Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
In a world often dominated by luxury commodities designed for mass consumption, the commission of a Bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended exemplifies the notion of true luxury. A collaboration between the client and Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design team prompts a union of master craftsmanship with the finest materials, resulting in the creation of a deeply personal legacy. For the ultimate car enthusiast, Jack Boyd Smith, Jnr., this personal legacy is a Bespoke Phantom Extended featuring an unusual example of a rare species of Koa Wood.
Following three years of intense collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, consisting of designers, engineers and craftspeople based at the Home of Rolls-Royce in England, Mr. Smith’s vision was realised. The Bespoke commission reflects both his personality and his love and passion for unique vintage motor cars. The one-of-a-kind creation joins his personal collection of more than 60 unique motor cars in The JBS Collection Museum. A great investment of time has enabled Mr. Smith to create a truly unique commission, one that undoubtedly will become a future classic.
The Koa Phantom is the first Rolls-Royce Phantom that incorporates Koa Wood, a rare species of tree that grows only on Hawaiian soil. The inspiration derives from Mr. Smith and his wife Laura’s love for the warmth and character of Koa Wood, having spent significant amounts of time in Maui, Hawaii. His ongoing connection to the Koa species is rooted deep within his family, as a Koa Wood rocking chair has been a centrepiece in their home for many years. Mr. Smith was determined to bring this warm, familiar atmosphere to the interior of his Rolls-Royce commission.
As they embarked on the creation, Mr. Smith quickly learned that his non-negotiable design would require allowing the craftspeople time to perfect their art. The unique Koa tree grows only in Hawaii and is protected in Hawaiian State and National parks. Koa Wood can only be harvested from private agricultural land and owing to the very specific growing conditions required, to find such a unique log from this extremely limited resource, is truly rare. A Rolls-Royce Wood Specialist described the find as a ‘one in a million chance’. Some aspirant brands use more commonly available Koa Wood specimens, but for Rolls-Royce, only the finest example of this extraordinary species would do. Mr. and Mrs. Smith patiently waited for three years for their perfect veneer, as the Rolls-Royce Wood Specialist negotiated with a supplier for a highly prized log from his own, personal collection. This specimen displays a unique depth of character rarely seen, with a figure in the grain that creates the effect of velvet. The craftsmen and women of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Woodshop embraced the challenge of preserving this rich textural finish in a prized Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended.
The Koa Phantom exterior shines a deep blue by day, but by night, is hidden in the darkness. The Bespoke ‘Packard Blue’ hue is colour-matched to Mr. Smith’s 1934 Packard Twelve Coupe, a rare motor car in his personal collection. Creating an exact match to an 80 year-old finish was no small feat, and even included shipping parts from vintage cars to the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood. After testing on more than 40 test panels, the formula was finally deemed a perfect match. An elegant hand-painted coachline in Dove Grey runs the length of the deep, dark blue Phantom, matching the wheel centre pinstripes. The driver’s door bears the personalised initials “JBS Jr” while the passenger door bears the initials of Mrs. Smith, “LAS.”
On opening the coach doors, a personalised treadplate reads, ‘Hand-built in Goodwood, England for Laura & Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.’ Across Phantom’s fascia lies the Gallery – an uninterrupted piece of glass behind which clients can commission unique works of art and design. For the Koa Phantom, the wood itself takes centre stage, preserved and exhibited at the heart of the car, showcasing its natural beauty.
Koa Wood embellishes the Dove Grey leather interior that is matched to the Packard Twelve and offset by Navy Blue highlights and piping. Above, a Bespoke handcrafted starlight headliner consisting of 1,420 fibre-optic lights on navy-blue leather, depicts the constellation of the night sky above Cleveland, Ohio, on Mr. Smith’s date of birth.
The Rolls-Royce monogram on the headrests is matched to the exterior finish while the rear compartment is adorned with a Champagne fridge, accompanied by a pair of crystal champagne flutes and decanter, engraved with the clients’ initials.
A hand-crafted Koa Wood Picnic Hamper completes this unique commission. Koa Wood, saddle leather and stainless steel are meticulously crafted in a process that takes more than 500 hours to complete. The saddle leather trim and interior leather is Dove Grey, matched to the interior of the one-of-a-kind Bespoke Phantom. Stainless steel features on both the exterior and interior of the hamper; with plaques that read, ‘Laura & Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.’ The hamper includes hand-made wine glasses and decanters from the Ajka Crystal factory in Hungary, famed for its traditional techniques. The stainless-steel cutlery is hand-made in England. The 12-piece set is produced to the highest standards by expert craftspeople using traditional polishing and grinding techniques – a tribute to British steel heritage. Wedgwood porcelain plates add a final flourish to the hamper.
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