Rolls-Royce Motor Cars History

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars History

Imagine Lifestyles is proud to offer luxury Rolls Royce Car Rentals in Miami, FL, South Florida, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY and Chicago, IL.

Learn more about the history of these luxury cars below, or about our complete fleet of luxury car rentals.

Rolls-Royce Beginnings

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a luxury automobile manufacturer headquartered in Goodwood, England. The British firm dates back to 1904 and currently produces all Rolls-Royce branded cars as a subsidiary of the BMW Group.

Rolls-Royce was established in 1906, by engineer Frederick Henry Royce and car aficionado Charles Stewart Rolls. That same year the six-cylinder Silver Ghost was produced. The ultra smooth and quiet Silver Ghost car made Rolls-Royce famous. Close attention to detail and quality in the Silver Ghost earned the car a reputation as the best car in the world. It additionally earned Roll-Royce the early reputation for producing the best luxury cars in the world.

To keep up with increasing demand, Rolls-Royce took  a second factory in Springfield, Massachisetts, in the 1920’s. The highly advanced Phantom I was launched, powered by an all new, pushrod-operated overhead valve engine with detachable cylinder heads. In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley. Post World War II, Rolls-Royce produced the Silver Wraith which was the last car to have its body built by an independent coachbuilder. From this point forward all Rolls-Royce cars were built in-house.

Rolls-Royce Middle

In 1950, Rolls-Royce debuted its Phantom IV. Powered by an eight-cylinder engine, the Phantom IV became the most exclusive Rolls ever produced. Only 18 were made and all 18 were delivered to royalty and heads of state. By the time the 1960’s rolled around, Rolls was introducing the Silver Cloud III, Silver Shadow and the Phantom VI. Rolls-Royce hit serious financial difficulty in the 1970’s due to problems with an engine contract. The firm filed for bankruptcy and was nationalized by the British government. Shortly thereafter, Rolls was acquired by Vickers plc., a British defense and engineering company. In 1981 the Silver Spirit was launched which was the first Rolls-Royce of a new generation. The aesthetic was geared towards a younger generation of buyers and the mechanics were designed strictly to meet international safety and emissions regulations.

BMW Ownership

In the early 1990’s Vickers put Rolls-Royce up for sale and Volkswagen outbid the likely purchaser BMW by almost $100 million. The two German automobile firms came to the agreement that VW would relinquish control of Rolls-Royce on January 1, 2003 and keep Bentley and the Crewe plant. BMW prepared for Rolls-Royce control by building a $100 million state-of-the-art factory in Goodwood, England. As a subsidiary of BMW, Rolls-Royce has returned to the front of the ultra luxury pack. Competition may be fierce but it looks as though Rolls-Royce will keep on rolling forward.