Rolls-Royce Special Editions Celebrate Historic Land Speed Record

Special Editions / Comments

The Landspeed Collection comprises the Wraith and Dawn Black Badge.

When you're Rolls-Royce, and your typical car is well into the six-figure range, you have to do something special to get the thousands (millions?) of people who can afford your cars to take notice. That includes doing one-offs for famous customers, maybe a special timepiece, and definitely a throwback that evokes your company's history of shattering land speed records. With that in mind, Rolls-Royce has revealed two new Black Badge cars, a Dawn and a Wraith, forming the Landspeed Collection, a celebration of the company's land-speed record roots on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The man was George Eyston; the year was 1938. Eyston took his land-speed car called the Thunderbolt, sporting two 37-liter supercharged Rolls-Royce V12 airplane engines, to 357.497 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, holding the record for almost a year. These two new cars celebrate the man, the power, and the salt he drove on.

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Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

According to Rolls, "The Collection Car duo is presented in a specially created two-tone finish, which marries Black Diamond Metallic with a new bespoke color, Bonneville Blue. This specially developed hue bears particular significance to the Collection, with a color that transitions under sunlight from light blue to silver, illustrating the reflections of both the vast sky over Bonneville and the crisp salt flats on Thunderbolt's aluminum body."

When Eyston broke the record, his crew painted black lines on the sand for him to follow as he eclipsed 350 mph. Rolls-Royce emulated this with a dark detail that starts in the upper center of the steering wheel and continues through the center of the driver's seat.

The texture of the Salt Flats was reproduced, "digitally retraced from the surface itself," in the wood veneer and console lids. The special vehicles also feature the Thunderbolt's silhouette and the records it achieved on a plaque. The Dawn features the outline of the Silver Mountains, which is what you see when you're on the Flats.

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Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
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Yet another cool touch is the arrow, which pay homage to Eyston's car, which was originally unpainted. He had to add the black and yellow to be caught by the timing equipment in Bonneville. That is represented in the clock hands, the bumper inserts, and on the seats, while the door panels feature the colors of the many ribbons he was awarded for his feats.

But the last detail is arguably the most spectacular. The record was broken on September 16, 1938, so Rolls went back and found the constellations that would have been in the sky that night. Then, in the largest number of stars a Rolls-Royce Wraith Starlight Headliner has ever featured, the brand has painstakingly recreated these constellations with 2,117 individually placed fiber-optic stars.

If you like what you see and fancy owning one yourself, 35 examples of the Wraith Black Badge and 25 of the Dawn Black badge will make up the Landspeed Collection. The only caveat is that they've already sold out.

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Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
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