Lifestyle — 31.07.23

Altitudes takes a look at one of just three Rolls-Royce Boat Tails that have been, and ever will be made.

In early December, there was an excited buzz in Dubai’s car enthusiast WhatsApp groups as a very special Rolls-Royce had been spotted outside a coffee shop in Motor City. The emirate is well known for its Rolls-Royces (my next door neighbour owns two 1960s Silver Cloud IIIs), so for a model to be attracting such attention, it must’ve been special. And it was.


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars created just three coachbuilt Boat Tails; one was (allegedly) bought by a famous American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and his equally famous wife. The second was the mystery blue Boat Tail parked outside The CARS Café at The Autodrome, and number three, the mother-of-pearl inspired Boat Tail featured here, we know a bit more about.



The pearl colourway of this particular Boat Tail reflects the commissioning patron’s father’s pearl industry origins. Already a major collector of arts and automobiles, the owner has added a truly unique objet d’art to the collection. At the beginning of the commission, the owner presented Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Designers with a selection of four pearl shells, personally chosen from his private collection for their unique colour and complexity. The shells provided inspiration for the exterior colour, which is one of the most complex Bespoke finishes ever created by Rolls-Royce.

Hand-built: The Boat Tail is entirely hand-built, with the body panels fashioned from vast, single sheets of aluminium to create the distinctive outline inspired by the racing yachts of the early 20th century.


“Coachbuild elevates our work as a House of Luxury into a new space; it is the haute couture of our industry. For the commissioning patron it offers the ultimate in individuality, self-expression and Bespoke service,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Far more than just a beautiful motor car, a coachbuilt creation becomes a legacy that embodies something extraordinarily personal and emotionally resonant for each client. For our designers, too, Coachbuild provides unparalleled creative freedom; opportunities to take design, materials, engineering and craftsmanship to the very highest levels. For Rolls-Royce as a marque, it is both a return to our roots and a contemporary revolution, in which we deliver the impossible in conventional automotive manufacturing into a stunning reality.”

The owner supplied one of his pearls to create the timepiece, control switches and the instrument dials.



The Boat Tail’s Royal Walnut veneer rear deck features a unique hosting suite. Here, a ‘butterfly-design’ opens up to reveal a full picnic set up, complete with chairs, fold out tables and even a parasol.

Inside, the Royal Walnut veneer theme continues and is complemented by cognac and oyster-coloured leathers as well as rose gold and mother-of-pearl accents. Again, the owner supplied one of his prized pearls to create the dashboard’s timepiece, the control switches and the instrument dials, creating a strong visual and material connection between the car, the owner, and his family heritage.


Colour foundation: The colour 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.

“Every Rolls-Royce Coachbuild commission is, of course, incredibly special; but in this case, there was an additional depth of feeling. Creating a motor car in honour of a revered client’s father and family history is an extraordinary privilege; a responsibility that we took very much to heart. The commissioning patron’s deep-rooted connection to Boat Tail is an inspiration – the result far exceeds a means of conveyance to become, quite literally, a moving work of art.”

Alex Innes, Head of Coachbuild Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.