13 June 2019
Created by the Bespoke Collective at the House of Rolls-Royce, a collection of just 50 Wraith Eagle VIII motor cars were revealed to mark the 100 year anniversary of Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown’s non-stop transatlantic flight in June, 1919.
Alcock and Brown flew non-stop from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft. The bi-plane was powered by twin 20.3 litre, 350 bhp, Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines.
“I do not know what we should most admire – their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines – or their good fortune”, commented Sir Winston Churchill, following the perilous journey that brought unfathomable advancement to 20th century society.
The duo suffered every conceivable challenge an aviator could face. The Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines were virtually the only components that proved indestructible. The engines propelled the aerial voyage at previously unimagined speeds, averaging 115 mph.
Their peril cannot be underestimated. Their radio and navigation instruments failed almost immediately, leaving the pilots flying unaided at night through dense cloud and freezing fog for many hours, sometimes upside down. Eventually they emerged from the cloud and using Brown’s extraordinary skill as a navigator, flew by the stars to the coast of Ireland.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Wraith Eagle VIII is at once an object of desire; an homage to heroes and a protagonist to today’s visionaries.
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.”
Anticipating the arrival of Wraith Eagle VIII in Australia, Ian Grant, Global Client Manager for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “Increasingly, we are seeing demand for highly Bespoke, Limited Edition cars in Australia. Our customers are connoisseurs, always seeking the rarest and most exclusive in the luxury world.”
The exterior of the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Car is evocative of Alcock and Brown’s compelling night time adventure. Swathed in Gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper two-tone, the colours are separated by a brass feature line, a hint at the detailing that lies within.