“When the authors approached us with their proposal for this book, we welcomed them with open arms. Simon and Harvey are both distinguished writers with great perceptiveness, integrity and enthusiasm. They joined us at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, where we gave them our full support, granting access to whatever and whoever they wanted to see and talk about. Their words, combined with the images captured by Mariano Vilarós, make this a definitive history of the marque, right up to and including, the present day. Its publication represents a worthy addition to the literature of Rolls-Royce, a fine celebration of our unique products and people, and a perfect book with which to acknowledge World Book Day.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce marked the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April 2021 with Making A Legend – a new book exploring how today’s generation of Rolls-Royce motor cars is designed and handcrafted at Rolls-Royce’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, England.
An important and worthy addition to the extensive Rolls-Royce literary canon, Making A Legend takes in a broad sweep of the company’s history, featuring cars from the marque’s very earliest days in the 1900s, right up to new Ghost launched in 2020.
The book provides an intimate, highly contemporary account of life at the house of luxury, with the aim of connecting readers with the people who make the best car in the world. The narrative follows the process of transforming a customer’s idea into a finished product, through interviews with individuals from all departments including Bespoke designers, skilled craftspeople and assembly specialists.
Over almost 300 lavishly illustrated pages, every detail of how a Rolls-Royce motor car is designed, engineered and meticulously hand-built, is examined. Chapters include Design and Customisation, Paint and Finish, Chassis Assembly, Woodwork, Leather and Testing; there is also an entire section devoted to the Spirit of Ecstasy, the figurine that has graced the bonnet of Rolls-Royce motor cars for over 100 years.
Emmy-winning automotive journalist Harvey Briggs, novelist Simon Van Booy and photographer Mariano Vilarós were granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to Rolls-Royce’s facilities and people over several months before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Briggs, who grew up in America’s Motor City, Detroit, and has reviewed every new Rolls-Royce model since Wraith in 2013, recalls being surprised at how much work is still performed by hand, even in the assembly process. He was also struck by the level of innovation in today’s Rolls-Royce motor cars, and the marque’s commitment to delivering impeccable quality.
Harvey Briggs commented, “The first time I visited Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, I was in awe of the exceptional creativity and skill of the people who design and build these remarkable cars. I knew I had to tell those stories.”
Simon Van Booy added, “The friendly perfectionism for craft, displayed by everyone we interviewed and Mariano photographed, was inspiring to the point where we knew the book had to be something rare and marvellous and functional – rather like a Rolls-Royce itself.”
Organised by UNESCO, World Book and Copyright Day celebrates the role of books and reading as a link between the past and the future, the bridge across generations and cultures. The date, 23rd April, is symbolic in world literature, marking the deaths of playwright and poet William Shakespeare, the creator of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, and the early Peruvian writer, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.
Making A Legend is published in hardback by ACC Art Books, and is now available from all good retailers.