Commissioning a Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is Like Ordering Your Own Work of Art

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail
Rolls-Royce Boat Tail | Rolls-Royce

It maybe the most expensive car in the world – and it’s going away next year! The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail.

With a price of approximately $30 million, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail dazzles with its pure lines, grace, and incredible beauty and luxury.

So how, exactly, do you go about ordering one? Well, for starters, be ready to be very involved in the process. Rolls-Royce requires buyers to visit Goodwood six or seven times in person (no chauffeurs excepted as stand-ins) during the coachbuilding process. And it’s important to understand that only a few will be built and then it’s over for good.

rolls-royce boat tail
The Boat Tail, the most expensive car in the world, is officially going away next year. | Rolls-Royce

We can learn a bit about the process by looking at the Boat Tail that Rolls-Royce recently unveiled at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the postcard-perfect shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.

Finished in a pearl-inspired chameleon-like paint that morphs from near-white to a golden bronze depending on the light and location, this is only the second of three Boat Tails to ever exist.

Rolls-royce boat tail for sale
The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail on the shores of Lake Como. | Rolls-Royce

The latest car shares a platform and its overall look with the first Boat Tail revealed in 2021 and thought to have been purchased by Beyoncé herself. This one has its own custom set of rose gold cutlery and carbon fiber folding stools that make up its al fresco dining set for that perfect lakeside experience.

A bit of Rolls-Royce History: Rolls-Royce Turns 114

The Boat Tail was inspired both by racing yachts of the early 20th century and the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Boat Tail from 1932, which one contemporary Boat Tail customer also owns.

This particular example was commissioned by a loyal Rolls-Royce customer based in the Middle East and whose family business in the pearling industry has led to four pearl shells used to form certain elements of the interior, as well as providing inspiration for the exterior color.

rolls-royce boat tail for sale
What inspired the creation of the Boat Tail? Racing yachts of the early 20th century and the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Boat Tail from 1932. | Rolls-Royce

Thought to have cost $30 million, Rolls-Royce says the car’s foundation paint is “a shimmering blend of oyster and soft rose, with large white and bronze mica flakes adding a unique pearlescent quality that changes subtly under different light conditions.”

To ensure the buyer knew exactly what to expect in terms of paint, Rolls-Royce shipped entire body panels out to them, just to see how they looked in the local sunshine. 

This is only a part of the Rolls-Royce coachbuilding process, something only the brand’s most loyal customers get to experience.

“It was the clients’ idea to do this, harking back to the [1932] Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, which one of the clients owns and this is how the whole idea developed,” notes Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “Our clients, we call them luminaries, there are around 100 worldwide and they know each other, I would call this a super elite club…The idea was developed between them. The idea of al fresco dining in the back came from them.”

rolls-royce dining set
The dining set included in the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail takes picnics in a car to a new level. | Rolls-Royce

The dining set, which is completely custom for this particular owner, also includes temperature-controlled storage for the owner’s favorite wine, crockery, and a parasol and a pair of folding carbon fiber stools. 

When you press a button on the key fob, the wood-paneled rear deck opens “like a butterfly’s wings,” according to Rolls-Royce, and reveals the dining set, which raises upwards for easy access.

The owner chose the specific Royal Walnut paneling, complete with inlaid rose gold pinstripes, due to the fact that it will age well and become richer-looking over time to complement the cognac leather of the interior.

rolls-royce boat tail
Rolls-Royce says the car’s foundation paint is “a shimmering blend of oyster and soft rose.” | Rolls-Royce

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On the front of the Boat Tail, the iconic pantheon grille was milled from a single, giant piece of aluminum and, unlike any other Rolls-Royce, lacks a triangular aluminum top, according to the British automaker.

The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament was crafted out of rose gold.

Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament: Luxury like no other. | Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce’s coachbuilding division is not easy to access, of course. 

“We could sell many, many, many coachbuilt projects, but by its very nature, we wanted to limit it. Our intention is to go every second year, but maybe every year now in the future. It is a firm establishment in our company and we are already booked for many, many years to come with projects.

“It is something where clients come to us, or to me and say ‘Thorsten I want to do this’. Then we put you on the list and many of them already come with ideas of what they want to do and how it should look…It is a requirement (that clients visit Rolls-Royce HQ in Goodwood, England six or seven times during the project); you can’t send your chauffeur to do this, it’s impossible. You need to be committed, to be fully involved.”

Ordering a Rolls-Royce Boat Tail.
The Boat Tail is considered Rolls-Royce’s most exclusive car ever. | Rolls-Royce

Ordering a Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is not the easiest process – but that’s not the case for all Rolls-Royce. Visit our Rolls-Royce dealerships for the ultimate car-buying experience

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