In Pictures: The Making of a Rolls-Royce

Chauffeur Tim Holland with the Wraith in front of Amberley Castle

In 1998 BMW acquired the rights to use the Rolls-Royce brand name, logo, Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and grille shape. In 2003 an all-new facility opened on the grounds of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England. Since then, the fortunes of this once foundering prestige automaker have taken a remarkable turn. We visited this factory that insiders refer to as “an oasis of calm in a very busy world.” There are currently 1,500 employees – the average age being 34 and three quarters are British, living within fifteen miles of work.
We visited the factory, and two things stand out after this enlightening experience: 1) we need to thank BMW for saving the brand, and 2) Rolls-Royce motor cars are expensive for a reason.

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Peter Bleakney

Peter Bleakney

Peter is a Toronto-based auto writer and member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. Peter bought his first car when he was 15 — a ferrous 1968 Austin Mini — and learned how to swear while porting the head, installing twin SU carburetors, a header and Thrush muffler.