The Second Rolls
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The Second Rolls

Jul 09, 2023

Only four Droptails are being built, each with a unique look, and this example draws inspiration from amethyst gemstones and the globe amaranth wildflower.

This month at Monterey Car Week, Rolls-Royce pulled the covers off of an exclusive new convertible, the Droptail. Only four units of the V-12–powered two-door will be built, each with its own unique theme. The first example, called La Rose Noire, was painted a deep, seductive shade of red while the cabin featured 1063 pieces of wood trim in a geometric pattern. Now Rolls-Royce has revealed the second Droptail, named after the gemstone amethyst, that exhibits an exquisite purple paint job, acres of open-pore wood, and actual amethyst gems.

Rolls-Royce hasn't published a price for the Droptail, but a previous bespoke project, the Boat Tail, cost north of $20 million. According to Rolls-Royce, the unnamed client ran a gemstone boutique before expanding into a multinational corporation. The customer collects jewels (along with cars and artwork) in their own private museum, so we imagine the multi-million-dollar price tag wasn't a problem for this privileged individual. Amethyst is their son's birthstone, serving as inspiration for the purple tones throughout the car.

The elegant paint job, however, draws upon the globe amaranth wildflower, which Rolls-Royce says "blooms in the desert near one of the client’s homes." The light purple body features flecks of powdered aluminum to create a glistening finish while the hood is a darker hue, the contrast meant to represent different stages of the flower's bloom. The polished aluminum 22-inch wheels also include a touch of purple paint, and the carbon fiber lower section of the body is finished in a unique chevron pattern with an amethyst tint.

Rolls-Royce broke from tradition with the Droptail's grille, angling the vertical vanes inward for the first time. The Amethyst Droptail's vanes are partially hand-brushed and partially hand-polished, with a dividing line separating the two finishes. The unusual process allegedly took 50 hours and was inspired by the brushed hands on a timepiece in the watch collection of the owner's son. As on La Rose Noire, the lower air intake features an ornate, complex design with 202 hand-polished stainless steel rectangles, painted in the globe amaranth hue.

Perched atop the expansive hood, the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament sprouts out of amethyst cabochons, a term for when a gem is polished into a rounded form instead of faceted like the gems on many wedding rings. The Droptail comes with a removable hardtop roof and electrochromic glass that can switch between opaque with a purple tint to translucent with a hint of the Sand Dunes color.

The cabin is full of wood, with the client selecting a Calamander Light open-pore strain, which is meant to match the Sand Dunes leather accents. Rolls-Royce claims that sourcing wood that perfectly paired with the leather was a six-month undertaking. The tan leather appears on the seats and dashboard, contrasting with the main purple leather upholstery.

The wood extends from the dashboard down the door panels and to what Rolls-Royce calls the "aft deck," clearly meant to emulate luxurious yachts, where the grain creates a dramatic V-shape. The wood was apparently tested for 8000 hours in temperatures ranging from 176 degrees to negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as extreme sunlight and rain exposure. Rolls-Royce says the deck also serves an aerodynamic role, claiming its the "world’s only ‘raw’ wooden surface that produces downforce on a new roadgoing motor car."

The gauges echo the hood-mounted Spirit of Ecstasy, decorated with cabochon-style amethyst gems. The interior also includes woven leather floor mats, a reference, Rolls-Royce says, to the traditional weaving found in the souks, or Arab marketplaces, of the owner's original home. Like La Rose Noire, the dashboard has a space for a unique watch, which the client commission from Vacheron Constantin, a Swiss manufacturer. The watch can be removed from its dashboard housing and worn.

Caleb Miller began blogging about cars at 13 years old, and he realized his dream of writing for a car magazine after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and joining the Car and Driver team. He loves quirky and obscure autos, aiming to one day own something bizarre like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsports fan.

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Rolls-Royce has revealed the second limited-production Droptail, after unveiling the first unit, called La Rose Noire, at Monterey Car Week.This Droptail, called Amethyst, draws inspiration from the purple gemstone with an ethereal paint job and real amethyst in the gauge cluster.It also features swaths of open-pore wood and purple-tinted carbon fiber.