrating the legacy of, some of Britain’s most revered rock and vocal artists.
The first four of these Bespoke cars were unveiled at the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzroia, London by the artists who created them: The Who frontman Roger Daltrey CBE, Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks, and Giles Martin, son of songwriter and producer Sir George Martin and a world-renowned producer and songwriter in his own right.
Each of the hand-built Wraith are crafted with unique design touches that celebrate the career of a British rock and pop legend. The British music legends involved in the project were invited to Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, working in close partnership with Rolls-Royce’s design experts to conceive deeply personal expressions of their music legacies. The resulting highly Bespoke Wraith motor cars represent the ultimate collectors’ items for the most ardent fans of each artist and will be sold later in 2017, with Rolls-Royce donating a proportion of the value of each to charities selected by each artist.
Bespoke Designer, Matthew Danton, under the leadership of Design Director Giles Taylor worked with each artist to capture the most iconic and personal elements from of their body of work. Each of these very special collaborations will represent a one-of-a-kind commission. Collectors will be invited to acquire these extraordinary representations of automotive and rock history through the marque’s European dealer network.
The Who’s lead singer and frontman, Roger Daltrey CBE, committed to creating two cars for the project. The first is inspired by his own personal music legacy, and features elegantly expressed pieces of iconography from The Who’s history. Design motifs on his The Who-inspired Wraith include the band’s famous ‘bullseye’ logo, adorning the face of the dashboard clock and stitched into the leather ‘waterfall’ between the two rear seats. The two copper door flights are engraved with famous lyrics from the band’s 1972 singles ‘Join Together’ and ‘I Can See for Miles’, from the 1967 album ‘The Who Sell Out’. The headrests are embroidered with Daltrey’s signature, while the back of the driver’s seat headrests features a nod to the band’s habit of destroying its instruments at the end of a show.
The second of Roger Daltrey CBE’s cars has been created in collaboration with Mike McInnerney, the artist responsible for the famous album artwork of The Who’s seminal 1969 album ‘Tommy’. This unique car features the cover artwork of the album applied to the bonnet. Daltrey and McInnerney sought to express other elements of the album artwork throughout the car, with the Lyrical Copper exterior finished with a blue coachline of a bird in flight, a reference to the album sleeve. Each of the four headrests are stitched with unique design motifs from the album artwork, while the song ‘Pinball Wizard’ has inspired the embroidered design of the rear cabin leather waterfall, featuring a tone-on-tone depiction of a pinball machine with contrasting pinball and flippers. The copper door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘Tommy Can You Hear Me’ and ‘Listening to You / See Me’. The car will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Sir Ray Davies has created a tribute to The Kinks, one of the most influential British rock bands of all time. Inspired by his personal legacy and that of the band, Sir Ray has selected lyrics from ‘Shangri-la’ and ‘Drivin’’ – from The Kinks’ 1969 album ‘Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)’ to be expressed on the door-flights. To add an even more personal touch, Rolls-Royce’s designers and craftspeople digitised and engraved Sir Ray’s own hand-writing.
The leather waterfall in the rear of the cabin is embroidered with the band’s iconic logo and the headrests with Sir Ray’s signature. Sir Ray also made his own mark on the two umbrellas housed within the Wraith’s doors, each engraved with a befitting alteration to the lyrics from ‘Sunny afternoon’ – ‘When it’s raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time.”
Songwriter and producer Giles Martin has created a tribute to his father, Sir George Martin, the famous record producer who was dubbed ‘the Fifth Beatle’ by Sir Paul McCartney. This tribute celebrates Sir George’s 30 number-one hit singles with design features that include embroidery of each song title in the rear cabin leather waterfall, and the producer’s signature stitched into the headrests. In celebration of the format with which Sir George made his mark upon the music world, the two copper door-flights feature an engraved quotation – “The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear” – and the other, engraved details from the original handwritten arrangement for ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles. Sir George Martin CBE supported a wide range of charitable causes but one charity that was particularly close to his heart, the Fly Navy Heritage Trust, will benefit from of the sale of the Sir George Martin Rolls-Royce Wraith.
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, under the brand name Navy Wings, relies on public donations to support its work in restoring, maintaining and flying a collection of rare and historically significant naval aircraft, preserving Britain’s great naval aviation heritage.
Forthcoming collaborations include those with Dame Shirley Bassey, Francis Rossi OBE from Challenging Status Quo and Ronnie Wood.