Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection: a literal ‘land yacht’

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If you own a Rolls-Royce, you wouldn’t be mistaken for believing that your car is special. However, some are more special than others.

The latest creation of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division is the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection, a tribute to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s water-speed record of 1937.

Rolls loves to mine history for self-aggrandizing moments of glory, and this is a pretty good one. Campbell achieved 129 mph on Lake Maggiore in the Rolls-powered Bluebird K3, giving Britain the water-speed record and becoming a legend in the process.

Campbell actually set the water-speed record four times, and achieved multiple land-speed records as well.

So how will Rolls translate all of that history into a car?

Details are scarce, but the Waterspeed Collection will probably follow the same formula as other special-edition Rolls-Royce cars. That means plenty of cosmetic enhancements and a very limited production runs.

The cars will reportedly get a model-specific paint color called Maggiore Blue, as well as brushed steel and carbon fiber trim. The latter is an unusual touch for Rolls, which has resisted the trend toward carbon fiber (and saving weight in general) in favor of more traditional materials.

Regardless, it would be hard to think of a more appropriate car to turn into a tribute to a boat. The Phantom Drophead Coupé already has the girth of a yacht; the optional teak decking only makes the comparison more apt.

As with other special edition models like the diamond-encrusted Celestial Phantom sedan, the Waterspeed Collection will show off the capabilities of Rolls’ Bespoke division, which personalizes cars for individual customers.

While many of Bespoke’s customer cars are one-of-a-kind, the Waterspeed Collection won’t be, at least, not quite. Only 35 cars will be built; the price is presumably in the “if you have to ask” category.

The Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection will be available later this year, with the first production model set to appear at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October.


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