Happy Birthday Phantom

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the revamped Rolls Royce Phantom. Back in the day, it was the first BMW owned Rolls Royce Phantom to come off the factory floor. In 2003 the first new version of the Rolls Royce Phantom was a modern, sleek and pristine version of its predecessors with some noticeable changes to both the interior and the exterior.

Gone was the sloped hatch-back look—even though it wasn’t an actual hatch-back—and in came the saloon/sedan look. The body had a more rounded appearance, replacing what could have been construed as harsh lines, with softened curves. The grille was still instantly recognizable but it blended more with the front of the car and the headlamps were integrated, rather than separate. It sort of brought the whole image of Rolls Royce into the 21st century, yet still keeping that familiar romantic image that it has always had. The seamless transition came after a break of more than twelve years. Some might say that 1991 to 2003 were more like the wilderness years for Rolls Royce. The company itself had fallen into some financial difficulty and business was not booming. During those years, Rolls negotiated with BMW and finally handed the keys over to them in 1998, after BMW beat Volkswagen in a six month bidding war.

It seemed like the end of an era and many were skeptical that the standard they had all come to expect from Rolls Royce would not hold up. However, under the loving wings of BMW, the company has actually tripled its workforce and more than quadrupled its output. In 2002 Rolls Royce was kicking out a mere one car per day from its factory in Goodwood—mostly due to declining sales—but today it manufactures a total of twenty in each work shift. Production has never been more popular and the workforce, a group of highly trained interns and apprentices included, puts together the most recognizable vehicles in the entire world.

Rolls Royce is a legend in its own lifetime and there was no real way it was ever going to disappear, but, despite fears, it has made one heck of an astonishing comeback, thanks to BMW. In 2013, the Rolls Royce Phantom is celebrating its tenth anniversary since the 2003 versions were unveiled. The three versions of the Phantom that are available are the Drophead, the Drophead Coupe and the Sedan/Saloon versions. All three have the sleek and noticeable style that is a trademark of the Rolls Royce car company and they have become a car of choice for some celebrities. David Beckham owned one, which he recently sold for a staggering $250,000 and other celebrities are following suit. At least we know for sure that the Phantom will be haunting our streets for a very long time to come.

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