According to the company, the musical connection dates to 1961, when a 27-year-old Elvis Presley, giddy after signing a five-year contract with movie producer Hal Wallis, walked into a Beverly Hills Rolls showroom and ordered a Phantom V. Rolls also waxes lyrical on John Lennon's formerly black 1965 Phantom, which the Beatles frontman promptly handed off to a team of Dutch artists for a psychedelic repaint. One anecdote has an elderly woman so outraged by the car that she chased it down the street, screaming, “You swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce?” (We suspect the harrumphing officers of Rolls-Royce shared this woman's sentiments in 1965, but hey, that was then and this is now.)
The 'Inspired by Music' car is the third in a trilogy of culture-themed Wraiths, following the silver-toned 'Inspired by Film' edition from April and the snow-white 'Inspired by Fashion' edition from May.
Functionally, this is standard Wraith: a 5,400lb four-seater with a 624-horsepower 6.6-litre V12 driving its rear wheels, able to leap from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. Aesthetically, however, the Wraith 'Inspired by Music' is truly, well, inspired. A copper-colour theme pervades the car, because, the very best high-end audio systems are made with, you know, copper wire. Alright, it's a tenuous connection, but the result – starting with a sparkling exterior paint colour called Lyrical Copper – is undeniably glam.
Appropriately, the heart of the 'Inspired by Music' Wraith is its stereo. Rolls calls the car's Bespoke Audio setup "the most exhaustively designed sound system in automotive history." It is no different from the 1300-watt, 18-speaker system in the standard car (in the US, part of a $38,825 "US Wraith Package"), but it pipes its tunes through gleaming copper speaker grilles whose glint is repeated by bright door inserts and bullet-shaped seatback trim bits.
The dashboard panel and centre console lids wear a glowing finish of book-matched brushed copper, and the floor mats and door panniers are covered with fabric-like woven leather. Even tiny interior bits share the music theme: The dash clock, for instance, has chaplets of bright copper and silver and a grooved bezel that recalls a vinyl record album. And instead of stars, the Wraith's fibre-optic Starlight Headliner now spells out "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas." Okay, that last bit isn't true. But it could be. For a price.
Speaking of price, there is no word on a figure for this very special Wraith – in dollars, pounds or anything else. But with an options list that includes such tasty upgrades as massaging seats and an illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy ornament, $400,000 is well within reach – a sum which, coincidentally, matches Elvis Presley's salary for his 1963 picture, Viva Las Vegas.
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