Rock and Rolls-Royce? The luxury brand have teamed up with British icons to create one-off vehicles that celebrate “the illustrious career of a British pop and rock legend”.
Each of the musicians included were personally involved with the design of their Wraith to create a piece of memorabilia unlike no other.
So, who was involved? Don’t worry, we aren’t going to show you a picture of a Wraith designed by James Blunt, Rolls-Royce have chosen some of the greatest music legends to come out of our small Island.
Roger Daltrey, frontman of The Who, has designed his own Wraith. He pays homage to Tommy, one of the band’s best-loved albums, by recreating the cover art on the bonnet as well as having “a bird in flight” on the coachline as a reference to the inside of the album cover. Inside the car, there is embroidery that depicts motifs from the album artwork as well as a pinball machine, a reference to their hit “Pinball Wizard”. There are also lyrics engraved into copper door panels. The second car has more references to Daltrey’s legacy, The Who’s bullseye logo and lyrics from The Who Sell Out as well as embroidery referencing their penchant for destroying their instruments. Talking to topgear.com, Daltrey said of the references to Tommy; “That was the album that saved the band, it changed everything for us. That was the one that introduced the idea of the ‘concept’. I always loved the artwork and it was a privilege to work with Mike McInnerney, who did the original.”
Frontman of The Kinks, Ray Davies, also designed a Wraith but went for something slightly more subtle. Davies chose the lyrics from The Kinks album, Arthur, as well as the lyrics ‘raining on a sunny afternoon’ on the Wraith’s pop-out umbrellas. Very clever. It wasn’t always going to be as understated, Davies said “I did toy with the idea of including a musical ejector seat…but we decided it would be a good vehicle for some lyrics.” He also told Top Gear he failed his driving test five times, though he did pass it eventually. Well, we can’t be good at everything.
We couldn’t mention rock legends without mentioning at least one Rolling Stone. And Rolls-Royce agreed with us as they collaborated with Ronnie Wood for his very own Wraith. Admittedly, the vehicle references Wood’s solo career and the car features embroidered cover art designed by Ronnie Wood himself, and lyrics engraved in the door panels.
There is also a Pink Floyd edition with Nick Mason being personally involved in the design as well as a Francis Rossi/Status Quo edition. There will also be one in celebration of George Martin, most commonly referred to as the fifth Beatle. Unfortunately, George has passed away and so his Wraith contains the titles of the 30 number one hit singles he produced in the UK. You read that right, he produced 30 number one singles. Each hit is embroidered in the divide between the two rear seats, most likely because that’s the only place where there would be enough room.
Of course it’s not all classic rock as Rolls-Royce have also teamed up with Shirley Bassey for her very own Wraith.
Each artist worked with Rolls-Royce bespoke designer Matthew Danton and design chief Giles Taylor. The idea itself was initiated by English artist Alistair Morrison. Morrison told Forbes “This effort brings together the crème of the British music scene in one truly iconic image.” These limited edition vehicles will be sold off later this year, with all profits going to a charity of each legends choice. Given the chance, how would you decorate your Rolls-Royce? You can see more pictures of the Rock Rolls-Royces below!