It’s no surprise to hear that many of today’s most prolific automotive manufacturers have lent their technologies to other mediums, especially that of aviation. In the early 1900s, the first non-stop transatlantic flight was completed by British pilots John Alcock and Arthur Brown, marking the first time an aircraft would complete the trek from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland — and now, Rolls-Royce is paying homage to the aviators’ brave endeavor with the prestigious Wraith Eagle VIII.
The completion of 1919’s transatlantic flight, in and of itself, was a historic event made even more intriguing by a slew of dastardly challenges — in fact, following the instantaneous failure of the crew’s radio and navigation systems shortly after takeoff, both Alcock and Brown were forced to put their survival skills to the test almost immediately. As a result, the flight was completed using extensive knowledge of constellations and star patterns. Among the aircraft’s systems, the inclusion of two famed 20.3-liter, 350-horsepower Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines was the most substantial, acting as the only component on the entire platform that worked without fault. A century later, the company has decided to pay its respects to the WWI Vickers Vimy bomber (and crew) with the aptly named Wraith Eagle VIII, a luxurious vehicle that boasts a handful of bespoke features, including a two-tone Gunmetal/Selby Grey exterior and black grille, referencing the cowling used on the original aircraft. The Wraith’s black leather interior is outfitted with embroidered ‘RR’ monograms and Smoked Eucalyptus wood, illustrating images of Earth as seen from above, while a substantial quote from Sir Winston Churchill demarcates the mission’s notoriety following its completion. To round things out, a unique starlight headliner containing 1,183 starlight fibers mimics the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight in 1919. Only 50 examples of the vehicle are intended for sale, with the first to make its debut at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May.
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