Rolls Royce is a name that is readily recognized throughout the world. It describes the very best that can possibly be acquired, and this doesn't only apply to the famous automobiles. People refer to superior products as the "Rolls Royce" of the item, which means, the top of the line.
The British car manufacturing company was established in 1904 by Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce. They have since earned the reputation for providing superior products within the automotive industry. The engineering of these vehicles is first class and has been awarded the "best car in the world. Rolls Royce doesn't just manufacture automobiles though.
The company has also ventured into the manufacture of aero engines as well. Our journey takes us through the best Rolls Royce models of all time, which includes the first cars that the company ever created through some of the more popular modern vehicles in use today.
The auto manufacturers attempted to instill luxury as a feature before other car makers had figured out how to build a vehicle that would run and not break down on the old dirt roads that were used back in the day. There have been several models of Rolls Royce vehicles manufactured and you may be wondering, which are the best?
The answer is that they're all amazing, but here is a list of the top 20 Rolls Royce models of all time.
1. Rolls Royce Corniche
The Rolls Royce Corniche was built with the first model appearing in 1971, and the final edition of the line in 1995. This model was designed in both two-door coupe, and two door convertible styles. The Cornich was assembled in London, England with the base of the design taken from the Silver Shadow Series.
This same car was also offered as a Bentley and this version and in 1984, it became known as the Continental. The Corniche is a powerful automobile that came stocked with a 6.75-liter L410 LHV V8 engine and a three-speed automatic transmission. Its top speed is 118 miles per hour.
2. Rolls Royce Twenty
This car takes us back in time to the era of the roaring twenties. The first Rolls Royce Twenty was built in 1922 and the line continued to be manufactured through 1929. There were only 2,940 of these cars made.
The body was designed and constructed by a coachbuilder. Back in the 1920s, negotiations and agreements for having an automobile designed and built were a little different than they are today.
The coachbuilder was chosen by the customer. The company only supplied the chassis and the mechanical parts, so the quality was largely determined by the skill of the man doing the work.
The Twenty came with a 3.1-liter I6 engine and there was a choice of either a 3 or a 4 speed manual transmission. The maximum speed that the Twenty could reach was an astronomical 60 miles per hour, which was nearly the equivalent of flying during the 1920s.
3. Rolls Royce Phantom I
The Phantom I was also known as the 40/50 Phantom. It was the replacement model for the Silver Ghost. The first Phantom I was built in 1925 and was promoted as the "Ew Phantom." It had some impressive features for its time including a larger engine that used a pushrod overhead valve, versus the side valves that were stock in the previous Silver Ghost.
There were 2,269 Phantom I vehicles manufactured in the United Kingdom. An additional run of 1,240 cars of this model were manufactured for the United States. It is a 4-door sedan with a 468-cubic inch I6 engine. Customers had their choice of a 3 or a 4-speed manual transmission.
3. Rolls Royce Phantom II
The Phantom II immediately followed the Phantom I and the first model rolled out of production in 1929. Rolls Royce continued to manufacture them until 1936. A limited number of Phantom II models was manufactured with a total number of 1,680 vehicles produced.
The Phantom II was the last of the 40/50 horsepower models to be built by the company. It featured a 7668 cc I6 motor that bolted to the 4-speed transmission.
This model featured a new chassis design with the front axle mounted on a semi elliptical leaf spring, as with previous models that featured cantilever springs. This model was featured in two movies including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
4. Rolls Royce Silver Wraith
The Silver Wraith was the first car that Rolls Royce manufactured after the first World War, at the Crewe factory. The first of this model came off of the assembly lines in 1946 and the company continued building this line through 1959.
The Silver Wraith was offered with three engine versions which included a 4.3, a 4.6 and an L I6. The first models featured a 127- inch wheelbase chassis that was based upon the design of the Wraiths manufactured before the war.
The engine was upgraded to include a new cylinder head with side exhaust valves and overhead inlet valves with a capacity of 4,257 cc. The Silver Wraith became the choice of dignitaries from around the world as was popular as the Irish Presidential State Car, the Royal Dutch State Limousine, and the Brazilian Presidential Ceremonial State Car. This model has also appeared in the movies "Batman," "Batman Returns," "Witness for the Prosecution" and "James Dean."
5. Rolls Royce Phantom III
This model was first launched as the replacement for the Phantom II in 1936. The number of production units was restricted to a mere 727. It remains a rare collector’s vehicle to this day. The Phantom III featured a 7338-cc powerful V12 engine with a 4 speed manual transmission.
This model was the only Rolls Royce vehicle to feature a V12 engine until the arrival of the Silver Seraph in 1998. Testing conducted by The English Autocar Magazine proved that the Phantom III was capable of reaching speeds of 87. 5 miles per hour.
6. Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
The Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe made its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show which was held in Detroit, Michigan. The model is a 4 seat 2 door convertible featuring an Avant Garde interior that flourishes under the influence of a minimalist Art Deco design.
