Cars & Gadgets

This $13 Million Rolls-Royce Took Four Years to Build

The Rolls-Royce Sweptail was inspired by cars from the 1920s and 1930s and built for one very lucky customer.
IMAGE ROLLS-ROYCE
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While most people will focus on the $13 million figure, that's almost irrelevant when it comes to the Rolls-Royce Sweptail, a coachbuilt Phantom Coupé with a two-digit British license plate milled from ingots of aluminum and then hand-polished for a mirror finish. At this level, $13 million is like $3 or $33 million. A number only your accountants need to pay attention to. The team responsible for your wellbeing will also make sure to compliment the way you decided to send off the biggest and now discontinued Rolls-Royce two-door. The Sweptail is memorable from any angle.


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The inspiration came from the cars of the "golden era," otherwise known as the short period when Europe wasn't at war in the first half of the 20th century:

The client’s desire was for a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof. He was inspired by many of his favorite cars from the marque’s golden era of the early 20th Century, as well as many classic and modern yachts.

The grandeur, scale, flamboyance and drama of the 1925 Phantom I Round Door built by Jonckheere; the svelte tapering glasshouse, dramatic dash to axle proportion and upsweep of the rear departure angle of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon by Park Ward; the elegantly falling waist-rail, swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon, and the flowing roofline, rising departure angle, and again the swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Park Ward 20/25 Limousine Coupé were all considered by today’s Rolls-Royce designers in the creation of this very distinctive motor car.

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Starting at the front, the Sweptail's grille is larger than any car's of the modern era, milled from solid aluminum before hand-polished to a mirror finish. The registration number certainly won't change on this one, while the crystal Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament was lifted straight off Rolls-Royce's 103EX future concept.

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From the side, to keep the lines as clean as a sleek yacht, Rolls-Royce managed to wrap the bodywork under the car with no visible boundary to the surfaces, preparing your eyes for the main attraction that is, of course, the Coupé's swept-tail back.



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The Sweptail's single-piece panoramic roof is one of the largest and most complex pieces of glass ever put on a car. Framed by polished aluminum rails, it allows you to look at "generous quantities of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao" inside the cabin. Like, a small exotic forest's worth:


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Having a fancy mid-shelf with an illuminated glass lip as well as a massive hat shelf inset with luggage rails means no rear seats, but to make the Sweptail as practical as the world's most expensive intercontinental tourer should be, Rolls-Royce integrated a pair of carbon fiber panniers behind the opening of the coach doors, capable of hiding a laptop on each side. Luggage space in the trunk remains more than adequate, not unlike the 6.75-liter V12's power delivery.

The $13 Million RR Sweptback: Rolls-Royce heard that Bentley offers many bespoke options, and thought that was cute.


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This special Phantom debuted at Villa d'Este, right next to the Le-Mans bound new BMW 8-Series.

From: Road & Track

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Máté Petrány
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