Ten years is a long life-cycle for any vehicle, but that's how long the Rolls-Royce Phantom has been at the top of its game.
Go shopping for a home appliance, a bicycle, a wristwatch… whatever it is, you may have heard the salesman describe it as the Rolls-Royce of its category. Well there's a reason for that, because Rolls-Royce is, quite literally, the Rolls-Royce of automobiles. Others have arisen to challenge it - Maybach utterly failing while Bentley has mounted a serious challenge - but at the end of the day, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is the king of the proverbial hill, and it has been for the past decade, to be precise.
Ten years ago today, Rolls-Royce opened the doors of its new headquarters, returning to its historic home at Goodwood, and delivered the first Phantom off the line at one minute past midnight on January 1, 2003. Since then, Rolls-Royce has produced over 5,000 Phantom sedans, Coupes, Drophead Coupes and extended-wheelbase limousines. A revised model was introduced earlier this year, having added the smaller Ghost saloon to the family in 2010. The Spirit of Ecstasy isn't expected to replace the Phantom until 2016, by which time it will have been on the market for thirteen years, and will probably still be at the top of its game.