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by Tim Beissmann

Perhaps the most famous icon of the automotive industry celebrates her 100th birthday in 2011.

The Rolls-Royce bonnet ornament – known as the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ – reaches its centenary this year, and to commemorate the occasion, Rolls-Royce is producing a collection of 100 special edition Phantom models.

The bespoke Phantoms will feature a silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy with a black-gold base with a ‘Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary – 2011’ inscription. A new white and black chrome ‘RR’ badge has also been designed for the grille and side panels.

Inside, there is a new analogue clock and instrument dial design, while the outside can be finished in four new colours: Rhapsody Black, Maiden Blue, Ethereal Pearl White and Wildflower.

The lid of the centre console has a commemorative plaque engraved with the inscription ‘Spirit of Ecstasy – One of One Hundred’, while owners also receive a desk ornament of the mascot mounted on a piano black base.

And most magical of all, the glovebox lid features a 100-year-old quote from the Spirit of Ecstasy’s creator, Charles Sykes:

“A graceful little goddess, the Spirit of Ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme delight and alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies.”

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars smashed global sales records in 2010, selling more than double the previous record set in 2008.

In total, 2711 vehicles were delivered to customers in 2010, up 171 percent compared with 2009 and 1499 clear of the brand’s best ever result from three years ago.

The enormous growth is due almost entirely to the introduction of the smaller Ghost model, which is around half the price of the flagship Phantom.

Rolls-Royce confirmed its ultra-luxury ‘entry-level’ vehicle is attracting a new breed of buyer to the brand, with four out of every five Ghost customers having never previously owned a Roller.

Rolls-Royce’s Australian distributor Trivett Classic also had a record year. It recorded 25 sales in 2010 despite only receiving the Ghost in the second half of the year.

Trivett has also confirmed Australian pricing for the Rolls-Royce range will remain unchanged in 2011.

Rolls-Royce 2011 pricing:

  • Ghost – $645,000
  • Phantom – $1,068,000
  • Phantom Extended Wheelbase – $1,250,000
  • Phantom Coupe – $1,260,000
  • Phantom Drophead Coupe – $1,355,000



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