The Inventors of Luxury: A Quick History of Rolls-Royce for those in Auto Mechanic Training
Standing the test of time with its superior engineering, styling, and reputation, the Rolls-Royce brand continues to unequivocally represent the classiest of luxury vehicles. With its famed “Spirit of the Ecstasy” hood ornament and grille that remains handmade to this day, a Rolls-Royce vehicle also exudes a certain level of refinement.
Of course, the carmaker also offers plenty of brash glitz for the kings of the world, with options for gold, diamond, and illuminated crystal parts leading to price tags in the millions. So how did this top-luxury carmaker get its start, and why does it persist as the ultimate symbol of power, taste, and class among the wealthy and elite? Let’s take a quick look at the history of this iconic brand.
A Partnership Sparks Between Rolls and Royce
Rolls-Royce got its start in 1904 in England when Charles Stewart Rolls first met Sir Frederick Henry Royce. Rolls owned a high-class car dealership in London, but had a passion for aviation. He initially tried to convince electrical and mechanical business owner Royce to build an aero engine, but Royce was more inclined towards motor cars. He built one that impressed Rolls enough to make him want to start building and selling the new vehicle out of his dealership.
The popularity of Royce’s engine design led to a more solid partnership between the two men, who officially founded the Rolls-Royce company in 1906. The company’s six-cylinder Silver Ghost model quickly earned a reputation as the best car in the world.
The World Wars Lead to Ventures in Aviation
When World War I erupted, Rolls-Royce was asked by the British government to build engines to be used on the fleet aircraft of the Royal Air Force—a request which must well have appealed to the personal aviation interests of Charles Rolls. The company went on to produce the famed Eagle aviation engine, which supplied over half the total horsepower used in the air war by the Allies.
Rolls-Royce’s car and aviation business ventures were combined, until the car division was separated in 1973 from its parent company. To this day, the Rolls-Royce aviation division designs and builds top-notch engines for the aviation industry, while the Rolls-Royce car division continues to manufacture its world-famous range of high-class luxury vehicles.
Rolls-Royce stepped up to the plate again to serve its government in World War II, designing the Merlin engine that powered the Hawker Hurricane and the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain.
Focussing Again on Luxury Cars
Following the war effort, the company was once again able to concentrate on building cars. Where elements beyond the engine and chassis had been outsourced to other companies on its first models, the Silver Dawn represented the first complete car made by Rolls-Royce.
Manufactured between 1949 and 1955, only 760 models of the refined four-door saloon were made. If you’re interested in auto mechanic training or are any kind of car fan, you’ll be interested to know that this extremely rare car remains a hot collector’s item to this day.
The Phantom VII Continues to Inspire Pros with Auto Careers
Rolls Royce began losing ground in the luxury car niche until BMW bought it out in 2003. Producing the Phantom VII under the Rolls-Royce name, BMW’s initiative helped re-establish the company. The model that’s come to be so well known to those with auto careers and car enthusiasts was critical to the company’s success, and was the only car manufactured by Rolls-Royce for a period of time.
The Phantom VII can be customized with gold and pricey fine crystals. Check it out in this short clip:
The Rolls-Royce company has made an indelible mark in the world of engine design in both the aviation and automotive industries. The intrigue surrounding the company’s history, combined with its reputation for outstanding engineering and attention to detail, make it one that is near and dear to the hearts of many car lovers.
Are you interested in pursuing an automotive career by attending a mechanic school?
Contact Automotive Training Centres for more information on their specialized programs!