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Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom Is Extravaganza on Wheels, Too Bad It's Green

Rolls-Royces are sober. They have always been like that.  Rolls-Royces breathe in luxury and breathe out exclusivity. Rolls-Royces follow traditions and are conventional. They have always done that. Well, everything is valid until you see this one. It is a 2024 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom painted in striking Metallic Green. Which turned out to be depreciation at its best.
2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom 29 photos
Photo: Bonhams
2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom2004 Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom
This Rolls-Royce Phantom right here is indeed exclusive. It is a 2004 Centenary Edition, one of the only 35 ever built, with only 15 making it to the US and the rest being sold around the world. But it is not exactly sober, nor is it conventional. Because it is as green as no Rolls-Royce had been before.

But as bizarre as those looks would seem in America or in Europe, they are just right for the extravagant world of the rich. In the United Arab Emirates, where police officers drive Lamborghini Aventadors, Bentley Bentaygas, and Porsche 918 Spyder, among so many other exotics, a green Rolls-Royce might not be out of the ordinary.

Chassis number SCA1S68014UX00301, this 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom started out in life at the brand’s then-still-new factory near Goodwood, in Sussex. With a BMW injection of resources, both financial and technological, Rolls-Royce was starting afresh.

The car that we are dealing with is a Phantom VII, manufactured in the second year of production of the seventh generation, one that kept rolling off the assembly line for 14 years. Rolls-Royce has never been quick at changing generations when it came to the Phantom. It is the second longest-used car nameplate in the world after the Chevrolet Suburban. So why would they hurry to change something that works?

2004 Rolls\-Royce Centenary Phantom
Photo: Bonhams
The car measures 229.7 inches (5,834 millimeters) in length, 78.3 inches (1,990 millimeters) in width, and 64.3 inches (1,632 millimeters) in height, sporting a wheelbase of 140.6 inches (3.570 millimeters). Those figures mean 5,622 pounds (2,550 kilograms) of luxury, exclusivity, and extravaganza on wheels.

This seventh-generation Phantom comes with a V12 instead of the V8 of its predecessor, which had ceased production in the 1990s. The 6.75-liter V12, derived from BMW’s own, generates 454 horsepower (460 PS) and 531 lb-ft (720 Nm) of torque, all steered to the rear axle via a six-speed automatic gearbox. An eight-speed auto box was optional. It does 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 5.2 seconds and hits a top speed of 149 mph (240 kph).

The model features an air-sprung suspension and automatic level control for uncompromised ride quality and comfort. The body shell of the Phantom is an aluminum space frame structure, which was stiffer than the steel body, yet lighter. The Phantom revived the rear-hinged rear doors.

The so-called 'suicide doors' provided easy access to the rear seats. And, since it was a model mostly designed for the VIPs, it was a gem for photographers who could take shots of the occupants back there without having their view obstructed once the rear doors opened.

2004 Rolls\-Royce Centenary Phantom
Photo: Bonhams
It was obvious that Rolls-Royce was going modern with all the technology infusion from BMW. Yet it kept the classic luxury that it had always provided. Wood veneers, genuine woolen carpets, and aluminum trims. Customers could choose either the Lounge layout with five seats or the Theatre configuration with four seats. The onboard phone still wears the protective plastic foil that it came from the factory with. It is one more confirmation that this car did not go too far.

The Rolls-Royce Centenary Phantom Centenary was an anniversary special edition that celebrated the moment Charles Stewart Rolls met Frederick Henry Royce for the first time, in a hotel in Manchester, England. It was a moment Rolls took upon him to sell all the cars that Royce would build. He had built three up to that moment, all powered by 2.0-liter two-cylinder engines with ten horsepower.

All 35 Centenary examples built, this Phantom included, sport tread plates engraved with the names of the two founders of the brand: "C.S. Rolls & F.H. Royce 4th May, 2004." And all of them, this Phantom included, of course, were painted in Dark Curzon. But at some moment over the years, it turned Metallic Green.

The listing does not mention any suspension modification, but the photos show a Phantom sitting closer to the ground than it normally would. There are red-detailed badges, the solid sterling silver Spirit of Ecstasy, and a chassis plate on the B-pillar. The luxury sedan rides on Meteor Silver wheels.

2004 Rolls\-Royce Centenary Phantom
Photo: Bonhams
The model is 20 years old and, even if it does run and drive after years of static display, it might need a bit of attention before it goes back on the road. The odometer only shows 451 kilometers (280 miles), which makes the two-decade-old vehicle practically new.

The 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom Centenary Edition went under the hammer this past weekend at the Bonhams event that took place at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Centenary Phantom sold for $115,000. That is less than half the price it sold for when it rolled off the assembly line. A brand-new anniversary luxury Phantom started at $351,500 in the United States. So this might just be the best example of a car losing value because of the bizarre paintwork.
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