TGIFridays: Rolls-Royce unveils the new Arcadia Droptail

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We attended an unveiling event, just prior to the client presentation of a unique Rolls-Royce Droptail, bespoken by a client. Here is a short report on the event. And photographs of the magnificent motor car.

TGIFridays: Rolls-Royce unveils the new Arcadia Droptail

The car is a special bespoke vehicle, which is the expressed wish of the client. The Arcadia is the third Coachbuild Droptail commission and celebrates the form of the Droptail’s design. The Droptail design is the first roadster body style in Rolls-Royce’s modern history.

The coachwork commission takes the name from the mythical realm of Arcadia, a place which Ancient Greek mythology depicts as “Heaven on Earth”.

The Press Release talks about the commission taking the coachbuid designers to explore design, sculpture and architecture from the client’s favourite regions of the world – from the modernist sky gardens in Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as British architecture.

As usual Rolls-Royce is mum about who the client is and country of domicile the car will be delivered to. But we note that the Arkadia Droptail is a left hand drive model, which means this car is not designated to be registered for use on Singapore roads.

The interior is finished in two bespoke hues, and named after the client and exclusive for their use. The main leather is Bespoke White which continues to the external paint theme. And a contrast leather is in Bespoke tan to complement the wood work.

The car features the most complex dashboard clock in Rolls-Royce’s modern history. The clock is manufactured in-house by Rolls-Royce instead of the earlier clocks on Droptails which were commissioned from Bovet, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. The clock incorporates an guilloché pattern with 119 facets – 119 being a nod to Rolls-Royce celebration of its 119 year anniversary in 2023.

The clock, on the dashboard. Unlike the others which were commissioned works by watchmaking maisons, this clock is not removable from the dashboard.

The guilloché pattern is repeated in the other instrument dials which share the same materials, techinques and execution.

Use of wood is abundant in the car. But this new vehicle departs from the other three coachbuilt Droptails that in addition to the wood, it uses carbon fibre used to construct the lower sections of Droptail is painted in the solid Bespoke silver colour rather than left fully or partially exposed. The wood chosen is Santos Straight Grain, which makes a modern statement with the rich texture and interlocking grain pattern.

The use of high density hardwood is a challenge for the coachbuilders. The wood has very fine grain, and if not handled with greatest of care, it tears when machined and checks (cracks which appear parallel to the grain) during the drying process. Seen above is the beautiful aerodynamically functional rear deck, which replaces any need for a rear spoiler. The grain is open pore verneer laid at a 55° angle. To achieve a perfect composition over complex geometry, 233 wood pieces are used throughout Arcadia Droptail, with 76 pieces applied to the rear deck alone. The wood is coated with a bespoke lacquer developed so that it only require one application for the lifetime of the motor car. Other options considered and rejected are coatings used on super yachts, as these need regular servicing and re-appliation.

Indeed a magnificent motor car and superb tribute to the craftsmanship of the Rolls-Royce bespoke coachbuilders.

Photo Notes

The photographs were taken on site at the unveiling location at The Flower Field Hall, Gardens by the Bay. Hasselblad X2D with XCD 4/28 and XCD 4/45P. With available lighting and reflections from the thousands of ball like lights in the ceiling. Interestingly, the press release photographs, which we did not use in this article, were also taken with the Hasselblad X2D with various XCD lenses from XCD80 to XCD 120 and XCD 21.


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