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Rolls-Royce Boat Tail: The next chapter

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars present the next chapter of its Boat Tail coachbuilt commission. One of just three that have been, and ever will be made.

The essence of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is that each commission tells a story entirely unique and personal to its owner, reflecting their own history, tastes and sensibilities. With this in mind, Boat Tail, revealed at Concorso d’Eleganza, Villa d’Este 2022, on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy, is a masterwork of restraint, sophistication, elegance and attention to detail.

Prestige Digital | Rolls-Royce Boat Tail: The next chapter

Boat Tail is entirely hand-built, with the body panels fashioned from vast, single sheets of aluminium. This creates the distinctive outline inspired by the racing yachts of the early 20th century. In every respect, this remarkable motor car is entirely unique.

It was commissioned by a patron whose family business has grown from his father’s origins in the pearling industry. Widely travelled, internationally educated and also cosmopolitan in his tastes and influences, the client is an established patron of the arts. The client also owns a sizeable collection of classic and modern cars, housed in a dedicated private museum.

A level of sophistication garnered from the client’s extensive knowledge of luxury, is also clearly visible in this coveted objet d’art. The overall design aesthetic is restrained. Carefully considered materials and precise details together also create a highly personal and emotionally resonant homage to the client’s father.

The exterior

At the onset of the commissioning process, the client presented Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Designers with a selection of four pearl shells, personally chosen from his private collection for their unique colour and complexity. The shells provided inspiration for the exterior colour. It is one of the most complex bespoke finishes ever created by Rolls-Royce.

Prestige Digital | Rolls-Royce Boat Tail: The next chapter

The foundation of the colour is a shimmering blend of oyster and soft rose. Large white and bronze mica flakes add a unique pearlescent quality that changes subtly under different light conditions. The contrasting cognac-coloured bonnet, created specifically for this Boat Tail, also contains fine bronze and gold-coloured aluminium mica flakes. The layer of crystal and iced matt clear coat adds significant warmth and depth to the car’s appearance. The technical fibre lower sills of Boat Tail incorporate a rose gold woven thread.

The rear deck, which houses Boat Tail’s unique ‘butterfly-design’ hosting suite, is swathed in a Royal Walnut veneer. The walnut is also inlaid with rose gold-plated pinstripes with a satin-brushed finish to ensure a sensitive and sophisticated appearance. The client specifically selected the Royal Walnut for its beautiful properties as it matures over time. The material will gradually transition to the tonal properties of the cognac colour. From above, one observes a harmonious balance and satin effect of the iced bonnet and tactile wooden rear deck, in contrast with the high-gloss front and side perspectives.

Prestige Digital | Rolls-Royce Boat Tail: The next chapter

From the front, the Pantheon Grille, milled from a single, solid billet of aluminium, is graced with a Spirit of Ecstasy fashioned in rose gold.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail interior

The interior contains a beautifully curated combination of perfectly matched cognac and oyster-coloured leathers and Royal Walnut veneer, with rose gold and mother-of-pearl accents throughout. The leathers, complete with a pearlescent finish, accentuate the surfaces and forms of Boat Tail’s seats and interior design. The transmission tunnel formed from Royal Walnut veneer with rose gold pinstripes draws a direct visual reference to the rear deck. It also adds a glowing warmth to Boat Tail’s interior.

Prestige Digital | Rolls-Royce Boat Tail: The next chapter

The centrepiece of the dashboard also contains a timepiece made from mother-of-pearl, chosen and supplied by the client from his own collection. The fascia is pure and minimal in its appearance so as not to detract from the precious material. The same prized substance graces the control switches and instrument dials. This also creates a strong visual and material connection between the car, the owner, and his family heritage.

Alex Innes, Head of Coachbuild Design, said, “Boat Tail is a step-change in ingenuity and creative liberty. Building a motor car by hand offers a new realm of exploration and possibility. We can accomplish things and resolve challenges that normal industrialised methods would prohibit. This is the tale of two worlds. A modern motor car of contemporary design, made possible by historical techniques and time-honoured craft. It is truly one-of-a-kind.”

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