TECHIE’S TAKE: Hand Craftsmanship in the Making of the Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolling back history.

The founders of the famed Rolls-Royce were Fredrick Royce and Charles Rolls. Their love for engineering and art gave birth to the Rolls-Royce alliance back in 1904. The RR cars have been in production ever since. In 1998, after the acquisition of the Rolls Royce Motors, then a subsidiary of BMW by Volkswagen AG, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd was formed. It was licensed to operate autonomously from the Rolls Royce PLC as a wholly owned subsidiary. BMW later acquired the rights to the use of the Rolls Royce brand name, logo, grill shape and Lady of Ecstasy statue from Volkswagen AG. BMW, a German Group, took up the full ownership of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. In 2003, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd rolled out its first vehicles, the RR Phantoms from the production facility in Goodwood Estate, England. As such Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary group of BMW, based in Britain) became the exclusive developers of the Roll-Royce branded cars. Other than the Phantom, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd (Britain) has manufactured the 2 door Wraiths and the 4 door sedan Ghosts.

We see, feel and love the Roll-Royce automobiles

Beast Mode 3.jpgRolls Royce automobiles are synonymous for top compromised engineering, meticulous design and exquisite human craftsmanship to produce high end luxurious cars which are always a beauty to behold. Among the top lines from the brand line are the Cullinan, Wraith, Ghost and the Phantom. These automobiles are owned by those who seek luxury, status and a statement of what they stand for and believe in. For the Rolls Royce Phantom, some o of the owners of the same include top A list celebrities such as , who other than affording the pricey tag for the beasts, get them customized to their individual tastes and personalities. Some of the famous people we know of are 50 Cent (Phantom), Sean Combs (Ghost), Gwen Stefani (Wraith), Kim Kardashian (Phantom Drophead Coupe), Yaya Toure (Phantom), David Beckham (Phantom Drop head Coupe), Rod Stewart (Ghost EWD), Jeniffer Lopez (Ghost), Jay Z (Convertible), Tom Brady (Ghost), Simon Cowell (Rolls Royce Silver Cloud) 3, Floyd May-weather (Phantom) and others. Certainly, these cars are symbols of wealth, status and actualization to any man or woman. They represent automotive royalty.

Rolls Royce automobiles are synonymous for top compromised engineering, meticulous design and exquisite human craftsmanship to produce high end luxurious cars which are always a beauty to behold. Among the top lines from the brand line are the Cullinan, Wraith, Ghost and the Phantom. These automobiles are owned by those who seek luxury, status and a statement of what they stand for and believe in. For the Rolls Royce Phantom, some o of the owners of the same include top A list celebrities such as , who other than affording the pricey tag for the beasts, get them customized to their individual tastes and personalities. Some of the famous people we know of are 50 Cent (Phantom), Sean Combs (Ghost), Gwen Stefani (Wraith), Kim Kardashian (Phantom Drophead Coupe), Yaya Toure (Phantom), David Beckham (Phantom Drop head Coupe), Rod Stewart (Ghost EWD), Jeniffer Lopez (Ghost), Jay Z (Convertible), Tom Brady (Ghost), Simon Cowell (Rolls Royce Silver Cloud) 3, Floyd May-weather (Phantom) and others. Certainly, these cars are symbols of wealth, status and actualization to any man or woman. They represent automotive royalty.Rolls Royce automobiles are synonymous for top compromised engineering, meticulous design and exquisite human craftsmanship to produce high end luxurious cars which are always a beauty to behold. Among the top lines from the brand line are the Cullinan, Wraith, Ghost and the Phantom. These automobiles are owned by those who seek luxury, status and a statement of what they stand for and believe in. For the Rolls Royce Phantom, some o of the owners of the same include top A list celebrities such as , who other than affording the pricey tag for the beasts, get them customized to their individual tastes and personalities. Some of the famous people we know of are 50 Cent (Phantom), Sean Combs (Ghost), Gwen Stefani (Wraith), Kim Kardashian (Phantom Drophead Coupe), Yaya Toure (Phantom), David Beckham (Phantom Drop head Coupe), Rod Stewart (Ghost EWD), Jeniffer Lopez (Ghost), Jay Z (Convertible), Tom Brady (Ghost), Simon Cowell (Rolls Royce Silver Cloud) 3, Floyd May-weather (Phantom) and others. Certainly, these cars are symbols of wealth, status and actualization to any man or woman. They represent automotive royalty.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom

The focus shall be on one of the top brand lines of the Rolls-Royce, called the Phantom which is a darling among the proud owners. The manufacturing of the Phantom is a deliberate, accurate and slow process done to get all details right. Rolls Royce cars take up the human craftsmanship route in their developed, compared to other vehicles which prefer robotic assembly lines. In 2003, when BMW took up ownership of the Rolls Royce automobiles, they gave it a modern touch of class with the development of the Phantom.

