The Goodwood festival of speed is ‘the’ moving, living motor show where enthusiasts, manufacturers, Motorsport legends and every model of vehicle for road and track all converge on The Duke of Richmond’s estate once a year. It’s an occasion I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of times before but this year had the potential to surpass the past when an invitation to be a guest of Rolls Royce motor cars and supercars arrived in the inbox.
We parked our somewhat modest Landrover at the glorious Rolls Royce factory located on the Goodwood estate and were immediately chauffeured off into the festival via a separate entrance in a wraith model. How lovely to not have the inconvenience of queuing. As we alighted from our magic carpet we walked over to a gathered group who surrounded a very large, vaguely familiar but equally unusual car . Was this a new model Rolls-Royce were unveiling this weekend? No. This was a new one-off Rolls-Royce that signals with spectacular effect, the rebirth of glory days of coachbuilt cars of the 1920s.
This personal, bespoke model is a car like no other. Called the Rolls-Royce Sweptail, the entirely bespoke two-door is the result of one owner’s desire to build his perfect Rolls-Royce and four years of work by the design and craftspeople at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood base.
Both the owner’s name and the car’s cost are on the secret list. But quoted in Autocar magazine, Rolls-Royce chief Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: “I can tell you it was substantially expensive.”
Incredibly this wasn’t the star we’d come to see, that was the global unveiling of the Rolls‑Royce Dawn Black Badge. Presented in the spectacular setting of the Rolls-Royce display area on the Laundry Green and flanked by its siblings Wraith Black Badge and Ghost Black Badge, it was clear they’d taken this amazing brand to another level. This most glamorous, uncompromising expression of open-top luxury is given a new and darker sensual dimension through its suite of Black Badge engineering and design treatments. Other prestige motor car manufacturers each conform to an expectation often too predictable. Rolls Royce delivers something so non conforming and refreshingly individual; a rebelliousness that makes you want to follow suit.
If you enjoyed reading this article, click here to read about the Great Eight Phantom Exhibition.