As you can tell from the images above, Rolls-Royce and coachbuilding go together like strawberries and sunburn in South West London.
Of course, that’s mainly because coachbuilding was at its zenith before mass production became a thing. In the first couple of decades of Rolls-Royce’s existence, car manufacturers would produce the rolling chassis and specialist coachbuilders would design a body to a client’s exacting spec.
Check out the 1926 40/50HP Phantom I Brougham De Ville with its Rococo-style interior and that ‘ultimate picnic’ 1972 Phantom VI limo by H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward. Pure opulence.
Rolls only fired up its coachbuilding service once again with 2017’s one-off Sweptail – read more by clicking these blue words – and it’s that car that has led boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös to formally re-establish the coachbuilding department at Goodwood. Well, that and the fact that every single car that Rolls built in the first quarter of 2021 featured some form of Bespoke treatment.
The Bespoke department only really deals with specific spec changes to existing Rolls-Royce models, though, whereas the reformed Coachbuilding team will create completely new bodies to sit on Rolls’ current scalable aluminium spaceframe chassis. It’s very clever stuff, and apparently exactly what the richest folk in the world are calling for right now.
So, what do you want to see those trillionaires commissioning, Internet?
STORY Greg Potts