Rolls-Royce Gets Inspired by British Music


April 6, 2017 | BY Philippine Tatler

British rock and vocal legends lend their creativity to create ultimate one-of-a-kind collectors’ edition of the Wraith

Rolls-Royce has thus far enjoyed a century steeped in innovation and milestones, creating a legacy to be celebrated. In commemorating lasting legacies, the auto company has sought the help of British music legends to hand-build a series of bespoke Wraith models that bear unique design touches that illustrate their illustrious careers.

Four of the nine Rolls-Royce Wraith “inspired by British Music” cars commissioned in partnership with renowned artists were unveiled to the world at the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzroia, London. The four remarkable models were created by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in partnership with The Who frontman Roger Daltrey CBE, Sir Ray Davies of The Kinds, and Giles Martin, son of songwriter and producer Sir George Martin and a world-renowned producer and songwriter in his own right.

Each of the legends were personally invited to the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, working in close partnership with the brand’s design experts to conceive deeply personal expressions of their musical legacies. These models will be sold later in 2017, and a proportion of the value of each will be donated by Rolls-Royce to charities selected by each artist, includingthe Teenage Cancer Trust.

To Each His Own

Each car celebrates its unique commission, with the name of the artist engraved on the door treadplates and on the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy adorning the Wraith’s bonnet. The ‘Lyrical Copper’ exterior paint finish is completed with a subtle motif of the Union Jack Flag on each of the cars’ C-pillars, celebrating the indelible mark made by each artist on British popular culture.

Find out more about each of the four bespoke Wraith models by scrolling through the slideshow:

Roger Daltrey CBE


The Who’s lead singer and frontman, Roger Daltrey CBE, committed to creating two cars for the project. The first is inspired by his own personal music legacy, and features elegantly expressed pieces of iconography from The Who’s history. Design motifs on his The Who-inspired Wraith include the band’s famous “bullseye” logo, adorning the face of the dashboard clock and stitched into the leather “waterfall” between the two rear seats. The two copper door flights are engraved with famous lyrics from the band’s 1972 singles Join Together and I Can See for Miles, from the 1967 album The Who Sell Out.

The second of Daltrey’s cars has been created in collaboration with Mike McInnerney, the artist responsible for the famous album artwork of The Who’s seminal 1969 album Tommy. McInnerney has worked with Rolls-Royce’s surface finish experts to create an extraordinary expression of the rock opera’s iconic sleeve design – this truly unique car features the cover artwork of the album applied to the bonnet. Daltrey and McInnerney sought to express other elements of the album artwork throughout the car, with the Lyrical Copper exterior finished with a blue coachline of a bird in flight, a reference to the album sleeve.

Each of the four headrests are stitched with unique design motifs from the album artwork, while the song ‘Pinball Wizard’ has inspired the embroidered design of the rear cabin leather waterfall, featuring a tone-on-tone depiction of a pinball machine with contrasting pinball and flippers. The copper door flights are engraved with lyrics from Tommy Can You Hear Me and Listening to You / See Me.

Sir Ray Davies


Sir Ray Davies has created a tribute to The Kinks, one of the most influential British rock bands of all time. Inspired by his personal legacy and that of the band, Sir Ray has selected lyrics from Shangri-la and Drivin’ – from The Kinks’ 1969 album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) to be expressed on the door-flights. To add an even more personal touch, Rolls-Royce’s designers and craftspeople digitised and engraved Sir Ray’s own hand-writing.

The leather waterfall in the rear of the cabin is embroidered with the band’s iconic logo and the headrests with Sir Ray’s signature. Unique to this Inspired by British Music car, Sir Ray was inspired to make his own mark on the two umbrellas housed within the Wraith’s doors, each engraved with a befitting alteration to the lyrics from Sunny Afternoon – “When it’s raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time.”

Tribute to Sir George Martin— “the fifth Beatle”


Songwriter and producer Giles Martin has created a tribute to his father, Sir George Martin, the famous record producer who was dubbed ‘the Fifth Beatle’ by Sir Paul McCartney. This tribute celebrates Sir George’s 30 number-one hit singles with design features that include embroidery of each song title in the rear cabin leather waterfall, and the producer’s signature stitched into the headrests. In celebration of the format with which Sir George made his mark upon the music world, the two copper door-flights feature an engraved quotation – “The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear” – and the other, engraved details from the original handwritten arrangement for ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles.

Rolls-Royce’s forthcoming collaborators include Dame Shirley Bassey, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi OBE, and Ronnie Wood.

Photos: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

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