Nicknamed “Moon the Loon”, Keith Moon, drummer for the English rock group The Who, is mentioned in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the greatest drummers of all time. Known for his wild public stunts and outlandish behavior (flushing sticks of dynamite down toilet bowls, throwing TVs out of windows, etc) it was no surprise when he decided to paint his Rolls-Royce with Lilac colored house paint.
There are rumors that after a day of partying for his 21st birthday, Keith drove a Cadillac into the swimming pool of a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan, thus banning him from staying in all Holiday Inns from that point on. However there’s been some speculation as to whether the car that he drove into the pool was actually his Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lincoln Continental, or if it even happened at all. Some people believe that he actually released the story just to stir-up the press. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that the drummer had a thing for fine automobiles…even if only to destroy them.
To celebrate the centenary of the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ emblem in 2011, Rolls-Royce commissioned world renowned photographer, Rankin, to create a series of 100 photos inspired by the beloved hood ornament.
No stranger to controversy, Rankin’s images are a beautiful blend between tradition and artistic embellishment; a fusion of art and custom. We’ve included a few to give you a taste of what the collection is all about…
With winter just around the corner, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is in the best shape that it can be for the extreme weather. What are two great ways to get your Rolls-Royce winter-ready?
1. Switch to Winter Tires!
We are pleased to announce the availability of our new Winter Tire Package for Rolls-Royce Ghost vehicles for $8,500.00 ($10,292.32 if purchased separately)! The package includes:
2. Change your Oil!
Now at Bentley Parsippany and Paul Miller Rolls-Royce Motor Cars you can get 0W40 Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic Motor Oil for just $7.99 per quart (originally $9.99)! The Synthetic Oil is the best lubricant for your engine because it doesn’t coagulate as easily in extreme high and low temperatures and it’s approved on all Crewe and German built engines.
No coupon necessary, just come in to Bentley Parsippany & Paul Miller Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and mention that you saw this special offer on our blog, facebook, or via email.
Twelve-year-old John Blatchley spent most of his teenage life confined to his bed due to rheumatic fever; however, not all of the time he spent inside was wasted. Even as a child John had a fascination with automobiles and so he would spend his afternoons drafting sketches and building models of his fantasy car designs.
Later he attended the Chelsea School of Engineering and upon completion was quickly hired at Gurney Nutting, the leading London Coachbuilder, in 1936.
At Gurney, Blatchley was asked to create the beginning sketches for the bodies on customer’s bespoke vehicles. They would then be materialized on an actual car.
Blatchley narrowly escaped the draft of WWII in 1940 because of a lingering heart murmur from his stint with rheumatic fever and was instead sent to Rolls-Royce Nottinghamshire Factory to design metal aero engine cowlings which he found to be “intensely boring”.
Lucky for him, it wasn’t long before plans to create a post-war, factory supplied Rolls-Royce arose to which they needed to assign a primary stylist—Blatchley happily took the job.
And so the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was born, the first Standard-Steel Rolls, which was accountable for most of Rolls-Royce’s success after the war.
Because of the decreasing popularity of the use of a chauffeur, the vehicle had to be designed around the driving man’s wishes: lower, narrower, shorter, and with more luggage space and visibility. It was a sophisticated vehicle that glided over the open road with style and finesse.
As a seasoned racer and educated collector, Brian Johnson (lead singer of the band AC/DC) knows how to pick his vehicles. He owns a Black Rolls-Royce Phantom that’s pictured along with a triumphant-looking, cross-armed Johnson on the cover of his tongue-in-cheek automotive autobiography, “Rockers and Rollers”.
“There’s a Rolls-Royce on the cover of my book. The fascination came when I was a kid and the only time you saw one was when somebody got married or somebody died…” He goes on, “…that’s why I always wanted one; I wanted to get in one before I died. So here I am, in Sydney, having a drive in a Roller, and I love it!”
Although Brian doesn’t get to drive very often while on tour, he told Jeremy Hart of ‘Motor Trend’, “If I had to drive the band to a gig, it would be in a Rolls. Imagine driving this on the road to Perth across the desert. The boys had an old tour bus in the early days and it took forever to get there and the sun was always in your eye and the heat and that’s where [Bon] came up with the words to ‘Highway to Hell.’ Little bit of Australian history and AC/DC history there for you…”
Johnson, not only owns a Rolls-Royce Phantom but also a 1928 4.5 Litre Bentley Vanden Plas Le Mans Tourer. He cleverly named the vehicle “Thunder Guts” and can be seen driving it down the streets of his hometown for as mundane a task as going to get the paper from the shop every morning.
Hooper & Co (coachbuilder) started as Adams and Hooper in 1805. Although they first built horse drawn carriages for British royalty such as King William IV, Queen Victoria, and King Edward VII, they moved into making elegant motor bodies for the automotive industry’s top tier at the turn of the 20th century.
They built the most luxurious and exquisite vehicle bodies with no consideration for cost and what resulted was some of the most beautifully crafted cars in the world. Although already supreme in their original build, Hooper & Co created a series of Rolls-Royce bodies that are truly amazing. Check these out!
1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40-50
1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom,limousine coachwork by Hooper
Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, Touring limousine, 7 seater for HRH The Prince Regent of Iraq, 1953
We’ve all seen the spirit of ecstasy hood ornament (also nicknamed “Emily”, “Silver Lady” or “Flying Lady”) but few actually know the story behind the beloved emblem. Who was she and how did she become such an enigmatic symbol of Rolls-Royce? The answer lies within the classic tale of two lovers bound by their undying passion for one another yet forced to hide their ten year relationship.
John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott Montagu (try saying that ten times fast) was a pioneer of the automotive movement as well as editor of The Car Illustrated magazine. Eleanor Thornton, John’s secretary and liaison, was a woman of magnificent beauty and poise and soon he developed an immense adoration for her. However, because of her low social class, a relationship between the two would not be publicly accepted. Although the couple knew they would never be able to marry, they carried out a ten year affair and even had a child together.
Though John and Eleanor treated their relationship with the utmost care, they were unable to keep news of their affair from traveling to their close circle of friends, one of these people being sculptor, Charles Sykes.
It was popular then to adorn the hood of luxury cars with unique hood emblems and so, of course, for his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, John turned to his friend Charles to create a female figurine (Eleanor) in long drapery with her finger pressed to her lips—a symbol of the secrecy of his relationship. This specialty mascot was nicknamed ‘The Whisper’ and was the inspiration for the later “Flying Lady”.
When Charles Sykes was asked to create a mascot during February of 1911 that would later ride the hood of every Rolls-Royce, he remembered fondly back on the ornament that he had created for his friend, John. Sykes decided to make another model of the same woman, dressed in draped clothing, this time bent forward with her arms back and her face towards the wind, named “The Spirit of Ecstasy”.
Although this car began as an ‘overall matt black’, John Lennon, Beatles singer/songwriter and antiwar activist, became bored with the plain color and started entertaining the idea of having the vehicle painted “psychedelic”.
It was hardly an easy thing to accomplish with the Rolls-Royce, but in April of 1967 he made it so. The car’s rear seat was modified to also serve as a double bed and Lennon later had a SONY television, telephone, and portable refrigerator installed.
Because the Rolls-Royce is synonymous with British dignity, many were outraged by the vehicle’s colorful exterior, especially in downtown London. An elderly woman reportedly chased after the brightly painted Rolls and attacked it with her umbrella screaming, “You swine, you swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce.”
The Phantom V Limousine was mainly used by the Beatles between 1966-1969. Many other rock stars, such as the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, were also seen temporarily driving around in the Rolls that defined a decade.