Rolls-Royce’s newest special edition model pays tribute to the Rolls-Royce-powered Bluebird K3 speedboat that set a new world water speed record of 126.33 mph in 1937. The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Collection is a specially-trimmed version of the standard Drophead Coupe of which only 35 examples will be produced.
Like the historic Bluebird K3 boat, the Drophead Coupe Waterspeed’s exterior is finished in special blue paint. Rolls-Royce calls this hue Maggiore Blue after Italy’s Lake Maggiore where the Bluebird set the speed record, and the color even extends to the engine bay, making the 6.75-liter V-12 engine look particularly striking. There are also blue accents for the eleven-spoke wheels and throughout the specially-trimmed Windchill Grey interior. Instead of the Drophead Coupe’s traditional teak decking for the rear bulkhead, the Waterspeed version features special hand-brushed steel; Rolls-Royce says these steel trim pieces are individually panel-beaten by hand for 70 hours and brushed by a craftsperson for over 10 hours.
The interior is similarly special, with hand-engraved door armrests with the famous Bluebird motif taking eight hours to complete, according to Rolls-Royce. A new trim called Abachi wood is also featured in the Drophead Waterspeed’s cabin. This supposedly satin-like wood material is meant to feel cool to the touch and makes its Rolls-Royce debut in the Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Collection. In the glovebox is an embroidered panel displaying the records set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in the Bluebird K3, and Rolls-Royce’s traditional power reserve gauge has a special yellow and blue zone to pay tribute to the K3’s blue zone that meant the boat was operating at maximum engine revolutions.
Rolls-Royce is unveiling the Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Collection today at a special event at Italy’s Lake Como (next to Lake Maggiore) for the European market. It’s unclear whether any of the 35 exclusive cars will make it to the U.S., and buyers will presumably pay a significant premium over the standard Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe’s already extravagant price.