This year at the New York Auto Show, crown jewels were few and far between.
But most of them had already made their debuts in Geneva. So I was left looking for other things that, while not necessarily new, might provide some eye candy in the interim.
Naturally I felt drawn to the stand at Rolls-Royce. And found a crimson gem called the 2016 Phantom Drophead Coupe.
The $560,000 convertible is big and heavy and bold—normally a combination that exceeds my sense of good taste. But I couldn’t deny how stunning it looked with its gunmetal grey body and baby-soft Mugello red leather splashed over everything inside. It could easily double as a royal coach.
The thing feels as big as a living room, and I literally had to step up to get into it—and I'm 6 feet tall in heels.
It’s meant to showcase Rolls’s popular and profitable bespoke program, which services its owners in pretty much whatever automotive fantasy they can imagine. So this one has seat belts colored a special shade of grenadine, with its Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament illuminated from the bottom. The effect displays the perfect arch of her sculpted wings.
Inside, it has stainless steel pinstripe detailing and stark white-faced instrument dials; outside are stylish 21-inch wheels. Even the doorside umbrellas are color-coordinated with the hand-stitched interior and black lambswool carpeting. The Rolls-Royce badges inlaid in the doors light up at night, and the one on the dash is made from solid silver.
It’s a lot of work to put into one car, but it’s worth it: Executives at Rolls said 95 percent of all of their customers get their cars bespoke.
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