Rolls-Royce honours 120 years of excellence at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marked the 120th anniversary of the meeting of its founders, The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce, with a parade of some of its most iconic models at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on 25 May 2024. Rolls-Royce also chose the occasion for the worldwide public debut of Cullinan Series II, a bold evolution of the world’s pre-eminent super-luxury SUV, on the Grand Hotel’s renowned Mosaic Lawn.

Building on the extraordinary global success of the first-generation Cullinan, which reframed super-luxury motoring upon its launch in 2018, the Series II model reaffirms the marque’s unwavering commitment to Sir Henry Royce’s famous maxim: “Take the best that exists and make it better”.

The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has a long and illustrious heritage. First staged in 1929, it is one of the most prestigious and important dates in the international lifestyle calendar. Hosted in the exquisite surroundings of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, it is a global showcase for classic and vintage cars, making it the perfect occasion to pay tribute to a special selection of models that helped build Rolls-Royce’s reputation.

Guests and media representatives from around the world enjoyed a parade of some of the most famous models from the marque’s storied lineage. This unique assembly of pioneering Rolls-Royce motor cars included a 1914 Silver Ghost, the model famous for its performances in the great motor trials of the early 20th Century. Also on show was a Phantom III; a marvel of engineering advancement at the time of its launch in 1936, it would go on to inspire the naming of Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric vehicle, Spectre, as ten experimental Phantom III motor cars bore that name from 1934 to 1937. The parade was completed with a 40/50 H.P. Silver Ghost built at the company’s facility in Springfield Massachusetts in 1923, a rare 1933 Phantom II Continental, and a fine example of a 1961 long-wheelbase Silver Cloud II. Amongst this array of epoch-making Rolls-Royce motor cars, a team of judges chose the 1914 Silver Ghost as the outstanding motor car of the parade; another triumph for the first model to earn Rolls-Royce the soubriquet of ‘the best car in the world’.

The procession of Rolls-Royce motor cars past and present acted as a reminder of the enduring legacy laid down by the marque’s founders, The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce. Together, these two great men gave their names to a dynasty of motor cars that continues to define super-luxury motoring across the world. It is 120 years since the first meeting of these great pioneers of motoring, at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, and their legacy lives on in the company they created.

“The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is an incredible celebration of automotive art. This wonderful event truly highlights the unique position Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has in the history of the automobile. It was an honour to showcase our latest masterpiece, Cullinan Series II, on the Mosaic Lawn at the Grand Hotel, exemplifying the culmination of countless hours of work from our team of designers, engineers and highly skilled craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce. I was also moved by the unique procession of some of the most famous Rolls-Royce motor cars, a reminder of the rich heritage of our marque. This event, which brings together luxury cognoscenti, leading international media and automotive connoisseurs, was the perfect occasion to honour the 120th anniversary of Rolls-Royce.” – Chris Brownridge, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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