In the ever-growing bespoke luxury car market, there’s always room for another individual ride, a car that’s the owner’s, and the owner’s alone. For the music-lover who craves a mobile one-off homage, there’s a new series of custom Rolls Royce Wraiths, each a rock-and-roll statement of uniquely British authority. They’re not available for purchase right now, but they might give you an idea or two for your own custom Wraith.
The names one immediately associates with British rock royalty—Jagger, Lennon, Clapton—are absent in the series, and some interesting choices emerge instead: Ron Wood, for example, the guitarist known for his potent slide guitar licks, and producer George Martin, who developed the uniquely layered sound of the Beatles’ more complex musical psychedelia. And if the Status Quo entry seems a little puzzling, a quick glance at the charts reveals that they had 22 Top 10 singles in the UK. The Kinks rocked, too, so it’s nice to see the Ray Davies Wraith, and the prototypical new wave band represented.
Roger Daltrey’s Wraith is the most ornamental, but Shirley Bassey’s may be the most appealing of all the examples; the Ecstasy hood ornament is gold-plated, and lyrics bedeck the interior at tasteful intervals. Bassey always has had a knack for a tasteful interval, but also knew how to give it guts, and resolve it sweetly. And so her Rolls presentation seems to balance brassiness and the understated. A neat trick—but, then, so is Bassey’s delivery.
And Jagger and Clapton? They probably couldn’t be bothered. As for Lennon, well, his Rolls would have to be custom painted by The Fool, and they’ve probably disbanded by now.