In order to highlight its historical rock n' roll credentials, carmaker Rolls-Royce has collaborated with a host of British music icons to create a set of totally bespoke Wraith coupés that reflect each star's personality, tastes and achievements.
The stars approached for the "Wraith Inspired by Music" collection include The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, and the recently knighted Sir Ray Davies from The Kinks.
Meanwhile Giles Martin, son of music producer extraordinaire, Sir George Martin, was approached to create a car as a fitting tribute to his late father's memory and the role he played in making The Beatles the biggest pop band in history.
"My father had a huge impact on British music during his career, and I wanted the Wraith to celebrate a lifetime of achievements," said Giles Martin.
Martin hit upon the idea of embroidering each number one single his father worked on into the car's leather upholstery and on filling the cabin with hand-written lyrics plus his father's quotations including the legend "The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear" engraved in the copper door flights. "I hope this is a fitting tribute to a figure who did so much to influence and enhance the world's perception of a golden era in British popular music," said Martin.
Sir Ray Davies was also inspired to use lines from his own back catalogue. Lyrics from "Shangri-la" and "Drivin'" are engraved on the door flights, and "When it's raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time" is engraved on the handles of the car's pull-out umbrellas.
"Working with Rolls-Royce's designers on this car has given me the chance to express some of the themes of the music The Kinks enjoyed performing for many years," said Sir Ray Davies. "It was fun to create this unique collectors' item and it's gratifying to know that important charities will benefit."
A percentage of the proceeds from each car's sale is being donated to charity. For example, funds raised from the George Martin car will go to The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, a charity that Marin supported during his life.
Meanwhile monies raised from the sale of the two cars Roger Daltrey has helped design—one in honor of the group's most important album "Tommy" and one that reflects Daltrey's own legacy—will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust.
Songs may change, Rolls-Royce ownership as an ingrained rite of passage for even anti-establishment rock stars has stayed the same. Even erstwhile Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher felt he couldn't say he'd 'made it' until he had a chocolate brown Rolls-Royce (even though to this day he still hasn't passed his driving test).
"This collaboration—with some of Britain's most celebrated musicians—promises to add to this legacy, creating truly unique collectors' items which also support worthy charities," said company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.