The closing ceremonyof the Olympic games is an intimidating venue for any performer, including high-performance luxury car maker Rolls Royce. As an important part of the British national identity, it was no surprise when Rolls was asked to participate in the Symphony of British music at the official end of the games.
In an effort to capture the national pride of the moment, Rolls Royce furnished three Phantom drophead coupés with a small but historically noteworthy modification: The typical badge seen under the hood ornament, depicting a bowing goddess wearing a dress – called “The Sprit of Ecstasy” – was modified so that her dress had become the Union Jack.
This change is a first in the firm’s 108 year history during which the hood ornament and badge have become the most recognizable feature of a Rolls Royce, situated alongside the iconic Rolls front grille.
“These unique cars were hand built at the Home of Rolls‑Royce at Goodwood by our dedicated and passionate workforce and the whole team can take great pride in their part in making history for our company,” said Chief Executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
It’s the first time in 108 years that Rolls Royce has altered its badge in any way, but the 2012 London Olympics seemed like the perfect time to break with tradition.
“I am delighted that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was invited to take part in celebrating the success of the Games and it is appropriate that we should recognise this occasion with a fitting tribute,” Müller-Ötvös elaborated.
The Phantom II Drophead coupé features a V12, 453 hp engine controlled by an 8-speed ZF-automatic gearbox. Some luxuries inside include a champagne cooler and three-dimensional satellite navigation system the can take the driver on guided tours.
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