To commemorate one of its most famous models, Rolls-Royce is building 12 examples of the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow to mark the end of production of the model. The vehicle will also be the last V12 coupe the OEM will ever make.
Drawing ideas from the Thunderbolt, which featured two Rolls-Royce V12 ‘R’ Series aero engines that set world land speed records in the 1930s – Rolls-Royce craftspeople have designed a bespoke interior for the model. With a large fascia depicting the contemporary V12 engine in the Wraith stretching across the dashboard, the focal point is produced by engraving the design into a single sheet of black-coated aluminum, a nod to the Thunderbolt’s polished aluminum body.
The Black Arrow’s coach doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood, consisting of more than 320 multi-directional and lasered marquetry pieces which mimic the cracked, irregular surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The same design feature is also used within the rear of the vehicle.
The Black Arrow’s armrests, seat gussets, transmission tunnel, door detail, door panniers and lower dashboard panel have all been upholstered in Club Leather. Bright Yellow has been used for the front seat leather, and for the outer headrest an embroidered arrow motif has been included to reference the arrow symbol painted on Thunderbolt’s body. This enabled the electric timing equipment to ‘see’ and capture the car at full speed.
Other nods to the infamous 1930s vehicle include a dark marking on the steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position to represent the black lines painted on the white Salt Flats to help Captain George Eyston (who set a world land speed record in the Thunderbolt in 1938) to maintain direction when driving at speeds of more than 350mph.
Creating a nights sky ambience within the interior are 2,117 fiber-optic stars, the most ever found within a Rolls-Royce vehicle. All of the lights have been arranged by hand to depict the Milky Way and other constellations as they would have been seen in the Salt Flats in Utah on September 16, 1938 – the date of Eyston’s final record.
The fascia clock bezel references the Thunderbolt’s basic interior, and has been inscribed with the Thunderbolt’s everlasting record speed for a V12-engined car of 357.497mph.
“Wraith is one of the most significant and influential cars we have ever made at Goodwood,” explained Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “It created its own following within contemporary culture and then expanded that further in its alternative Black Badge guise. As the last examples of this landmark motor car get ready to leave Goodwood, we commemorate Wraith’s status as the last series V12 coupe we will ever make.”