Goodwood’s one-off Rolls-Royces prove their Olympian worth

CENTRE STAGE Jessie J performs during the Olympic Games closing ceremony in a Rolls-Royce
CENTRE STAGE Jessie J performs during the Olympic Games closing ceremony in a Rolls-Royce
Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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IN amongst the anarchy, the carnival spirit and the world’s best party that was the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony, a bastion of British establishment took to the stage.

Three specially-made Rolls-Royce cars, the drophead coupé version of the new Phantom II, took to the road around the Olympic Stadium stage to deliver three VIP guests.

Trained drivers were in charge of getting pop singer and The Voice judge Jessie J to the stage, as well as rapper Tinie Tempah and singer Taio Cruz.

One of the drivers was Rolls-Royce sales support manager Matt Butt, who had to ensure Jessie J reached the stage on time, as well as dropping the car’s roof to reveal who was being chauffeured.

Matt, 32, said: ‘It was just fantastic. It was really exciting but there was a lot of pressure so I had to concentrate.’

He and his car were back at the home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars yesterday, with the car on display within the firm’s reception area.

As part of the celebrations, the three Rolls-Royce cars sported newly-designed badges for the first time in 
the firm’s 108‑year history.

The new badges, designed by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Team at Goodwood, replaced the traditional R-R for the first time since the company started in 1904.

The new grille badge features the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy with patriotic Union Flag replacing the traditional flowing gown of the Graceful Little Goddess.

The steering wheel centre includes a traditional laurel wreath and torch, and the self-righting wheel centres feature the words ‘London 2012’ surrounded by the Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).

The badges have unique tread plates identifying each car as one of three, creating perhaps the most collectable – and unobtainable – Rolls-Royce bespoke items ever produced.

Rolls-Royce does not yet know what is going to happen to the cars, whether they will be kept or sold.

But chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is owned by BMW, which was one of the London 2012 sponsors.