Her Majesty’s Bentley State Limousines
Extremely rare and well-nigh unattainable is Bentley’s one-of-a-kind State Limousine built especially for Queen Elizabeth II to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002. The Queen was supposedly so impressed with the Bentley that she ordered a second one. The two State Limousines were made exclusively for the Queen, which means none of these cars became commercially available.
This car is so special that this was the vehicle used by Queen Elizabeth at her Diamond Jubilee (or 60th year on the throne) in June 2012. The Bentley State Limousine was recently seen carrying Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last May.
As is customary when the Queen is on board, a figure of St. George slaying the dragon stands on the Bentley’s hood while the roof carries a flag and the royal coat-of-arms. At 6.22 meters long, the Bentley State Limousine has an imposing length and houses a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 engine — one of the most powerful engines to be placed in a state car. The Bentley State Limousine is also considered to be more rare than the Queen’s other state car, the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV (the latter is also owned by other heads of state).
A mere 35 bespoke Silver Ghosts
One hundred and ten years ago, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost caught attention when it ran 15,000 miles without significant faults at the 1907 Scottish Reliability Trial. Painted in aluminum with silver-plated fittings, Rolls-Royce’s 40/50 hp vehicle was renamed Silver Ghost to highlight its engine’s ghost-like quietness. The Silver Ghost eventually established Rolls-Royce’s reputation as “The Best Car in the World.”
This August, Rolls-Royce announced its creation of a limited Silver Ghost Collection consisting of only 35 bespoke Ghost vehicles around the world. We are kept in suspense as to what these vehicles look like up close, as only a short film of the car in motion (less than two minutes long) has been released by the super-luxury brand.
Speaking in the film is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Product Manger Matthew Butt who says that “references extoling the past are skilfully handcrafted into Ghost’s interior and exterior.” A hallmark of the past is placed on each base of the Spirit of Ecstasy figure, which stands on the Ghost’s hood. The base is marked with AX201 — the registration plate of the original Silver Ghost (40/50 hp) with chassis number 60551. An insert is crafted from hammered copper, a tribute to the copper extensively used in the engine bay of the original Silver Ghost.
The Ghost’s exterior is surrounded by a coachline with pure silver particles, while the interiors include open pore tudor oak with silver onlays. We have yet to learn more about the Silver Ghost’s engine and which country will first have access to this limited number of vehicles.
With only two of the Bentley State Limousines and just 35 of the Silver Ghosts in the world, is there a point to discussing cars which are almost unattainable? I think so. As author L. Frank Baum said, “Beautiful things may be admired, if not loved.”