Many of us hunkered down during the COVID pandemic for the lion's share of 2020—indeed are still doing so. And while most made do with Netflix and Uber Eats, a handful of billionaires around the world instead devoted their time, and considerable resources, to another endeavor: commissioning custom Rolls-Royces from the famed British marque's Bespoke Collective.
This team of engineers, designers, and craftspeople based at the home base of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, is devoted to creating truly one-of-a-kind cars, when money is no object. And as Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, puts it, “The Bespoke Collective scaled new heights of greatness in 2020," despite the pandemic's "numerous, unprecedented constraints and challenges."
Simply put, "Rolls-Royce clients around the world sought solace in creativity—commissioning introspective items of luxury that will stand the test of time to become lasting and poignant legacies." Remarkably, he notes, Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division achieved a new record in 2020, with more commissions than ever before. Clients and prices are never disclosed, and some of the more intricate designs sound better in concept than execution; but here are our favorites:
DUSK IN TOKYO
Why order one custom Rolls-Royce when four will do? The Dusk in Tokyo Collection includes a Phantom, Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan, designed in homage to Japan’s capital city. Their chief feature: a "complex, multifaceted white paint," containing aluminum and mica flakes, evoking the metropolis’ "high-rise glass and concrete buildings bathed in the warm light of early dusk," and set off by black leather interiors with rose gold accents.
NEON NIGHTS TRILOGY
There are only three Rollers in the Neon Nights collection—a Dawn, Wraith, and Cullinan—but the Bespoke Collective developed a whole new color palette for them, each counter-intuitively inspired by the natural world. They include Lime Rock Green, a "near-luminous hue" found on the Australian green tree frog; Eagle Rock Red, which "mimics the flowers" of a rare evergreen tree native to Hawaii; and Mirabeau Blue, which takes inspiration from Central and South America’s exotic Rhetus periander butterfly.
DAWN SILVER BULLET COLLECTION
The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection is fairly subtle, with its "ultra-metallic Brewster Silver Paint, in a vibrant nod to the epic Rolls-Royce speed trial cars of the past," and stunning saddle brown upholstery. The four-seater was transformed into a two-seater by the addition of the "rakish Aero Cowling with a vapor-blasted titanium finish, heightening the Collection’s sense of speed and purpose," and considerably reducing its wind resistance.
A Collection of two Black Badge Dawns and nine Black Badge Wraiths were commissioned for the United Arab Emirates in some pretty eye-popping two-tone color schemes for this set. In an innovative first for the brand, "the interior features a technical fibre fascia that has been intertwined with a colored weave to match the vibrant exterior color combinations." All set off by hand-painted coachlines, woven-leather door panniers, and engraved audio frets, naturally.