London – Rolls-Royce has unveiled the first four of what will eventually be nine bespoke Wraith coupés ‘Inspired by British Music’, each created in collaboration with a British rock legend.
The nine cars – each one unique – will sold later in 2017 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charities selected by the musicians, including the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The musicians were invited to the Bespoke division at the Rolls-Royce plant in Goodwood, where they got involved hands-on in designing unique and very personal expressions of their music legacies.
All the cars will be finished in a deep metallic copper colour with a Union Jack motif in the C pillars. Each car will also have the name of the artist engraved on the door treadplates and on the base of the Spirit of Ecstacy statuette on the bonnet
Two for The Who
The Who frontman Sir Roger Daltrey was persuaded to work on two cars, the first of which has the band’s ‘bullseye’ logo on the dashboard clock and stitched into the leather panel between the two rear seats. The two copper door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘Join Together’ and ‘I Can See for Miles’.
Daltrey’s signature is embroidered on the head restraints and, in memory of one of his most memorable experiences, there’s a picture embroidered on the back of the driver’s head restraint showing the moment when Keith Moon’s drum kit exploded at the end of their 1967 appearance on the Smother Brothers Comedy Hour.
Daltrey and Mike McInnerney, the artist who created the artwork for the sleeve of ‘Tommy’, worked together to create a car commemorating the seminal 1969 album, with the iconic artwork on the bonnet and a blue coachline down each side representing a bird in flight, also taken from the album sleeve.
Each of the four head restraints is embroidered with a different design motif from the album, while the panel between the rear seats has a tone-on-tone embroidered pinball machine contrasting pinball and flippers, and the door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘Tommy can you hear me’ and ‘Listening to You / See Me’.
Ray (now Sir Raymond) Davies of The Kinks, chose lyrics from the 1969 hits ‘Shangri-la’ and ‘Drivin’ for the door flights; in an even more personal touch, Rolls-Royce scanned and engraved the words in Davies’ own handwriting. The panel between the rear seats is embroidered with the band’s logo and the head restraints with Davies’ signature.
Finally, Davies came up with his own unique touch – a play on the lyrics from ‘Sunny Afternoon’. Each of the the umbrellas in the doors of the Wraith is embroidered with the words, “When it’s raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time.”
The Fifth Beatle
Songwriter and producer Giles Martin has created a tribute to his late father, Sir George Martin, the famous record producer who Sir Paul McCartney called ‘the fifth Beatle’.
His signature is embroidered on each of the head restraints, and the names of the 30 No.1 hit singles he produced for the Beatles are stitched on the panel between the rear seats.
On one door flight is engraved the quote, “The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear”, on the other Martin’s original handwritten arrangement for ‘Yesterday’, one of the most covered songs in recording history.
Still to come…
Dame Shirley Bassey chose lyrics from ‘Big Spender’ and ‘I am what I am’ for her car, while the head restraints are embroidered with a silhouette design inspired by the cover of her 2007 album ‘Get the Party Started’.
In honour of her three ‘007’ title songs – ‘Diamonds are Forever’, ‘Moonraker’ and ‘Goldfinger’- the panel between the rear seats is embroidered with a diamond, and the treadplates and Spirit of Ecstasy statuette are finished in gold.
Challenging the Status Quo
Lead singer and guitarist Francis Rossi’s Status Quo Wraith will have an embroidered impression of his iconic green-and-white Fender Telecaster guitar – which he painted himself and still has – on one front head restraint, and one of the white-and-black Telecaster that belonged to his friend and bandmate, the late Rick Parfitt, on the other.
A silhouette of the four Status Quo members, inspired by the cover from the band’s 1973 album ‘Hello!’, will be stitched into the panel between the rear seats, while the door flights will be engraved with lyrics from ‘Caroline’ and ‘Don’t Drive My Car’.
Ronnie Wood’s solo albums are as renowned as his career with the Rolling Stones; his Wraith will have his signature stitched into the head restraints, with lyrics from ‘I Gotta See’ – off his seventh solo studio album ‘I Feel Like Playing’ (2010) – engraved onto the copper door flights.
Wood is also an artist in his own right; his cover art for the album will be mirrored in the embroidery on the panel between the rear seats.