The Home Of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Situated in beautiful West Sussex, there is a road called “The Drive” and a welcoming sign to “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars”. The plant in which the most deluxe and refined cars in the world are created. We were fortunate enough to have an inside look and gained exclusive access from our friends at RR. We even bought a brand new Black Badge Wraith home with us, which you can check out our test with right here. Lucky guys, we are.
“The turn of the 20th century marked the beginning of an extraordinary partnership between two of the most innovative minds of the moment. Henry Royce, a successful engineer and Charles Rolls, owner of one of the UK’s first motor car dealerships, agreed to sell motor cars under the name Rolls-Royce.”
Rolls-Royce space frames start out in a place called Unterhollerau in Germany, where over 200 sections of aluminium and 300 alloy parts are welded together to make the extremely strong frame, and this is done entirely by hand.
The frames are then shipped over to Dingolfing, Germany as a “Body In White” and here they go through all protective coatings and are treated for 45 minutes in a chemical bath which means every bit of the car is protected by the end of the process. Here is when the car is transported to Goodwood.
We entered the magnificent plant and were outfitted with our own RR long jackets to not only identify us in a safety issue, but protect the beautiful cars we would soon encounter up close and personally.
The building itself is marvellous, purpose built as an Eco-friendly factory yet refined, luxurious and spacious, it’s a hub of amazing personalities that make these cars what they are. One thing is for sure and that is the people working in this factory are not your usual factory workers. They are smiling, creatively charged and passionate about what they do.
Enter the Paint shop, where no colleague is even allowed to wear makeup or lipstick in worry of contaminating the paint. Strict procedures also apply to all of the workers clothes. The car is coated with 5 layers of paint from start to finish. The only machine controlled process is this first layer of primer, and this is to achieve a perfectly uniform, flat finish. Then the body is further painted and inspected vigorously. Here, clients can choose virtually any colour they wish. Many even colour match their own personal items to their car, which is all a part of RR’s bespoke program. Got a favourite pair of shoes or a special clothing item? Want a Rolls-Royce in that colour? You are covered!
Moving on to the assembly line the car parts are added by hand and workers visit “The Supermarket” to acquire exactly what they need before returning to the car and fitting it. The body is then mounted to the transmission and front/rear axle in “The Marriage”. Along the production line there are many magical moments, one highlight being the Starlit headliner, meticulously hand crafted with fiber optic lights each cut to the correct length for the chosen star constellation.
Upon arriving to the end of the line, the car has gone through vigorous testing in a monsoon of water jets, noise, stability checks and of course been hand polished. The nearly finished cars are rolling off, shining and perfect, all that is now left is for the team is to take the car out for a quick spin to check the drive and handling of the car to make sure all is just how each RR should be. Perfect.
During our visit, we were also treated to a look at the new RR Dawn, which we should get our hands on soon. The work that Rolls-Royce does is nothing short of spectacular and we encourage you all to find out more online at the official Rolls Royce Motor Cars website.