Rolls-Royce has unveiled a special edition of its Wraith coupe to commemorate the world’s first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
The fantastically-named Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII marks the historic feat of Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown making the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June, 1919.
Their Vickers Vimy biplane was powered by twin 20.3-litre, 350hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines, which the limited-edition Wraith is named after.
“(The Rolls-Royce) Wraith Eagle VIII is at once an object of desire; an homage to heroes and a protagonist to today’s visionaries,” said Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
“This Rolls-Royce Collection demonstrates the extraordinary skill of our Bespoke Collective at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex. Bespoke remains the jewel in the crown of the marque, creating luxury items that defy the trend of mass luxury manufacturers using ‘tick-box’ options to answer customer demand,” he added.
The Wraith Eagle VIII gets a two-tone paintjob featuring gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper, with the colours separated by a brass feature line.
The black grille vanes are in reference to the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine cowling on the Vickers Vimy aircraft, while the wheels are part polished with a translucent shadow finish.
Inside, brass speaker covers depict the estimated flight distance of 1,880 miles (3026km) and the headrests get ‘RR’ monograms embroidered in brass-coloured thread.
The driver gets some love too, with the door on that side getting a brass plaque with Winston Churchill’s quote commending the duo’s remarkable achievements.
(For reference, he said: “I do not know what we should most admire – their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines – or their good fortune.”)
Meanwhile, the dash is fashioned out of smoked eucalyptus wood metalised in gold and inlaid with silver and copper, which depicts what the Earth looked like to the pilots at night.
The clock also gets with an iced background effect that glows a faint green in night time driving conditions, echoing the frozen instruments encountered by the pilots during their crossing.
Maybe the most alluring feature of the of the Wraith Eagle VIII is the special starlight headliner, which has 1183 starlight fibres showing the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight in 1919.
The flight path and constellations are embroidered in brass thread, while the exact moment the pair left the cloud to navigate by the stars is indicated by a red fibre optic light.
The ‘clouds’ are embroidered into the headliner and a plaque that reads “The celestial arrangement at the halfway point 00:17am June 15th 1919, 50″ 07′ Latitude North – 31″ Longitude West” shows the half-way point of the duo’s journey.
If you want a secure a piece of history, be quick: just 50 Wraith Eagle VIIIs will be made.