on 1 Aug 2022
The hand-built Boat Tail is inspired by classic J-class cruisers of the early 20th century. It's only one of three in existence and, at US$28m, it's the most expensive street-legal car in the world
Rolls Royce’s custom design and engineering programme Coachbuild has recently completed one of its most ambitious projects to date.
Boat Tail is an entirely hand-built motor car with body panels fashioned from vast sheets of aluminium to create the distinctive outline inspired by racing yachts of the early 20th century.
The project was commissioned by a patron whose family business grew from his father’s origins in the pearling industry. The foundation of the colour is a distinctive blend of oyster and soft rose, with large white and bronze mica flakes adding a unique iridescent quality that changes subtly under different light conditions.
Coachbuild is unique in that it offers motorcar owners a similar level of customisation as yacht owners. Everything – from the cushions to the treadplates, car covers, headrests and glovebox is completely customised to the clients.
And this latest edition is just one of three Boat Tails that have been, and ever will be made. According to Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, all three Boat Tail clients told the Coachbuild design team to “make me something I’ve never seen before.”
The rear deck, which houses Boat Tail’s unique ‘butterfly-design’ hosting suite, is swathed in Royal Walnut veneer, inlaid with rose gold-plated pinstripes with a satin-brushed finish to ensure a sensitive and sophisticated appearance. The client specifically selected the Royal Walnut for its beautiful properties, as it matures over time and will gradually transition to the tonal properties of cognac in colour.
“Boat Tail is a step-change in ingenuity and creative liberty,” says Alex Innes, head of Coachbuild. “Building a motor car by hand offers a new realm of exploration and possibility: we can accomplish things and resolve challenges that normal industrialised methods would prohibit. This is the tale of two worlds: a modern motor car of contemporary design, made possible by historical techniques and time-honoured craft. It is truly one-of-a-kind.”