While the Waterspeed Phantom Dropheads aren’t destined for any heroics—certainly not on the water—they are nonetheless exemplars of British craftsmanship and material mastery. Nine layers of Maggiore Blue paint adorn the body panels, and for the first time on a Rolls Royce, paint is also applied to the engine, making for a particularly waterspeedy underhood experience. Rolls Royce also colors portions of the car’s table-sized, 11-spoke wheels the striking blue hue, while brushed steel panels extend from the long hood all the way around the four-seat interior to the rear deck. Each piece is said to require 70 man-hours to beat into form, before another 10 hours are spent brushing it to the acceptable level of brushed-ness. For something evoking such a speed-oriented vessel, the Waterspeed sure takes a while to be assembled.
The interior is swathed in Windchill Grey hides with Maggiore Blue accents here and there, including on another Rolls first: The two-tone steering wheel. Satiny, cool-to-the-touch Abachi wood also makes its Rolls Royce debut, since apparently Rolls’ current selection of woods was deemed insufficient. Each of the Waterspeed’s armrests requires eight hours to complete, Rolls says, and include hand-engraved Bluebird motifs in art-deco style.
Other “references” to Campbell’s vaunted speedboat include a new “power reserve” dial that moves from yellow to blue (“going into the blue”—get it, lads?) as drivers request more of the big 6.8-liter V-12’s 453 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque, as well as billet aluminum gauges and a hand-embroidered panel depicting the 1937 event inside the glovebox.
Rolls Royce seems confident that it can find 35 nostalgic chaps so nostalgic of Campbell’s “remarkable acts of British daring and endeavor”—we just love saying that—that they’ll be willing to shell out whatever dough Rolls decides to ask for when production begins this fall. (Pricing hasn’t been announced, but don’t expect much change from your half-million dollar bill.) You could always ask the company yourself at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Hotel Villa d’Este later this month, where the car will be shown to the public for the first time along the shore of Italy’s Lake Como.