You and I live in a world where we can have every imaginable luxury provided for us at the press of a button. What material thing could either of us possibly list that the other couldn’t obtain?
Perhaps then, the only remaining comfort – the buttress against the uncertainties of existence – is the comfort of self-belief.But so it has always been.
The great don’t always know what they are capable of, but they always know they have what it takes to change the status quo: to set new records, to invent the new, to go further, to make real what others wouldn’t even imagine.
A hundred years ago, if you were standing on the shores of Canada with the echoes of the last four years’ horrors still sounding around the world, would you have had the self-belief to step into a twin-prop and say you’re going to be the first to fly the Atlantic non-stop? This is just what Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Brown did, in their Vickers Vimy plane, powered by twin 20.3 litre, 350 bhp, Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engines.
Clearly there’s no end of self-belief at Rolls Royce’s Bespoke Collective’s design atelier, because whatever imagination turned those Eagle VIII engines 100 years ago still turns in the minds of their master craftsmen as they release their strictly limited edition Wraith Eagle VIII.
Every single moment in the car has been considered as an opportunity for celebration of Alcock and Brown’s great achievement. When you walk around the newest Collection Car, the black grille vanes reference the Eagle VIII engines’ cowling, and the exterior murmurs quietly in Gunmetal with Selby Grey upper two tone, speaking to the foggy night time conditions of take off. Seating yourself inside, your eyes take in the Selby Grey and black leather, and rest on the accents of brass, reflecting the brass sextant that helped guide that world first. You’ll see it on the speaker covers and ‘RR’ monograms embroider in brass coloured threat into the headrests. A specially bespoke fascia in Smoked Eucalyptus wood is vacuum metalised in gold with inlays of silver and copper. The clock has an iced background effect, referencing the freezing of Alcock and Brown’s instrumentation, with a faint nocturnal green glow, echoing the green glow of their control panel.
Beyond all expectation is the extraordinary starlight headliner. It consists of 1,183 fibres. Each one accurately represents a single star and its location, as seen by Alcock and Brown on that night back in 1919. In freezing conditions, they first admired their night time display but then as each piece of guidance instrumentation froze and failed, they looked to those stars – and their own self-belief – to guide them safely home.