Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII Brings Back the Stars in the Sky of 1919

A pair of 20.3-liter Rolls-Royce engines developing 350 bhp were the main tools used by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown to cross the Atlantic in their World War I Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft back in 1919. It was the first achievement of its kind, one that now the British carmaker decided to honor.
Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII 12 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
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On Thursday (May 23), Rolls-Royce announced the introduction of a special car, the Wraith Eagle VIII. Being meant as a collection car, only 50 units of its will be built with unique exterior and interior enhancements in honor of the two and their airplane.

As a tribute to the unaided night-time flight of the aviator duo back in 1919, the car is painted in Gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper two-tone. The black grille vanes are meant to remind those looking at it of the Eagle VIII engine cowling on the Vickers aircraft, and the wheels come in a polished shadow finish.

The interior is a continuation of the outside modifications, with Selby Grey and black leather used all around and accented by brass, as a remembering of the sextant of the same material Alcock and Brown used to get their bearings.

The speaker covers are also made in brass, showing the 1,880 miles estimated distance the two had to travel. There’s even a brass plaque with Winston Churchill’s quote commending the achievements of the two.

“I do not know what we should most admire - their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines - or their good fortune,” the plaque reads.

But the thing that will ultimately seal the deal for Rolls buyers looking for a commemorative car is the ambient lighting. 1,183 starlight fiber in the car’s headliner are positioned in such a way as to show the star arrangement at the time of the flight, a century ago.

A brass thread crosses this man-made sky, showing the flight path of the Vickers, while a red light shows the location where the two started navigating using the stars.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the company's CEO, says the Wraith Eagle VIII's unique features are a culmination of his employees' skills.

“Wraith Eagle VIII is at once an object of desire; an homage to heroes and a protagonist to today’s visionaries,"
he said.

"This Rolls-Royce Collection demonstrates the extraordinary skill of our Bespoke Collective at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex."

Rolls-Royce did not announce pricing for the limited edition Wraith Eagle VIII.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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