When Henry Royce was designing the first Rolls‑Royce, a friend advised him to “turn out a reliable car at a low price”. But Royce had other ideas. He sought to turn out “the best motor car in the world regardless of cost”. More than 100 years later, that same desire for perfection is the driving force behind Rolls‑Royce Motor Cars.
Since 1904, we’ve created instantly recognisable motor cars that have made the marque an icon all over the world.
With a shared ambition to make the future of motoring extraordinary, the Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce joined forces in 1904. Despite being from very different backgrounds, the founders of Rolls‑Royce Motor Cars formed an unlikely partnership – one forged from a shared passion for engineering and a desire to create the Best Car in the World.
Rolls and Royce first met on 4 May 1904 in Manchester. Within minutes of seeing Royce’s twin-cylinder 10hp, Rolls knew he had found what he was looking for. After taking the motor car for a drive, Rolls agreed on the spot to sell as many motor cars as Royce could build, under the name Rolls‑Royce.
One of Johnson’s early adverts for the 40/50hp motor car promoted it as: ‘The six-cylinder Rolls‑Royce – not one of the best, but the Best Car in the World.’ In that moment, he had introduced the phrase that would forever be associated with Rolls‑Royce.
Rolls‑Royce produced the 1907 Silver Ghost, the motor car that founded the marque’s legendary status.
After faultlessly completing the 1913 Alpine Trial – a 14,371-mile drive through some of the toughest mountain terrain – the Silver Ghost had demonstrated such a level of comfort and reliability that critics named it ‘The Best Car in the World’. The rest as they say is history.