The Boat Tail Commission Is the First of Many from Rolls-Royce Coachbuild

The new division “empowers clients to create potent evocative expressions of personal taste.”

  • Boat Tail is first of three custom cars of the same name from Rolls-Royce, tracing its roots back to another Rolls-Royce commission, the 2017 Sweptail.
  • It’s also the first product of Rolls’ new Coachbuild division.
  • The car comes with its own popup parasol and champagne fridge.

    Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new custom car created entirely in-house called the Boat Tail, for obvious reasons. It’s the first of what will be many custom one-off creations from Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, a new division of the company aimed at giving the customer exactly what he or she wants.

    “Historically, coachbuilding had been an integral part of the Rolls-Royce story,” said chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos.“In the contemporary Rolls-Royce narrative, it has informed our guiding philosophy of Bespoke. But it is so much more. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is a return to the very roots of our brand. It represents an opportunity for the select few to participate in the creation of utterly unique and truly personal commissions of future historical significance.”

    What do you think? Does it make you want to commission your own Roller? If you do, you may find it is a thoroughly engrossing experience.

    There are over 1800 unique parts and pieces on the Boat Tail.

    “Rolls-Royce Coachbuild clients are intimately and personally involved at each step of the creative and engineering process. We work in harmony with the client to gain complete fluency in the nuances of their character and personality. We carefully translate these qualities into the elements with which they wish to imbue their commission.”

    You can’t just say, “Chop the top, Nigel,” and be done with it.

    The Boat Tail you see here is actually the first of three Boats Tail in all. Its roots trace back to another Rolls-Royce commission, the 2017 Sweptail. When that car was revealed at Villa d’Est, certain well-heeled Rolls revelers all said, apparently in unison, “We want one, too!”

    “A number of these women and men approached Rolls-Royce to discover if they too could collaborate on a unique commission, one that was even more profound—one that provided an elevated sense of curation,” Rolls-Royce recalls. “The marque agreed, signaling the genesis of a permanent contemporary Coachbuild department at the Home of Rolls-Royce.”

    Having the word “boat” right there in the name, the thing all three agreed on was that it should have a nautical theme. (They also agreed that J-Class yachts were cool. A J-Class yacht is the one you see in those big black-and-white prints on sale at IKEA: huge sails, long spinnaker poles, perfect wooden hulls slicing through politely patterned waves. They were built to a specification for racing in the Americas Cup between 1914 and 1937.)

    Thus, the three cars began construction. The keel was laid, so to speak, using Rolls-Royce’s new “Architecture of Luxury,” the same mechanicals that underpin the Phantom and Cullinan, with the same mighty V12 engine and drivetrain powering them thither. From thence was built the big boat.

    That top comes off separately, it’s not a stowable convertible top.

    The one you see here is the first, but the next two will have their own individual looks. On this one, as on the others, the design first took form in drawings, then clay, then aluminum, with every step done by hand.

    “The process is akin to yacht building, easing the transference of soul into the creation,” read a Rolls release. “A process of hand refinement is repeated almost endlessly, without the pressure of time. Slowly, vast sheets of metal transform into the sculptural representation of Boat Tail.”

    The Boat Tail is 19 feet long, from its unique grille to its pointy transom. The roof is a “fixed canopy,” not a convertible, so you have your staff remove it before your drive. Should you encounter inclement weather, there’s a tonneau you can unroll to protect that dark blue leather inside.

    The Roller is ready to party.

    If splendid weather prevails and you decide to picnic, the rear deck opens “in a sweeping butterfly gesture to reveal an intricate and generous hosting suite.”

    “The chest is appointed with the perfect accoutrements for a true Rolls-Royce al fresco dining experience; one side dedicated to aperitifs, the other, cuisine, complete with cutlery engraved with the name ‘Boat Tail’, made by Christofle in Paris.”

    There’s also a double refrigerator to accommodate the client’s favorite Armand de Brignac champagne. Of course. And whilst Rolls-Royces are known for the umbrellas they have stowed in each door, this one adds a “parasol” for picnicking. A pair of cocktail tables rotate into place and there are two slim-line interlocking stools swathed with the same leather found inside the car. You will be the hit of the Lions tailgate party.

    His and her BOVET 1822 watches match the BOVET 1822 dash clock, naturally.

    If you find that this inspires you to want your own custom-coachwork Rolls, simply contact your local dealer to get the process rolling, so to speak. Asking about price is not quite de rigueur, but the price bandied about for the Sweptail was $12.8 million. So expect this to be a little more. Or, since they made three of them, you could benefit from mass production, so maybe they’ll be less.

    Look for the other two Boat Tails to be revealed sometime later this year. For now, it being a sunny day, I must tarry off to picnic with her ladyship. Ta.

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