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Rolls-Royce Pays Tribute To The ‘Year of the Dragon’ With Four Unique Commissions

Image Source: betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

This year, the 2024 Year of the Dragon has already proven to be exceptionally favorable for four fortunate owners of a highly exclusive custom Rolls-Royce vehicle. Every bespoke commission under the theme “Year of the Dragon” is one-of-a-kind, showcasing intricately hand-painted and embroidered dragons in layered hues of red, symbolizing prosperity and good luck in Chinese traditions.

To mark the Lunar New Year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars fashioned these four extraordinary Year of the Dragon bespoke commissions. Crafted and designed at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, only four of these exquisite creations exist – three Phantom Extended models and one Cullinan – as a homage to Chinese cultural heritage through artisanal craftsmanship.

These commissions draw inspiration from the dragon, an enduring emblem of authority, accomplishments, and prosperity. For the Year of the Dragon automobiles, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective has crafted a contemporary and minimalist portrayal of the dragon, a first in Rolls-Royce’s history.

Planned for clients worldwide, each of these four Rolls-Royces is adorned with meticulously detailed features that include a traditional dragon motif subtly intertwined throughout the car’s interior. The motif is elegantly showcased in Phoenix Red stitching on the headrests of all four seats, creating a striking contrast with the seat leather, available in Black or White. Each dragon required 5,449 stitches and over 20 hours to complete.

Three of the Year of the Dragon commissions feature hand-painted fascia panels adorned with contemporary dragon-themed artworks. Individually painted by a dedicated Rolls-Royce artist, each panel is unique and the result of more than two weeks of meticulous work.

The most striking presentation of the mythical creature is the Bespoke Starlight Headliner — the interior roof — exclusively designed for these commissions after three months of design and development. Positioned above the driver and passenger seats, 677 hand-placed fiber-optic “star” lights form an abstract dragon motif, surrounded by an additional 667 lights, all meticulously positioned by hand.

The motor car tailored for the Rolls-Royce Private Office in Shanghai showcases a unique iteration of the Bespoke Starlight Headliner incorporating red “stars,” offering a bold and contemporary nod to the significance of red in Chinese culture.

Each Phantom Extended commission is finalized with a Gallery artwork, safeguarded behind a layer of pure glass, seamlessly spanning across the carbon fiber fascia. The interior is enhanced with lambswool carpets that match the leather trim.

The Bespoke designers have crafted unique color schemes for the different models: a combination of Cherry Red with Crystal finish over Selby Grey with a Crystal finish for the Cullinan; and a Silver and Cherry Red two-tone or a monolithic Black with a Crystal finish for the Phantom Extended motor car commissions.

Jonathan Simms, Head of Bespoke at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, states, “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars excels in the luxury sector by drawing inspiration from global cultures and traditions, integrating designs, motifs, materials, and colors that resonate and hold personal significance for our clients. These Bespoke creations… are a profound reflection of our appreciation for Chinese culture and offer a contemporary, minimalist statement that aligns with trends observed among luxury consumers worldwide.”

Image Source: betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

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