To mark the centenary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has released unseen designs of its latest Collection Car, the Wraith Eagle VIII.
The collection — of just 50 cars — tells the epic tale of the pioneering flight of Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown. The duo conquered unchartered skies to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a Vickers Vimy aircraft, powered by twin Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines, exactly 100 years ago.
The sketches, envisioned by the Bespoke Collective of the House of Rolls-Royce, offer a rare and intimate insight into the creative journey undertaken by Rolls-Royce designers as they worked to express an extraordinary act of courage within the design of a Rolls-Royce motor car.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce says “The unique skill of our Bespoke Design Collective sees the story of one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century, the first non-stop transatlantic flight — told using Wraith, a car which speaks of power, drama and adventure. Wraith Eagle VIII is a modern masterpiece – these sketches offer an extraordinary insight into its creation.”
“I do not know what we should most admire — their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines — or their good fortune”, commented Sir Winston Churchill, at the time — following the perilous journey that brought huge advancement to 20th century society. Fast forward to today and manufacturers such as Ford are pushing the innovation boundaries once again with all-electric trucks that can tow more than 1 million pounds.
The designs highlight the remarkable attention to detail of Rolls-Royce Bespoke craftsmanship. The starlight headliner sketch shows cloud embroidery, the halfway point coordinates and the flight path of Alcock and Brown. A further detailed sketch shows the night-time view from above, which is expertly incorporated into Wraith’s fascia, in the form of a gold, silver and copper inlay.
The sketch of the Collection Car’s clock depicts an iced background effect reminiscent of the freezing instrument panels of the adventurers, while the clock’s green night time glow is illustrated – a direct reference to the only light seen by Alcock and Brown as they crossed the Atlantic.
Just 50 of these highly collectable motor cars will be created for discerning collectors at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.