Special editions are usually a trick pulled out when a model is losing its sales appeal, cashing in on some spurious sponsorship or anniversary. Well, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is unlikely to be short of buyers and the provenance of the Waterspeed Collection model is anything but tenuous.
The car celebrates the remarkable achievements of Sir Malcolm Campbell, once the fastest man on both land and water, and all-powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The Waterspeed car actually recognises his water-borne achievements and is finished in ‘Maggiore Blue’ paint in reference to the Italian lake where he set a 1937 speed record in Bluebird K3. The Rolls-Royce R engine boat hit 126.33 mph (203.3km/h) and appropriately the stunning exterior finish is also applied to the Waterspeed’s twin-turbo V12 and as an accent on the eleven-spoke wheels.
A coach line featuring the Bluebird motif takes a Rolls-Royce master craftsman four hours to apply but that pales into insignificance in comparison with the brushed steel rear deck which is hand beaten for 70 hours then brushed for a further ten. Further historic touches adorn the inside with more blue accents, a two-tone steering wheel and a plaque commemorating Campbell’s achievements adoring the inside of the glovebox. That’s how you do a special edition.