Boat Tail — Chapter II

Boat Tail
Chapter II







To read a good book is to embark on a journey; each chapter further unveiling the storyline, characters, emotive connotations — and the nature of the author. It’s a cumulative revelation, a story building layer upon layer, ultimately leading to a grand finale.

By no means at the end of the Boat Tail saga – and perhaps in its golden centre – I headed back to the Mandarin Oriental in Lake Como some eight months after the original Boat Tail unveiling.

Much like the aquatic skyline and gently overcast setting brought to life the rich blue hues of the Boat Tail launch back in October ’21, it was now the turn of vibrant Spring sunshine and rich green floral accoutrement to embellish the shimmering champagne rose gold of this next chapter Boat Tail.







In some ways it shouts louder than its predecessor, with features such as the rose gold gilded wheels gently gleaming in the fading spring sunlight, or the rose gold Spirit of Ecstasy protruding from the contrasting cognac coloured bonnet.

At the same time, you could argue that it was more understated – relatively speaking of course – with subtle colour and textured finishes preferred to the Montblanc glove-box gadgetry of its predecessor, or the dashboard mounted Bovet timepiece.

“Every Rolls-Royce Coachbuild commission is, of course, incredibly special; but in this case, there was an additional depth of feeling. Creating a motor car in honour of a revered client’s father and family history is an extraordinary privilege; a responsibility that we took very much to heart. The commissioning patron’s deep-rooted connection to Boat Tail is an inspiration – the result far exceeds a means of conveyance to become, quite literally, a moving work of art.”

_ Alex Innes, Head of Coachbuild Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

As always, Rolls-Royce keep the identities of their patrons under lock & key (unless they themselves choose to reveal it) but it came as no surprise for me to learn that the patron of this new Boat Tail’s father had a background in the pearl industry, with the dream-like shimmering hue visible in many aspects of the design.

In fact the Boat Tail paintwork itself was inspired by selection of pearl shells presented during the commissioning process, personally chosen by the client for their unique colour and complexity. The resulting finish was one of the most complex ever used on a Rolls-Royce vehicle; a shimmering pearlescent blend of soft rose and oyster, achieved by using white and bronze mica flakes.

Look inside the car and the theme continues, with the clock face itself featuring a mother-of-pearl surface – supplied by the client from his own collection – with delicate rose gold hour markings and Rolls-Royce “RR” branding pride and centre.

The colours may sound somewhat delicate in description, but the poise of the Boat Tail is anything but, capturing the powerful elegance of its namesake vessel; appearing to be in motion when standing still, and at rest when moving. I learn later on that the patron is an avid classic car enthusiast, to such an extent that he has his own private museum to showcase his prized collection. This gives the appeal of the Coachbuilt Rolls-Royce to its new owner real context: the paradox in design, all part of the mesmerising objet d’art that is Boat Tail — Chapter II.







A distinctive feature shared by both Boat Tail editions is the ‘butterfly-design’ hosting suite, reminiscent of a luxury yacht ‘tail’ when closed. On this occasion, it’s finished in Royal Walnut veneer, with a rose gold-plated pinstripe garnishing: true to the plumbline design theme of this Coachbuilt Rolls-Royce.


I’ve heard it said that life is “lived forward but understood backwards1” and I feel we’ll only truly understand the Boat Tail’s impact to coachbuilding and automotive design the when the final chapter has been written.

If what I’ve seen to date is anything to go by, it will most certainly be the grandest of finales.

More Boat Tail




  1. Joyce Meyer, 2022
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