2012 Paris Motor Show: Rolls-Royce unveils Art Deco inspired cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 27, 2012

Rolls-Royce unveiled three customized cars at the Paris Motor Show to pay homage to the 1925 Paris Exhibition, which lent the art deco movement its name. The Phantom and Ghost saloons, along with a Phantom Drophead Coupé, have bespoke exterior and interior highlights. The Phantom’s cabin features a trim in contrasting black and Arctic White leather.

It also features hand-finished stainless steel inlays in the drawers, door cappings and rear picnic tables. The Ghost has a two-tone Jubilee Silver and Cobalto Blue finish. It is equipped with one-of-a-kind marquetry that adorns trim pieces in both the front and rear cabin. It gets an arty makeover, which includes Mother of Pearl trim detailing in the Phantom Drophead Coupé.

Rolls-Royce customers can specify their own art deco cars and can select from styling features like art deco headrest embroidery and an illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy emblem. So far, no pricing has been released for the Phantom or the Ghost. However, a major increase is expected over the standard cars, which have starting prices of £276,275 and £170,250, respectively.

Press Release


Taking inspiration from one of the defining movements of the 20th century, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents a selection of Ghost and Phantom family cars that celebrate the Art Deco era.

The highly bespoke Phantom Saloon, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Ghost models were unveiled at the Paris Motor Show 2012, in homage to the 1925 Paris Exhibition or Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes that gave the movement its name.

Phantom Saloon's black and arctic white interior hints at the visual language of the movement while a suite of Art Deco-inspired interior detailing points to the creativity, skill and attention to detail employed by Rolls-Royce craftspeople.

Hand-fashioned stainless steel inlays in telephone drawer, door cappings and rear picnic table backs subtly evoke the decorative style of the period. An echo of the rich heritage of the marque also lies in the Art Deco-style geometric coachline pattern – a design conceived and used by Rolls-Royce on a show stand at Olympia in the early 20th century.

The elegant simplicity of Ghost is presented in two-tone, jubilee silver atop cobalto blue, whilst the interior features intricately designed and crafted marquetry in front and rear. A Phantom Drophead Coupé furnished in resplendent mother of pearl onlays gracefully completes the show line-up.

"In Paris we have elegantly captured the essence of one of the great periods in 20th century design," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "These Art Deco-inspired motor cars stand as a testament to the breadth of the Rolls-Royce bespoke offering, reinforcing the marque's position as the world's leading manufacturer of luxury goods."

An exclusive collection of Bespoke Phantom Saloon and Ghost family cars, inspired by the Art Deco cars at Paris, will be made available to Rolls-Royce clients.

For Phantom customers, exterior colours will be offered in infinity black, Arabian blue, powder blue or Arctic white, and feature a bespoke, twin coachline with an Art Deco motif. An illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy, hinting at ornamental glassware of the day, completes the exterior detailing. Inside Phantom's coach doors, touches like Art Deco headrest embroidery, bespoke inlays on piano black veneer and tread plates sporting Art Deco motif further reference the style of the period.

Ghost Art Deco collection cars are finished in either infinity black or arctic white with dual bespoke coach line and illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy. Interior styling includes handcrafted Art Deco inlays, as well as Olympia-inspired motif on tread plates and headrest embroidery. A black and white interior scheme featuring a choice of four seat piping colours takes inspiration from the colour palette of the era.

"For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has taken inspiration from the prevailing style of its time whilst retaining the marque's unique design aesthetic," added Giles Taylor, Design Director Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Art Deco was defined by theatre, glamour and a sense of excitement. Working to create contemporary interpretations of these classic themes has been enormously rewarding for everyone in my bespoke design team."

Akin to the artisans of what is sometimes called high Art Deco, only the very finest materials are employed and painstakingly crafted in every model leaving the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. Exquisite cashmere and finest leather combine to create an interior ambience that cossets passenger and driver in hallmark Rolls-Royce luxury.

Specially sourced wood veneers, selected for richness and complexity of grain, are adorned with mother of pearl or silver inlays - the form and structure of the pieces reminiscent of the fine cabinet making so prevalent in the Art Deco period.

In early 20th Century design, Rolls-Royce cues provided inspiration for Art Deco's leading designers in fields beyond automobile manufacturing. The Spirit of Ecstasy, the mascot that has graced the prow of every Rolls-Royce motor car for 101 years for example, influenced Marcel Bouraine's Papillon. His 1928 figurine in glass featuring flowing lines and outstretched wings helped define the decorative elegance of the era.

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