Rolls-Royce History

Rolls-Royce History

It doesn't get much more stately, opulent and luxurious than a Rolls-Royce. For decades, the marque has set a standard that other luxury carmakers have aspired to reach. The current lineup of Rolls-Royce cars consists of a single model, the magnificent Phantom.
Rolls-Royce 20 HP 1924 
A partnership between Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce, British-based Rolls-Royce Ltd. was officially formed in 1906. The company's six-cylinder Silver Ghost was unveiled that same year. Right from the start, the company's dedication to excellence was clear; the Silver Ghost exhibited amazing attention to detail and remarkable quality, and promptly earned kudos for being "the best car in the world."

During the '20s, the automaker acquired a second factory in Springfield, Massachusetts to help keep up with rising demand; the factory remained open for 10 years. The '20s also saw the launch of the Phantom I, a car that was powered by an all-new, pushrod-operated overhead valve engine with detachable cylinder heads — cutting-edge technology for its time. Rolls-Royce added another, very similar brand to its family with the acquisition of Bentley in 1931. For decades following the takeover, Rolls and Bentley vehicles were almost identical mechanically.
Rolls-Royce Twenty Drophead Coupé  1927 
The 1940s saw the opening of Rolls-Royce's celebrated Crewe factory. The first Rolls to be produced postwar was the Silver Wraith. This vehicle was significant in that it was the last Rolls-Royce product to have its body crafted by an independent coachbuilder. After this point, the company's vehicles were built completely in-house.

Rolls unveiled its Phantom IV in 1950. Powered by a muscular eight-cylinder engine, the majestic cruiser held the distinction of being the most exclusive Rolls ever. Only 18 were made, all of which were delivered to royalty and heads of state. The '50s also saw the debut of the king-sized Silver Cloud I and Silver Cloud II. The 1960s saw the introduction of the Silver Cloud III, Silver Shadow and Phantom VI.

The company hit a rough patch in the early 1970s. Problems with an engine contract led to severe financial difficulties, which in turn caused the manufacturer to file for bankruptcy. The company was eventually nationalized by the British government.

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