This is where Charles Rolls and Henry Royce met for the first time.
Rolls-Royce has a rich heritage of crafting one-off luxury cars, and the latest - based on the Ghost - continues this fine tradition. Dubbed the Manchester Ghost, this bespoke Roller is a tribute to the city it's named after.
Painted in Silver, the stately exterior features a subtle Turchese (a turquoise shade) pinstripe stretching from the front to the rear. Affixed to the C-pillar is a bespoke motif inspired by the Manchester Bee, an iconic symbol that has served as Manchester's emblem for 150 years.
The bee provided designers with plenty of inspiration for the Manchester Ghost. For Mancunians, it represents diligence and reflects the bustling nature of the city. For the wheels, Rolls-Royce has added a fine Turchese pinstripe outline to the ten-spoke alloys, which are painted black. The brake calipers have been finished in a vivid turquoise hue.
Just about every part of this one-of-a-kind Ghost has been inspired by Manchester in some way. Open the doors and the illuminated treadplates serve as a reminder that Manchester is a hub of innovation and technology. The Illuminated Fascia is quite extraordinary and, thanks to 10,000 laser-etched dots, occupants are treated to an exquisite view of Manchester from above.
The largest dot represents the Midland Hotel, which played a very big role in the automaker's history. We'll get to that later, though. The Illuminated Fascia also pays tribute to This is the Place, a tribute to Manchester by renowned poet Tony Walsh.
On the leather-lined door panels, you'll find 'MCR' (Manchester's abbreviated name) inscribed in Binary. This is a rather thoughtful touch; the world's first stored programmed electronic digital computer - known as the Manchester Baby - was operated at the University of Manchester in 1948, and was a significant moment in computing history.
The white and Turchese theme continues inside, where the Manchester Bee can also be found on several surfaces. Rolls-Royce has included the symbolic character on both the front and rear seats, where it can be seen in the corner of a Turchese-colored leather strip.
Speaking of the seats, several landmark Manchester locations have been embroidered into the rear bench center in an understated tone-on-tone thread. The headliner also conceals a neat detail. Instead of being trimmed in leather or suede, Rolls-Royce has gone for a graphene finish. It's not the first material that comes to mind when you think of opulence, but there's a perfectly good reason for its inclusion.
In 2004, professors at the University of Manchester were credited with discovering the strong yet lightweight material. The Bespoke department chose this as a way of honoring the "pioneering spirit" with a Graphene lattice-inspired pattern.
"As a born and bred Mancunian, this commission is truly special and will always be highly memorable for me," said Brand Director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manchester, Jon Crossley. "From the moment we set out to design a motor car to celebrate the city of Manchester, we wanted to create something that would celebrate the city's history and the place today. It has been great to work with the team at Home of Rolls-Royce to turn our vision into a reality."
The Manchester Ghost is a particularly special car, as this city is where Charles Rolls and Henry Royce met in 1904 to create "the best motor car in the world." These icons of luxury motoring sat down at the Midland Hotel and formed the foundations for Rolls-Royce. Interestingly, this is the first time Manchester has served as the inspiration for a bespoke Rolls.
"I wanted to create a highly contemporary yet elegant iteration of Ghost, honoring the significance of the city for the marque and celebrating the accomplishments of the people of Manchester whilst also incorporating the melange of Manchester's modern and traditional architecture," explained designer Ieuan Hatherall.
The Ghost, which is now in its second generation, may be the stepping stone into Rolls-Royce ownership, but it's a truly significant car for the marque. Last year, the automaker celebrated 114 years of the nameplate, with the iconic Ghost model designation first making an appearance in the early 20th century on the Silver Ghost.
This is just another example of the Bespoke department's unwavering commitment to excellence. Over the years, this literal dream factory has handcrafted some extraordinary creations, such as the Orchid-inspired Phantom that was created for a special customer in Singapore.
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