The Rolls-Royce clientele are demographically classified as high-net worth individuals. With an average bank balance of $30 million, the typical Rolls-Royce customer is from a very exclusive club. A club where quite simply money talks. Even at these rarified heights of wealth the Rolls-Royce customer may not always get what they want, as Bojan Pancevski writes in the Telegraph.
The idea of customising a Rolls-Royce is nothing new – the Spirit of Ecstasy was fashioned to help stop inappropriate mascots being appended to the front of Rolls-Royces. Some owners have even had Spitfire engines fitted to their “Rollers”. When John Lennon had his Phantom Rolls-Royce painted in psychedelic colours, one particularly outraged elderly lady beat the car with her umbrella, shouting, “You swine, you swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce.”
The fact is you don’t just buy a Rolls-Royce, you commission one.
Customising a Rolls-Royce is part of the whole Rolls-Royce experience. Early Rolls-Royces were just a chassis from which the Rolls-Royce customer could commission a coach builder to furnish the body. Companies such as Mulliner and Park Ward would build designs for these new motorised coaches. Each one unique and totally bespoke. With the new BMW lead Rolls-Royce selecting Mutec to be the only officially licensed company permitted to customise Rolls-Royce cars. They have signed a non-disclosure agreement and plan to open a showroom for their clientele in the near future. Along with bullet proofing and armour plating they also fashion purely cosmetic customisations.
However not all ideas are approved, no matter how lucrative. A gold plated Rolls-Royce Phantom is simply not in keeping with the Rolls-Royce marque – even if you are a multi gold disc winning rapper. A gold Phantom would show ‘poor taste’, not in keeping with the Rolls-Royce ethos. You can get Lincoln or Bentley to do a hot pink car – but not on a Rolls-Royce thank you very much.
The nouveau riche mainly from Russia, the Middle East and the Far East have been knocking on Mutecs door since they got the Rolls-Royce approval. American rapper, Nelly has had a mink fur interior installed to his Phantom Rolls-Royce while about 100 other customers have had everything from footbaths for Muslims or extra long wheelbases to accommodate leggy Russian girlfriends. It seems that for 2008 a customised Rolls-Royce is the thing to have for anyone with deep enough pockets.