New Rolls Royce Phantom Aviator
Rolls-Royce has announced a limited run of 35 Aviator Collection cars – calling them a "special edition" seems rather too common.
The inspiration for the Aviator models is Charles Rolls himself, who was an aviator as well as a car enthusiast (he died in a plane crash in 1910, the first Briton to suffer that fate). "Our founding forefather Charles Stewart Rolls was a pioneer who pushed the boundaries of motoring and aviation to the limit," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO.
Finished in Aviator Grey, the Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection features a contrasting matt bonnet, window and grille surround while inside, the combination of wood and metal is intended to convey a cockpit theme. A Thommen, aviation-grade clock with blood orange needle tips is embedded in the metal foil upper fascia, complemented by matt black dials for power reserve, speedometer and fuel gauges.
The lower fascia is veneered in mahogany, "painstakingly shaped by craftspeople just as the early record-setting propellers were fashioned". Polished stainless steel 'onlays' with bullet-shaped ends are designed to match floor mat fixings. The transmission tunnel features anodised aluminium with swage lines that echo the oil cooling veins on the fuselage of the Rolls-Royce-powered Supermarine S6B, the world's fastest aircraft in the early 1930s and predecessor to the Spitfire.
The leather-lined glove compartment includes an embossed Charles Rolls quote following his first flight with the Wright Brothers in 1908: "The power of flight is as a fresh gift from the Creator, the greatest treasure yet given to man." A centre console chrome plaque describes Rolls – only the second man in Britain to hold a pilot's licence – simply as Pioneer Aviator, below a representation of his signature.