Video of the Day — Flower power: Phantom Rose inspires one-off Rolls-Royce

British automaker commissioned exclusive flower that took 8 years to develop

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The Phantom Rose was commissioned by Rolls-Royce, and inspired the interior in a one-off luxury car | Rolls-Royce photo

This year, and for the first time, England’s annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be an online event. In tribute to that reality, Rolls-Royce is sharing the story of the Phantom Rose, which is a flower that inspired a one-off vehicle.

The rose was bred for Rolls-Royce by British breeder Philip Harkness, whose family has been breeding roses since 1879. Harkness roses have won the Chelsea show title more than 25 times in the past 50 years, Rolls notes.

The Phantom Rose grows exclusively in the courtyard at Rolls-Royce’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence facilities at Goodwood, West Sussex. 

“The rose debuted in a one-off design for Phantom’s Gallery, the stage for individual works of art in the flagship’s dashboard, protected by an uninterrupted pane of glass,” Rolls said in its news release. “The rose later acted as inspiration for an extraordinary bespoke commission, consisting of over one million stitches, in a one-of-a-kind Phantom.”

Regarding the commissioning of the Phantom Rose, Rolls designer Sina-Maria Eggl noted, “The rose had to embody Rolls-Royce’s poise, elegance and allure. The result was a very pure, delicate but voluminous white flower: sensual, but strong in presence, with an alluring aroma and extra winter durability.”

“The Phantom Rose is a blousy, creamy-white flower, offering a full bloom of 50 petals and a rich perfume,” Rolls notes in its news release. 

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Harkness said it took 8 years to develop the rose, which was featured in the form of Bavarian porcelain in a protective lit display in the glass dashboard of a vehicle in the Phantom’s Gallery. 

The rose also served as the inspiration for a bespoke commission of a Phantom delivered to a Swedish entrepreneur whose family has a passion for flowers. The car’s interior includes rose designs made from more than 1 million stitches.

“There is a transcendent beauty when a rose garden is in full bloom,” said Rolls designer Ieuan Hatherall. “The commissioning patron wanted to create that same feeling of awe; an abundance of flowers to lift the spirit and celebrate nature’s decadent beauty.”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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