The next fortnight sees one of the most concentrated periods of auction activity outside Monterey Car Week. The action is spread across two main locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Paris, France, where the Retromobile Exhibition is held in the city which pioneered auto racing 120 years ago.
For a brand with a history as long and illustrious as Roll-Royce, the launch of a new car is big news. It's no surprise, then, that Rolls-Royce didn't hold back when it came time to take the wraps off the new Dawn in Australia. After taking the car on a tour of Sydney Harbour at sunrise, it was on to Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building where Gizmag was on the ground to take a closer look at the new convertible and have a chat with the car's global product manager, Jonathan Shears.
The latest and most powerful variant of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine has taken to the air for the first time. Billed as the "world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine," the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 replaced one of the four Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft during the flight over Toulouse, France.
Two auctions at the extremities of the world on consecutive days last weekend highlight the importance of the internet in the modern elite auction process. One in Denmark was a raging success, the other, in New Zealand, was not. One employed full internet streaming and bidding, the other did not.
Having targeted younger buyers with the Wraith last year, Rolls-Royce has decided to turn its hand to the four-seat cabriolet. The new Rolls-Royce Dawn is aimed at delivering the same whisper quiet, ultra luxurious experience to those who want to enjoy top-down motoring without all the windy, noisy hassle.
The Monterey Car Week auctions have come and gone, and the analysts are still trying to sort through the numbers to figure out what they mean. There were more auctions and more cars presented this year than ever before, and the two biggest collectible car auction houses (RM Sotheby's and Gooding & Co.) grew sales considerably year-on-year, but the overall gross take for the combined auctions comes in within a few dollars of last year's record numbers. Like all those who ply the trade as buyers or sellers, the market appears stronger at the top end and slightly softer in the middle.
The "entry level" Rolls Royce Ghost Series II aimed at the younger, entrepreneurial market has been turning some heads lately, but Germany-based car customizer Spofec is trying to turn them a bit farther. The Spofec Black One takes the Ghost and adds bespoke modification packages featuring a matte black motif and improved engine performance kits to create a car that wouldn't look out of place in the Green Hornet's garage.
Elvis got about in one and Keith Moon drove a one into a pool (or so the urban myth goes) – now in a nod to its long list of rock'n'roll clientele, Rolls Royce has announced an "Inspired by Music" version of the Wraith, which packs in a 1300 W, 18-channel bespoke speaker system.
It's always nice to have good neighbors, especially if those neighbors happen to be ultra-premium automakers. The March CE Primary School is located just a few minutes' walk from Rolls-Royce headquarters, so when the children need some help with engineering projects, they have a world-class tutor to turn to. Last year, the two parties teamed up on a Rolls-Royce-badged electric go-kart, and this year they've come up with a more refined design named "March 2 Glory."
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the accompanying Villa Erba auction put on yet another spectacular show at the weekend, with 11 cars selling for more than a million dollars, 34 of the 39 lots on offer sold, and an average sale price of $880,000 per car. While the auction was spectacular, the three day show across the adjacent villas was beyond spectacular in every respect, with the finest of Europe's vast automotive heritage on display.