A Rolls-Royce isn’t simply a luxury car for those who can afford it. It is a symbol, a four-wheeled embodiment of aspiration that lets the rest of the world know that you’ve made it. Like a Rolex watch or Dom Pérignon champagne, the brand is synonymous with success.
However, visit Monte Carlo or Abu Dhabi and you’ll see that quite a few other people have ‘made it’, meaning that you need something even more special to stand out. What if your Roller was a one-off, a bespoke machine that only you could possess? This 1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit I Emperor State Landaulet by Hooper is a chariot of dreams that's heading for auction.
Coachbuilding used to be commonplace in the automotive world. You’d buy your chassis and engine from your preferred marque, before commissioning a design house to build the body to exacting specifications. This tradition fell away with the advent of modern manufacturing and mass adoption of unibody design. But in the not-too-distant past of 1989, Hooper was tasked with working their coachbuilding magic on this Silver Spirit.
Hooper was once the favoured coachbuilder of the British Royal Family thanks to their ingenuity and attention to finer details. They began work on the Rolls-Royce by extending its wheelbase by three feet and lifting the roof to create the limousine’s added interior space. Custom glass and rear doors were crafted as well as a convertible rear section. Its distinctive Masons Black and Royal Claret paintwork completes the machine of total opulence.
The interior is just as impressive, with velour and burled walnut trimming a cabin that was ahead of its time for 1989. Technology such as armrest-deployed LCD TVs, CD player, a fully functioning computer and printer, plus a refrigerator, were all equipped. For its day nothing could touch this Rolls-Royce for luxury and convenience, hence why it was dubbed ‘The Chariot of Dreams’.
This Silver Spirit was originally commissioned to promote charities and offer prize winners the opportunity to waft around in something beyond First Class, a plan which fell through. The car was returned to Hooper after its $1 million bill remained outstanding. It stayed with Hooper until 2010, when it was sold to the Calumet Collection in Switzerland.
This one-off Rolls-Royce will hit RM Sotheby’s auction block at its 2019 Arizona event.
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