Remember back when Rolls Royce was just as well known for its one-off coach-building creations as the world-class luxury that defines its current lineup of luxury cars? We wouldn’t blame you if you said no with that aspect of its past being MIA since the introduction of the wild Sweptail way back in 2017. But the iconic British ultra-luxury carmaker didn’t want that side of itself to slip away and has not only announced the creation of the Rolls-Royce Coachbuilding Department but also unveiled its first project, the Boat Tail.
Nautical Themed Boat Tail Sails Into Luxury
Like other Rolls Royce one-off creations we have seen, the Boat Tail was commissioned by a very wealthy client who obviously has a strong interest in the sea-faring side of life. The Boat Tail is, for all intents and purposes, a rolling yacht, with the convertible measuring nearly 19 feet long from front to back. The exterior is covered in a beautiful two-tone paint scheme, with a handpainted dark blue being complimented by a brighter baby blue applied elsewhere on the Boat Tail. An “aft deck” provides the one piece of real separation between the two and plays a role in how the roof operates.
As mentioned, the Boat Tail is a convertible, but the roof doesn’t operate the way we have come to see it in modern convertibles. Instead, it’s a fully removable canopy made out of cloth that lacks any form of folding mechanism, with the piece being raised and lowered by hand. We suspect that particular job will be reserved for the chauffeur. Still, Rolls engineers did include a temporary tonneau cover if rough seas force a quicker transition from sun riding droptop to storm weathering coupe. Though, our favorite detail is found in the wheels, which also come adorned with the two-tone blue combination.
Bespoke Interior Embraces Coach Built Charms, Performance Stands Out Too
With the exterior roleplaying as a ship, it should come as no surprise that the interior also gets in on the act too. Matching two-tone blue leather adorns the seats and the steering wheel with custom wood veneer pieces matching the rear deck. The instrument panel also goes in a unique direction with Guilloche material used on the top. While this material may seem a bit alien on a car, it’s actually a common material used on high-end watches and jewelry, with the Boat Tail adding pinches of blue in some of the fibers.
But it wouldn’t be a Rolls Royce without all the accessories that come to define the luxury car lifestyle. Of course, with the coach-built Boat Tail, things get taken up a notch. For example, where a normal convertible top would have gone, space is instead used to help transform it into a “hosting suite.” The suite has all the essentials in place, including a refrigerator, silver cutlery with Boat Tail logos, matching porcelain plates, and even two cloth stools. A parasol is also added into the space, and two cocktail tables even pop out of either side when the panels are fully opened on either side. It’s little things like this that make the Boat Tail a true one-off delight.
But something as wild as the Boat Tail is not necessarily built overnight, with Rolls Royce craftspeople investing four years into the project. Thus it would appear that the Boat Tail was crafted shortly after the Sweptail made its 2017 debut. But like a fine wine, the aging process has made the Boat Tail into a potent offering in its own right, with the model possibly benefitting from new technological advances as they were introduced into other Rolls Royce road cars. Rolls didn’t go into too much detail about the performance hardware for the Boat Tail, but the chances are good that the Boat Tail gets its motivation from the familiar 6.7-liter V12 engine.
“It was born from a desire to celebrate success and create a lasting legacy,” revealed Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos. “In its remarkable realization, Rolls-Royce Boat Tail forges a pivotal moment in our marque’s history and in the contemporary luxury landscape.” With the Boat Tail serving as a very potent appetizer, we look forward to seeing what other main courses are in store from Rolls Royce’s talented team of coachbuilders.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.