The doors have been designed with a rearward opening coach style with a color tone that is two-tone and segregates the lower bodywork from the upper. This is one of the more expensive models and the very first to be produced was auctioned off for a price of $2 million at the 2007 Naples Florida Winter Wine Festival Charity.
This care is a handmade luxury car and this is part of the attraction for Rolls Royce lovers who wanted to own the very first model produced. The platform for this vehicle is based upon the 2003 model of the Rolls Royce Phantom, with its styling heavily influenced by the 100 EX concept car which was built in celebration of the Rolls Royce company centennial celebration in 2004.
7. 2007 Rolls Royce Hyperion
This automobile is a model that was commissioned for Roland Hall, a collector who was enamored of the Phantom Drophead Coupe. Pininfarina designed this version, which is largely based on the model for the collector, and it made its debut in 2008 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It was sold on the market in 2009 for 4 million in British pounds.
8. Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
The Silver Ghost was previously called the 40/50 h.p. The first model was manufactured in 1906 and this line of cars was produced through 1926. There was a total of 7,874 units manufactured. It was awarded the title of "best car in the world" by a prestigious Autocar publication back in 1907.
The Silver Ghost made its debut to the world at the Olympia car show but was not yet a fully furnished version. This is a highly collectible vehicle and to this day, there are several of them which are still in excellent working condition, which speaks to the quality of the design and build from the early 1900s.
9. Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
At the time of its first production in 1965, The Silver Shadow was an immediate success. Sales were high and this deemed the necessity of manufacturing the largest production run of all Rolls Royce models to date.
This model was produced through 1980 and is also called the Silver Wraith II. The car features a 2-engine version including the 6.2-liter V8 which generates 172 horsepower and a 6.75-liter V8 that produces 189 horsepower. There was a total of 16,717 units of this model produced.
10. 2003 Rolls Royce Phantom
This model was declared to be the best Rolls Royce ever made. The 2003 Phantom is a special build with a unique chassis platform and an aluminum body and interior. Although new materials were introduced, the original design was strictly adhered to.
This model won car of the year and it was presented in the movie "Top Gear." It comes with a 6.75-liter V12 engine with a production power of 453 horse power. The 2003 Phantom has the capacity for accelerating with a record time for a Rolls, of zero to 100 kilometers per hour in a mere 5. 9 seconds.
11. Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
Fritz Feller is the designed that created the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit in 1974, along with the assembly crew in Cheshire, England. Although the first model to roll out of production was in 1980.
This line was produced through 1999 with an impressive 19 years run for the model. The Silver Spirit is a 4-door saloon full sized luxury car. Its predecessor was the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II and its successor, the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph. It is the first model in the SZ series from the manufacturer.
12. Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph
The Silver Seraph made its debut in 1998 when it was revealed to the world at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show. It is the replacement model for the Silver Spur which ended its production run in 1997.
The development of the Silver Seraph began in the concept being considered in the late 1980s. The design work officially began in the Fall of 1990. Issues with management caused a freeze in the design process, but was later approved for commencement in the summer of 1991.
The entire process took ten years, but the pilot models were rolling off of production in the Spring of 1998. Each Seraphs have been hand built by the company's manufacturing plant in Crewe, England.
This model features a 5.4-liter aluminum alloy BMW M73 V12 motor with the addition of a five-speed automatic transmission. This was the first Rolls Royce model to feature a 12 -cylinder engine since the Phantom III of 1939.
The interior was updated with Connolly Leather seat upholstery, and trim on the dashboard. Folding picnic trays were added for rear seat passengers with a walnut veneer. This car was rated high for its comfortable handling, but the acceleration was a bit on the sluggish side.
Still, it could reach 140 miles per hour at top speed. This model was limited to a total of 1,570 units before production ended in 2002.
13. Rolls-Royce Camargue
The first Rolls Royce Camargue model was produced in 1975. The designer was Paolo Martin for Pininfarina. The luxury car featured a 2-door saloon style that took its inspiration from the Silver Shadow as well as the Corniche and Bentley T-series.
It is powered by a 6.75-liter (412 cid) Rolls Royce V 8 engine with a 3 speed TH400 automatic transmission. This was the first Rolls Royce model to be made post war that was not an in house designed vehicle.
This vehicle upon first production featured an automatic split-level climate control system which was a pioneering work in automotive engineering. The design for the system took 8 years from start to finish.
Also included were power rack and pinion steering, with the ear independent suspension that was found in the Silver Spirit. Production for this model ceased in 1986 with only 531 being produced.
14. Rolls-Royce 20/25
The Rolls Royce 20/25 made its appearance on the scene with the first being produced in 1929. Like several other models during this era, the Rolls Royce manufacturing company produced the chassis and the mechanical parts, but it was up to the customer to locate and hire a coachbuilder for assembly.
This meant that there could be vast variations in the body style, depending on the tastes of the consumer. The engine was a 3669 cc with a 4-speed manual transmission. This model was in production until 1936. There were 3,827 of them made. The predecessor of the 20/25 was the Twenty and the successor, the 25/30. Amazingly, 70% of these vehicles are still on the road today.