The Hand-Crafting of the Beauty in the Beast

Rolls Royce Phantom

  1. The Chassis is made by hand, and it is made up of lightweight aluminum and alloy combination welded together into strong and reasonably light frame. Details on engineering, the right elements and measurements of the metals used ensure that there are no compromises whatsoever. Upon completion of welding in Germany, they frames are shipped to Rolls Royce’s plant in Goodland, England.
  2. In the plant, the painting phase comprises of very exhaustive paintwork so as to achieve its great finish when finished and made ready for the new owners. The manual paint spray work involves 5 layers of paint over an entire week, with 45kgs of paint hand applied using sprays over a 22 stage process.
  3. Then, using robotic technology, application of primer is done on the body to shield the metal from metallic corrosion, which is usually speeded up by exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays. The robots also check on the paintwork to confirm the right application and no parts are overlooked on the body frame.
  4. Colour coating brings the colours to life. The glossy clear coating creates the awesome mirror like finish, all according to a customer’s preferences.
  5. The buffering of the body paint on the surface is done using fine grade sandpaper; then special cleansers used to clean up the surfaces, before soft special clothing is used to remove finger marks and unseen specks. This process takes up about 5 working man hours.
  6. Coach line on the body of the Phantom is done by 1 person who draws the line to perfection and glass enamel paint applied. The coach line is trademark line on the body of the vehicle as a decoration and mark of identity. It results into an intricate, delicate coach line that makes the Phantom stand out. The whole process takes 3 man hours.
  7. The impressive dashboard of the Rolls-Royce Phantom is worked on using exotic vinyl collection from around the world. The too real wood impressions and contrasting combinations are achieved by the assortment of the many vinyl collection specifically provided for the task, and to suite the customer’s preference. The cutting, gluing, repair of cracks, fine filing is all exhaustive work of craftsmanship which do not compromise of quality.
  8. The other interior components: 17 work days is the period used to work on the dashboard and interior of the Phantom. The work after electrical layering in the dashboard includes the flawless leather trimming. Impairments in the skin are marked and those parts removed. An estimated 11 bull hides are used to make 450 pieces of leather for a 1 Phantom.
  9. The leather pieces used as headrest covers are stitched with the RR brand sign using a computerized machined and dedicated person to ensure quality seaming and perfection of the iconic impression on the skin parts. Seamstresses then stitch together the other leather seat covers for the upholstery. The headrests are then given their innards and the leather seats get encapsulated.
  10. The 450 horse power V12 engine is then installed. The Phantom powerful engine could accelerate at 100km per hour in sub 6 seconds and boasts of a 8 speed automatic gearbox. The engine and the drive train are installed on an assembly line, using both human and robotic assistance.
  11. The marriage process then occurs, where the putting together of the front and back axil, placing the engine and gearbox on top of the front axil is done. Installing the radiator and driveshaft is also done and the braking system checked.
  12. The windshield and glass works are all installed and checked
  13. The aluminum alloy tires are then installed.

Lady of ecstacy 1.jpg

  1. The Flying Lady, also called the Spirit of Ecstasy is installed. The stature, which has remained the same in shape and size since its first design in 1911 uniquely identifies the Rolls Royce brand, same as the Mercedes’ iconic emblem.
  2. The installation of the front metallic grill is then done, with a 5 hour polishing and protection of the polished surface with a sheet cover.
  3. The now complete automobile undergoes several testing phases.
    1. Monsoon testing, where simulated rainwater is poured on its body frame to detect leakages in the cabin and necessitate corrections.
    2. Dynamo testing simulated to real road conditions to check on performance of the engine power, 8 speed gearbox, torque, breaking system and the wheel suspensions. Corrections are made and analysis carried out for further enhancements.
  4. Upon verification of the systems, performance and overall look to the satisfaction of the engineers and quality experts, the new Phantom is rolled out ready for the eagerly waiting customers. It is a result of true craftsmanship and touch of expert hands in meticulous fashion to produce a piece of art. The whole process to delivery takes a whole 6 months, compared to other vehicles (Toyota which are manufactured in a record 13 hours).

Standing tall, elegant and apart….

Phantom3.jpeg

In the luxury automobile world, the Rolls-Royce Phantom stands tall and apart, with its nose high. Through time, the RR cars have been outstanding, and certainly the Phantom class has stood unchallenged through the whole 8 generations, a class above its peers. A super luxury car in the present modern world, the Phantom is characterized by high pedigree, extravagance, majestic grandeur, refinement and luxury. With an impressive V-12 engine, 8 speed gearbox, weighing 2,800 kg and with a length of 5.8 m, the Phantom is certainly a symbol of wealth for the affluent and a great way to make a statement of your stature. It costs up to US $450,000 and an additional $150,000 for customization to one’s taste and specifications. Converted to Kenyan currency, this is a tune in excesses of Ksh. 60,276,000.00.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.