Farewell to the Phantom

The Zenith Collection farewells Rolls-Royce’s game-changer in unique style.

By Russell Williamson 30/11/2016

Thirteen years is a long model cycle for a car, but when that model is a Rolls-Royce Phantom, the years waft by as it ages gracefully. And when the time comes, as it has now, for the last of the seventh-generation Phantom series to roll off the company’s Goodwood production line, it is an occasion to be marked in exquisite style.

Thus we have the Zenith Collection, a final-edition production totalling just 50 two-door Phantom Coupé and convertible Drophead Coupé models. Only one, a Phantom Coupé, is bound for Australia, with delivery to its Melbourne owner expected in March.

The V12 Phantom was the car that new parent BMW launched to resurrect the name in 2003 and the Zenith Collection truly exemplifies the luxurious, bespoke nature of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Finished in a Crystal over Midnight Blue exterior, complemented by an arctic white and navy blue cabin, the Australia-bound car features a number of additional bespoke interior touches.

These include a full metal fascia, metal steering wheel spokes, lambswool floormats, Zenith Collection clock and instruments, and laser-etched armrests depicting Geneva, Switzerland and Villa d’Este, Italy; in case you’re wondering, the locations for the original 2007/08 launch of the Drophead and Coupé.

Providing the perfect place to park and picnic is a tailgate fitted with a padded leather seat, from whence to be served from the boot’s two-bottle refrigerator. Come nightfall, one can drift away beneath a cosmic expanse courtesy of a bamboo Starlight Headliner.

As an incomparable keepsake, elegantly boxed in a drawer below the centre console and set in a polished aluminium ingot is a section of the rail from the Goodwood assembly line, etched with its location coordinates and the car’s VIN. That alone makes this car a true collectors’ prize.

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