Before we get going, we would like to thank our readers who appreciate our hard work and invest their valuable time in our ever growing project. Today, we will talk about the opulent and the most splendid car makers in the history of the automobile industry. Rolls-Royce has been the most luxurious car makers for decades. There is no denying in the fact that when it comes to the automotive industry, Rolls Royce is the absolute pinnacle of class.
The company was founded on March 15, 1906 in Manchester, England by a joint venture of Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce. Out of the two, Charles Rolls was more enthusiastic towards flying, who unsuccessfully tried to convince Sir Royce to manufacture an aero engine. But, during the World War 1, the British War Office persuaded Rolls-Royce to build engines for the Royal Air force. In 1973, the car division was separated from its parent company as Rolls Royce Motors.
Here are some of the unknown or lesser known facts about the legendary Rolls-Royce company that you may find very interesting. Let’s get started.
20. The first Rolls-Royce was sold for £395
The Rolls-Royce 10 HP was the first ever car to be produced by Rolls Royce during 1904-06. It was manufactured at the factory in Cooke Street, Hulme, Manchester, and was sold exclusively by the Rolls’ motor dealership, at a price of GBP 395. Today, however, its price stands at £250,000.
19. Its iconic radiator was not a registered trademark until 1974
Among the many things, a Rolls-Royce car is also known for its classy radiator in front of the hood. But it was not a registered trademark of the company until 1974. Back in 1933, the color of the Rolls-Royce radiator monogram was changed from red to black because it sometimes clashed with the paint job selected by clients.
18. It takes over 800 man hours to make the body of Rolls-Royce Phantom
It takes nearly 1 month and 4 days or 800 man hours to build a Rolls Royce phantom VI chassis.
17. Rolls-Royce Experimental Machine Gun
By HO, AFP/Getty Image
The Rolls-Royce also had a short lived run on machine Guns, in fact, they only produced one experimental machine gun in the early 1940. It was primarily designed to be used on aircraft. It was a recoil operated weapon firing. 50 Browning cartridges. Upon evaluation it was found to be prone to stoppages and jamming. A revised gas-operated weapon was designed and built to try and solve these problems.
16. Rolls Royce’s air conditioning system vs domestic refrigerators
First launched in 1980, the RR Silver Spirit’s air conditioning system is equivalent to that of nearly 30 domestic refrigerators. The Spirit was also the first car to feature the retractable Spirit of Ecstasy.
15. Rolls Royce engine dominated the World speed records
Image credit: Wikipedia
For a few brief months, from early 1932 to 1933, the Rolls Royce produced “R” engines dominated the world speed records from water to air. In 1927, the company realized that the Napier Lion engine powered Supermarine S.5 Schneider Trophy winner had reached the limit of its development, and a new, more powerful engine design was required. So the company started the “R” engine initially naming it “Racing H” which was based on RR Buzzard.
The “R” shared the Buzzard’s bore, stroke and capacity, and used a similar 60-degree V-12 layout. A new single-stage, double-sided supercharger impeller was specifically designed along with revised cylinders and strengthened connecting rods. The wet-liner cylinder blocks, crankcase and propeller reduction gear castings were produced from “R.R 50” aluminium alloy. The engine broke and set new world records in all three mediums. The legendary British motorist Malcolm Campbell was among the few racers who hold the world speed records over water and road, which he achieved multiple times in his carrier with the help “R” engine.
14. The Spirit of Ecstasy alone worth $40 million
In 2002, BMW finalizes the acquisition of Rolls Royce brand from the Volkswagen group. The company ended up paying over $40 million just for the rights of the iconic hood ornament, the Spirit of Ecstasy. In modern cars, you can have it personalized and made it either out of gold or illuminated crystals.
13. Charles Stewart Rolls was the first man to fly across the English channel
BBC Hulton Picture Library
Charles Rolls was more passionate about flying out of the two. On 2 June 1910, he became the first man to make a non-stop crossing of the English Channel by one of his Wright flyer in 95 minutes. For this achievement, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club. He also happens to be the first Brit. to die in a plane crash. On 12 July 1910, at the age of 32, Rolls was killed in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield, Bournemouth when the tail of his Flyer broke off during a flying display.
12. Sir Henry Royce made the initial engineering sketches of “R” engine on a beach
Sir Henry was one of the chief designer of the “R” engine alongside the likes of Ernest Hives, Cyril Lovesey and Arthur Rowledge. He initiated the design of the engine while walking on a beach with his leading engineers, sketching the ideas in the sand.
11. Rolls Royce makes nuclear reactors
Under an agreement in 1950, Rolls Royce makes its own nuclear reactors for British submarines with some outside help of the USA in exchange of RR helping U.S submarines a little quieter.
10. Rolls Royce was initially created to compete with trains and horses
When Rolls and Royce created the company they said out that car could become a better alternative for means of transport than trains and horses.
9. The RR logo on the wheels are always in an upward position
All the Rolls-Royce have a custom configuration in place, no matter how fast wheels are spinning or put on a brake it just ended up in an upward position.
8. Sir Henry Royce was always known as ‘R’ at the factory
The practice of addressing people by their initials, especially on the written memorandums is still continuing at the factory.
7. There are no known photographs of Rolls and Royce together
It is very odd indeed that the two business partners don’t have a single photograph with each other in existence.
6. Hong Kong has the most Rolls-Royce per-capita in the world
Hong Kong has the largest numbers of the Rolls-Royce car per-capita since it was a British colony when top British officials and businessmen preferred owing the British excellence, which was and still considered the ultimate status symbol.
5. The most expensive Rolls Royce in the world costs $8.5 million
Phantom Solid Gold is the most expensive car ever made by the British company, which is purely made from gold and is sold at the price of $8.5 million. It contains a 120 kilograms of pure gold on different parts of this magnificent car which includes boot handle, front grill, and side trims.
4. You will never find a cigarette butt in a modern RR
The present day Rolls Royce are a perfect combination of British sophistication and German excellence. You will never open an ashtray to find a cigarette butt in it, because it empties automatically once the lid is closed.
3. The Rolls Royce radiator grille is made entirely by hand and eye
Its iconic radiator grille is made entirely by hand and eye – no measuring instruments are used. It takes one man, one day to make a Rolls Royce radiator, and then five hours are spent polishing it.
2. The oldest known Rolls Royce (still on the road) dates back to 1904
Built in 1904, car 20154 is a small 10 HP open topped two-seater and only the fourth vehicle produce by the trademark cooperation between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce is the oldest Rolls Royce still running. It was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in the late autumn of 1904 and was displayed at the Olympia Show in London in February 1905.
1. The Spirit of Ecstasy
The iconic hood ornament is called “The Spirit of Ecstasy”, which was a result of an illicit love affair. It was modeled after a woman named Eleanor Velasco Thornton. She had a secret love affair with her boss John Walter Edward Douglas Scott-Montagu, a pioneer of the automobile movement, who became the second Baron Montagu of Beaulieu in 1905.
John Walter wanted to delineate his Rolls Royce form others so he enlisted Charles Robinson Sykes, a graduate of the Royal school of art and a renowned sculptor to put Eleanor in front of the car. In earlier car versions, the sculpture has a finger to her lips as a nod to their secret love.