Rolls-Royce financial performance was severely hit by the decline of international jet aviation in last years. It’s not the case with the automotive branch though. Due to the free money strategy adopted by the central banks corporate leaders are bothered by luxury and the cars are not exception.
In the late 1930s captain George Eyston set the world Overland speed record with his car the Thunderbolt, fitted by two Rolls-Royce V12 aircraft engines. Now, more than eighty years later, Eyston and the Thunderbolt are not forgotten, and Rolls-Royce celebrates that with a Landspeed Collection of the Wraith Black Badge and Dawn Black Badge.
The Landspeed Collection is characterized by special two-tone lacquer, a combination of Black Diamond Metallic and the Bespoke colour Bonneville Blue. This lacquer changes from light blue to silver depending on the light conditions, referring to the reflections in both the air and The Salt Flats of Bonneville.
Elements of the Thunderbolt itself are also featured in the Landspeed Collection. The Thunderbolt was initially not lacquered, but during the first runs it was found that the time measuring device was unable to detect the 350 miles per hour pre-treated Thunderbolt due to the reflective aluminium carriage. Eyston painted a large, black arrow with yellow circle on the car. It was a success, as the Thunderbolt was now visible and captain George Eyston’s speed record of 357,497 miles per hour was set. Clear, yellow accents and black and yellow details in the bumpers of both Landspeed Collection models remove this. The timepiece in the dashboard also carries unique, black-yellow details.
The Thunderbolt was equipped with two Rolls-Royce R V12 aircraft engines, each with a capacity of 37 litres and a power of 2,000 hp each. Only 19 of these engines were ever built. The engines of the Thunderbolt began their career in a Submarine S6.B seaplane, which was the model for the legendary Spitfire.
Rolls-Royce builds only 25 units of the Dawn Black Badge Landspeed Collection and 35 units of the Wraith Black Badge Landspeed Collection. All copies have already been sold.