Rolls-Royce is really the cream of the crop in so many ways. The classic lines, the iconic "spirit of ecstacy" hood ornament and the high-powered engine design places this automobile manufacturer in a league of its own. It has an interesting past and started with two young moguls-to-be, who knew how to excel in their individual industries.
It all started in 1884 when Henry Royce started his mechanical and electrical business. A few years later, he developed his first car - which was a two-cylinder Royce 10.
Charles Rolls was the owner of a motor car dealership, C.S. Rolls & Co. so he was somewhat of an expert on cars of those times. Although it is said Rolls was an enthusiast of three and four cylinder cars, he immediately loved the Royce 10 and decided to add as many of them to his lot as possible.
The formal partnership was formed on March 15, 1906 and a new factory in Manchester (UK) was built. Royce's skills in mechanics and electricity came in handy when he designed the manufacturing plant on the 12.7 acres located at the edge of town.
Several models later, Rolls-Royce purchased their competitor, Bentley, who was unable to remain financially unscathed during the Great Depression. Both Bentley and Rolls-Royce are still considered to be top-of-the-line luxury autos and are often seen about town being driven by the owner's chauffeurs.
Most people do not realize that the Rolls-Royce engine is so superior that many high-speed Formula One race cars, jets and yachts use them. In fact, some of the features you'll find in a Rolls are very yacht-like, such as the wood veneering that wraps around a cabin's upper portion. The additional hand-finished details are elegant and sophisticated.
Today, we're going to take a look at the ten most expensive Rolls-Royce vehicles in the world. We think some of them will surprise you, but none the less are all incredible machines. This company has been making top quality automobiles for more than 100 years so it's all good.
10 Phantom Coupe: $650,000
This model was actually designed by California's Symbolic Motor Car Company and is considered a more standard Rolls, without as many luxury features. Carbon fiber is used to make this car lighter overall, which has been used on racing cars for years. So it's sort of sporty; it has a 6.75 liter V-12 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and 453 HP. Of course, the interior is replete with luxurious leather and glossy wood, which is what we have come to expect from the Rolls-Royce brand.
9 Phantom: $670,000
In 2003 this car won the Top Gear of the Year Award. If you can imagine, customers can choose from a variety of 44,000 exterior colors plus the color of the interior leather. The Phantom comes with a 6.75 liter V12 engine and runs on 453 HP, so it is touted as providing an amazingly smooth ride. One of its unique features is that it includes a hidden umbrella in the one of the rear doors. After all, luxury is all about the details, right?
8 Phantom Hearse B12: $700,000
This 23-foot long vehicle could be the world's most expensive funeral car. It was built like the original Phantom with its 6.75 liter V12 engine but has a few special features, such as the self-leveling air suspension technology. The extra-long body is made from 600 assembled parts which required 650 feet of welding work. This Rolls-Royce B12 Hearse was introduced at the TAN Expo 2012 (funeral car show) and we're guessing it was one of the most elegant and sophisticated models presented.
7 Phantom Drophead Coupe: $720,000
One of these babies actually sold for $1.6 million in an Elton John AIDS Foundation auction, but the average price is closer to $700,000. The Phantom Drop-Dead Coupe is built with the same high quality 6.75 liter V12 with a 453 HP engine. The design was based on the 100 EX, which was designed for the company's centennial. It was first introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2007 and the handmade convertible top luxury car was an instant hit.
6 Phantom Mansory Conquistador: $1 Million
One of the favorites, the Phantom Mansory Conquistador sets the standards for the Rolls-Royce "look". In case you're not familiar with the German tuner, Mansory, they are responsible for adding all of the updated and modern touches, such as the grille stripes, aluminum side skirt flanks and the LED daytime running lights.
5 Phantom "Year of the Dragon edition": $1.2 Million
Interesting things happened when this model was built; it sold out within two months of its launch in China. The special model was made with twin Dragon coach line, Dragon embroidery headrest, Dragon Phantom passengerpane inlay, Dragon cushions on the rear passenger seat, illuminated tread plates and other options that help customize it for its owner.
4 Ghost Fenice Milano: $3 Million
Yes, this is a purple Rolls-Royce and it also comes in tan and white, purple and white and this purple and gold combination, so don't be alarmed if this is not your color. Some of our favorite rappers are fond of the contemporary and cool color, however, it's not generally sought after by your average millionaire. The gold trim is, by the way, all done in 24-carat gold. When you're inside, you'll immediately notice the gold door handles, control panel, rear view mirror, vents and seat panels.
3 Hyperion Pininfarina: $6 Million
This model is one of the most expensive Rolls-Royce cars in the world as it is a custom-built one-off model by Pininfarina, yet is modeled after the Drophead Coupe. It was introduced at the 2008 Concours d'Elegance, which is the most important U.S. competition for classic and one-off models. In case you were wondering, Hyperion, in Greek mythology, was one of the twelve Titan children of the earth (Gaia) and the sky (Uranus). Besides the wooden doors, carbon fiber was used for the body and it was supposedly inspired by the luxury autos of the 1930's. We applaud the workmanship and overall stellar appearance.
2 Rolls-Royce 10hp: $8.3 Million
Surprised? This Rolls-Royce 10 hp was the first car made by the up and comers, Charles Rolls and Henry Royce in 1904. The auto was produced at its factory in Trafford Park, Manchester and sold by its very own dealership - C.S.Rolls & Co. It was originally priced at $664. This model was presented at the Paris Salon in December of 1904 and was produced up until 1906. It's top speed is 63 kilometers per hour. The model was sold at a London auction in 2007 for $8,250,867, which surely demonstrates that the manufacturer's cars hold their value and then some.
1 Phantom Solid Gold: $8.5 Million
This auto is owned by a billionaire business person in the Gulf where gold is often used to trim vehicles. Heck, gold is often used to trim anything in the Gulf. This is a solid gold Rolls-Royce that includes 120 kg of 18-carat gold on the various parts, such as the front grill, the side trims, boot handle, wheels and, of course, on-board protection due to its value. It is an armored car and has been certified by the Government Beschussamt Munchen after testing the car's security measures. Gold is also included on the interior, possibly making this the most luxurious automobile in the world.