Accessory for the Rolls Lifestyle

Where to house your aperitifs or digestifs

By Gary S. Vasilash

We can’t put it any better than this, which comes from the House of Rolls-Royce about its latest addition to the Rolls-Royce Connoisseur’s Collection, the Rolls-Royce Cellarette:

The polished aluminium chassis, enveloped by embossed Rolls-Royce Havana leather complete with an Obsidian Ayous Open Pore veneer serving tray with Spirit of Ecstasy inlay, makes the Cellarette the perfect accessory for any Rolls-Royce owner with a passion for convivial hosting.

A Cellarette from Rolls-Royce. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Said Cellarette can be fitted in the back of one’s Rolls, however the company notes that “it truly comes into its own as a centrepiece at an al fresco dining experience, or as an accompaniment at an intimate gathering.”


It is something that carries bottles of whisky and holds cigars.

Of course it does.

A Car, Not the Bond Film

Rolls-Royce getting somewhat closer to its first EV

By Gary S. Vasilash

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (to give the full name its due) announced today that it is on the precipice (sounds fancier than “edge”) of testing its first full electric vehicle, named “Spectre.”

According to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, this is “an extraordinary new product that will elevate the global all-electric car revolution and create the first – and finest – super-luxury product of its type.”

Yes, it is absolutely true that it will be the first product of its type, as it will probably be the type.

As this is an electric vehicle (in disguise), presumably the smoke is supposed to evoke the name, “Spectre.” (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Citing the history of the company for some sort of presumed advantage in the EV space, Müller-Ötvös noted, “it was Charles Rolls who truly prophesied an electrified future for automobiles. In April 1900 he experienced an early electric motor car named the Columbia and declared its electric drive to be ideal.”

While that is certainly notable and impressive, that was also 121 years ago.

What’s taken Rolls (the company, not the man) so long?

And given that deliveries are expected to commence (better sounding than “start,” eh?) not until the fourth quarter of 2023, roughly two years from now, by which time it is hard to imagine that there won’t be EVs from essentially every automotive company on the planet, the excitement seems a bit, shall we say, outré.

Old Rolls Roll in the UK

From the “What Do You Do When You Have Time on Your Hands?” Department

By Gary S. Vasilash

Back in 1911 a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, which back then was an “Experimental Speed Car,” made a run from London to Edinburgh. For reasons not entirely clear, it made the drive in top gear. It had an average speed of 19.59 mph. Of course, the Great North Road was, well, probably not so great.

Would you drive that from London to Edinburgh? (Image: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars)

So 110 years later, the very same car that set the mark, now vehicle that is worth so much that one could probably buy several Rolls with the proceeds of a sale, took the same run earlier this run. To the extent that it could, the vehicle, registered as R-1075, took the same route. (The Great North Road wasn’t all that and more in the last century and now it is less.)

Again, it was locked in top gear.

This time, there was actually a fleet of Silver Ghosts wafting their way north: nine other cars of the same vintage took part, as did a brand-new, state-of-the-art, hand-built Ghost.

Andrew Ball, who heads Corporate Relations for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said of the feat, “It’s difficult to think of many machines that can still perform exactly as they did 110 years ago; this extraordinary car is a remarkable tribute to our predecessors who designed, engineered and built it.”


But why does this matter?

Architecting a Rolls

This is no ordinary Rolls-Royce, which begs the question as to whether any Rolls is an ordinary Rolls

By Gary S. Vasilash

A Rolls-Royce Dawn, a 563-hp convertible, will set you back at least $356,500. (Well, probably not you necessarily, or the readership demographics of this site are far more elevated than I think.)

And you can reckon that Rolls-Royce Dawn that has been personalized through the firm’s Bespoke Design operation would ratchet that number up significantly. Especially if the person with whom the Bespoke team worked with is Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

Kengo Kuma and the special Rolls (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Yet Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Kengo Kuma have collaborated on a Dawn, one influenced by Kuma’s architectural design of a luxury residence in downtown Tokyo named “The Kita.”

The vehicle is for the owner of a multilevel penthouse in The Kita.

According to the 2020 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Tokyo is the third-most expensive place in the world to live (Hong Kong is #1 and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, is #2).

Presumably if you can afford a penthouse at The Kita the price of even the most luxurious Rolls-Royce is, for you (again, not you), the sort of money that you’d find under the tatami.

Rolls Ups the Privacy in the Phantom

Because sometimes you just need a little R&R in the limo

It generally occurs in a movie when the passenger of the limo raises the screen with the driver and the driver suddenly pushes a button that causes the passenger doors to lock with an audible “thunk” and from the air vents comes billowing clouds of knockout gas. . . .

Rolls-Royce has developed what it calls the “Phantom Privacy Suite” for its Phantom Extended motor car (a.k.a., “limo”).

Privacy screen in place. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

According to the company there is an electrochromatic glass screen that is either clear or opaque, depending on the passenger’s desire. In addition, there is a “frequency-specific compound [that] inhibits the transmission of conversations in the rear cabin to the front.”

This is a must for “Rolls-Royce Phantom clients—powerbrokers, titans of business and entrepreneurs.”

Should communication with the driver be necessary, there is a built-in intercom system. Should the driver need to speak with the passenger, “they are able to ‘call’ occupants in the Privacy Suite, who can choose to answer or reject the communication.” (Clearly the sort of feature that sometimes one wishes for in an Uber.)

In addition there is a slot that the rear passenger controls through which documents can be passed to forward and back.

Seems like the sort of thing that a knockout gas capsule might be dropped. . . .

Maybe we’re reading too many thrillers.

How Does Where a Vehicle Is Built Affect Authenticity?

There is sometimes a question of authenticity when it comes to where a vehicle is built. As in the source is considered to be better.

Once it was the case that people in the U.S. wanted a Honda Civic built in Suzuka or a Lexus RX from Kyushu.

Doesn’t it seem that Volvos ought to be built in Sweden rather than China or. . .South Carolina?

So it comes as more than a bit of surprise to learn that Rolls-Royce produced 2,946 vehicles from 1921 to 1931 in a manufacturing facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Made in Massachusetts: Yes, Rolls-Royce vehicles. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Springfield. About 100 miles due west of where the Boston Tea Party was held. (Imagine.)

The hand-building operation was shuttered as a result of the Depression.

Today Rolls-Royce models are only produced at the company’s facility in Goodwood, England.

As they should be.–gsv