15. Rolls-Royce 25/30
The 25/30 is the model that followed the 20/25. This model was first built in 1936 and the line ran through 1938. The first models featured an in line 6-cylinder overhead valve 25/30 horsepower engine, which increased the capacity by enlarging the bore by a quarter of an inch and keeping the stroke the same at 4.5 inches.
The Rolls Royce carburetor was out and it was replaced with a single proprietary Stromberg downdraught carb. The magneto ignition went out the window as well, but a standby coil came stock.
The gearbox is a four speed with engine mounting in unit and a traditional right-hand change. The third and top gears are fitted with Sychromesh. This model of the Rolls Royce appeared in the movies "Death on the Nile" (1978), "The Naked Truth" (1957) and a few others.
16. Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
This model is a limited edition that was only produced from April of 1955 through March of 1966. It was a transitional period for the company in design and technology.
The Silver Cloud was the replacement model for the Silver Dawn, but was replaced by the Silver Dawn. Only 2.238 of these vehicles were produced. It features a 4-door saloon body style with variations as provided by the various coachbuilders.
These included a 2-door convertible and 2 door coupe styling. The design of this vehicle is influenced by the Bentley S1. It is powered by a 4.9 -liter (300 cubic inch) I6 engine with a GM Hydramatic automatic 4 speed transmission.
The braking system features hydraulics assisted by the Rolls Royce manufactured mechanical servo. The incorporation of twin brake master cylinders occurred in models built from April of 1956 on. The top speed recorded for this model is 102. 9 miles per hour reaching zero to sixty mph in 13.5 seconds. The fuel consumption is at 14.5 miles per gallon.
17. Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II
The Rolls Royce Silver Spur II is a touring limousine that boasts a length of nearly twenty feet. It offers the best in luxury with large sized rear seats that are covered in leather that is the color of roses. The interior is completed with lavish woodwork that sports intricacies in design. This vehicle is not easy to get ahold of and the asking price is around $337,745, if you can find one in the United States.
18. Rolls Royce Phantom VI
The Phantom VI was first produced in 1968 under the manufacture of Rolls Royce Ltd, with the 1973 through 1990 run being under the successor's name Rolls Royce Motors.
The vehicle is an ultra-exclusive car with a rolling chassis designed to be used as limousines. the 1970 version was the official car that the Governor of Australia chose to use when visiting heads of state.
The 1977 Silver Jubilee is the choice of Kate Middleton. The Phantom VI has been seen frequently at Windsor Castle. The majority of the coachwork is the creation of Mulliner Park Ward, particularly those used as limousines and a few of the landaulettes. This vehicle features a 6230 cc 90-degree V8 engine bored to 4.1 inches with a 91.5 mm stroke.
Twin carburetors and a - speed automatic gearbox, which was upgraded in 1979 to a 6,750 cc and a 3 speed auto gearbox with the addition of a torque converter. Queen Elizabeth II and her family are seen touring in the Phantom VI, which has a design that is based on the Silver Shadow. Multiple dignitaries have made this the car of choice.
19. Rolls Royce Silver Dawn
The Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was first introduced in 1949 and was produced until 1955. It is a full- sized luxury car and the first Rolls Royce that featured a factory built body and chassis, shared with the Bentley Mark VI. Originally, the model was intended specifically for export only, but later, the R edition with the configurations for driving on the other side of the road was produced in its home country.
The Silver Dawn is powered by an in-line six-cylinder motor with an overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. The capacity was 4257 cc, but this was upgraded to a larger 4,566 cc in 1951.
The single downdraught Stromberg carburetor was replaced with a Zenith in 1952. The Silver Dawn achieved a top speed of 94 mph with an acceleration speed of zero to sixty miles per hour in 15. 2 seconds with a fuel consumption rate of 15.4 miles per imperial gallon, which is the equivalent of just 12. 8 mpg by USA standards.
20. Rolls Royce 30 HP
The Rolls-Royce 30 hp was first built in 1905 as the result of an agreement made between Henry and Charles Royce. The 30 hp made its first appearance as an engine only at the Paris Salon in December of 1904.
Between 37 and 38 of these cars were built and to this day, it has been established that three of the four survivors were shipped to the United States, Canada and Germany. Of these four, the only one is known to have survived is the model that is in Canada.
This model was powered with an engine made of three two-cylinder units that were separately cast, featuring monobloc heads with a bore of 4 inches and stroke of 5 inches.
The motor is water cooled and has a 6,000-cc capacity. A single Royce carburetor was fitted and a four-speed transmission with a leather faced cone clutch was used.
The Rolls Royce 30 HP was an automobile, as the other Rolls cars, that was entirely built by hand. This meant that there would be extreme variations in the body style and the look of the finished product.
This vehicle was one of the first models that kicked off the tradition that the Rolls Royce auto manufacturers has established for providing the top of the line in auto products. Although the vehicle may sound like an archaic contraption that would be difficult to drive, it was one of the premieres in the auto industry which was just in the infancy stages of development.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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