The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead tells you to go chauffeur yourself
Perfection is a word that's thrown about a fair bit.
It can be used to describe a dessert, a painted wall, an outfit, a date, or a situation.
For Henry Royce, it was a way of life, he'd be proud then of what the company bearing his name has become today, especially with the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.
The Phantom is the flagship range for Rolls Royce.
Now, the big Phantom, what with all the doors, well that's the car to take you to important meetings with special people in amazing places.
You can use it as a mobile battle station and make those scary choices.
From its backseat.
The drop head though, well you're not driven in the drop head.
You do the driving.
There's an important difference between the two because the regular Phantom is there to [UNKNOWN] you, where the drop head exists to whisk you along in comfort and luxury, but also to allow you to experience the world in stereo, roof up.
You see the wold, and if the roof's down, the world sees you.
They can't really miss you in a Phantom, because it has size and presence by the exquisitely upholstered bucket-load.
Henry Royce, as I mentioned earlier, was a perfectionist.
He was the youngest of five kids, their father died before he was ten years old.
To keep his family going, he got a job delivering newspapers and telegrams.
He'd only had one year of formal education.
After a spell working for the Great Northern Railway Company and at a tool making company in Leet, he went to the went to the Electric Night and Power Company, moving.
To its Liverpool office in 1882.
A couple of year later he, along with chum Ernest Claremont, start a light fitting business in Manchester.
Soon, F. H. Royce and Company started dynamos and electric cranes.
In 1899 the firm was renamed Royce Limited and publicly floated.
After the second world war, business was slowing, so Royce had them look at look at the motor industry to see if he could give his company a bit of a boost.
In 1901 he bought De Dion, but he found it wanting.
He modified it, but in 1904 he started building his own car.
He ended up making three.
One went to Claremont, and another went to Henry Edmonds, a director of Royce Limited.
Edmonds had a friend he thought Royce should meet.
He went by the name of Charles Rolls.
He was a car importer and the rest as the cliche goes, is history.
By 1907, the company was winning awards and recognition for its engineering prowess in no small part down to Royce's perfectionism.
He wanted his work to be flawless, saying strive for perfection in everything you do.
Take the best that exists and make it better when it does not exist, design it.
And that's something Rolls Royce still lives by today.
For example, there 14 test engineers who look after 8 intensive test vehicles all year round to make sure they remain reliable and well.
Then, when Rolls was developing its 6.6 Liter V12, before it reached production it had to forkliftly revolve 750 million times before it was given the go ahead.
Another spirit of ecstasy, the mechanism that makes that disappear from view so no one nicks it.
Well that has 20/40 linkages and bearings in it to ensure it works perfectly and flawlessly every time.
That's just some of the stuff.
This Phantom Drophead coupe was like every other Rolls, hand built in the state of the art Rolls Royce factory in the south of England.
Painted, polished and loved by the craft people responsible for putting it together, it's inspired by the J-class racing yachts of the 30s hence the pink decking in the back.
It's powered by a 6.75 litre V-12, makes a stately 453 brake horsepower and 531 pound foot.
0 to 62 happens in 5.8 seconds and its top speed is 150 miles an hour.
It's not a speed machine though it's certainly not slow.
How does one go in a drophead roller anyway?
It goes very well indeed.
Now, here's the what it's like to drive bit The steering is so very, very light.
You just push it, and it feels like it shouldn't be doing anything, but it is.
And it's got this great ability, sways and sways of lock and it actually makes the car really maneuver.
It also makes it Very light and easy to drive in town.
The subtle response is a little slow, but then you remember it has move 2.6 tons, so you can kind of forgive it for that.
Once it gets going, this thing shifts.
The brakes are, again, fantastic, but when you put your foot down, it has great progression, but you do feel the car Having to deal with its weight.
Its gearbox is sublime.
You really can't tell when it's changing gear and I like that.
It's just one smooth, linear, beautiful experience.
Anyway that's the kind of nitty gritty of driving, but that's not what it's like to drive.
What it's like to drive this car is unlike Anything.
This is not the whole super car vernacular.
Oh my god it's the fastest thing I've ever driven.
Oh it's going to tear my face off.
It's not that kind of car.
You get in the car.
You don't close the door by yourself.
You press the door button and it does it for you.
The Phantom Drophead allows you to experience the world around you but from the lap of utmost intoxicating luxury.
The environment I'm in is simply stunning.
We have actual wood right here, that's very tactile, it feels useful, the leather is beautiful, thin, rimmed, with little grips at 20 to 4 because a Rolls driver doesn't drive at 10 to 2. The center console, if you don't want to have a look at the [INAUDIBLE] screen, you can hide it.
With a touch of a button it reveals a beautiful clock that tells the time, I imagine, with pinpoint accuracy.
And if it didn't, someone down at the factory might just be hung.
The seat are so comforting and
it's like having a hug.
From the cow that was happy to sacrifice its hide to make sure that you have a lovely time.
Everything in here has been so beautifully thought of, it's, it's a stunning thing to experience.
It really is.
People look at you in the Phantom.
They ask for a lift, they ask for a ride.
And they're kind of enchanted by it, because it's quite rare to see one of these, especially a convertible one with the roof down at night in some of the bits of town we've been in.
People love it.
They don't judge you, they don't shove you, they don't swear at you.
They appreciate it.
This is a truly magical Magical drive.
It doesn't involve a roaring engine.
It doesn't involve a thousand brake horsepower.
What it does involve is exquisite engineering.
Attention to detail like no other.
In a car.
Like no other.
Where the Wraith was the kind of car Charles Rolls would drive, I think the Phantom Drophead is more Royce's jam.
It's quiet, composed, fast, and just right for a person who wants somewhere comfortable to think about how to make something already perfect even more so.
Had Rolls and Royce never met, there would be no Phantom Drophead or otherwise.
Rolls may have continued to have sold imported cars and had other business interest and of course being the daredevil that he was, Royce may have made more cars but would they have had more staying power than the Rolls-Royce ones did.
I don't know, but i'm glad the two met, and I'm very happy that Henry was such a stickler for detail, because sometimes it pays to sweat the small stuff.
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