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Some people probably rolled their eyes when Rolls-Royce announced the Year of the Dragon Phantom, believing it would just be another poor-selling limited edition vehicle. But never underestimate just how strong the Chinese culture and beliefs are. Or rather, just don’t underestimate the wallets of those strong-believing Chinese.
The $1.2-million custom Rolls-Royce Phantom sold out in just two months. How many did they sell? Well, the luxury British automaker won’t reveal the number.
This clearly gives Rolls-Royce even more confidence in the Chinese market, where the company plans to add another 10 dealerships to its 14 existing ones.
The Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon edition has “marvelous embroidery work” and a red exterior, which is the color of luck. There are also gold hand-painted dragons on each fender, same as the one that is hand-stitched on the cushions in the rear and in the headrests.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon Phantom
Thanks to the Chinese market, Rolls-Royce had a record setting year for sales in 2011 with 3,538 luxury cars delivered to customers. In 2010, Rolls-Royce only managed to sell 2,711 cars, 31-percent less than 2011.
Rolls-Royce’s previous best year was back in 1978 when they said 3,347 cars. The record-setting 3,538 marks the highest sales in a single year in Rolls-Royce’s stories 107-year history. Strong sales growth occurred worldwide, but the Asian Pacific region was the most significant with a 47-percent increase. North America was up 17-percent while the Middle East experienced a 23-percent growth compared to 2010. At home, the United Kingdom reported a 30-percent growth in the year.
The luxury automaker also enjoyed growth in their Bespoke personalization program with nearly every Phantom model leaving their factory with some element of personalization done to it. Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke personalization program allows the buyer to choose from unique paint colors, interior details and embroidery or even whole vehicle designs with champagne sets and humidors.
Bijan Pakzad is well known for his exclusive boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but to automotive enthusiasts, we know him as the designer of a custom yellow Bugatti Veyron which is often seen in front of his store – the same one was that sadly vandalized after his untimely death.
Deep down though, Bijan always had a passion for Rolls-Royces, having agreed to a partnership with the famed luxury car manufacturer to design and release a limited series of unique Rolls-Royce Phantoms. Unfortunately Bijan didn’t live to see his vision of a Rolls-Royce, but the unveiling of the Bijan Edition Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe would make him proud.
The Drophead Coupe clearly incorporates Bijan’s passion for all-things yellow, and the special edition vehicle is estimated to be valued at $1.6 million. Bijan executives hope to make a dozen of these creations which also feature a Bijan watch surrounded by white diamonds embedded in the dash, and a set of crystal glasses in a picnic set found in the trunk.
[Source: Dirk A Photography]
GALLERY: Bijan Edition Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe
Qatar is slowly becoming the land of outlandish and brazenly modified vehicles, despite the modifications normally consisting of an insane paint job or wrap. This time around though, we’re almost speechless, as the world’s classiest and most luxurious vehicle has received a turquoise treatment. That’s right, this Rolls-Royce Phantom was delivered to the Rolls-Royce showroom in Doha, Qatar sporting the wonderful shade.
Obviously everyone’s first assumption is that this Rolls-Royce was potentially special-ordered for the Al-Thani family, who have become notorious for their collection of turquoise-painted exotics, but there’s no confirmation on who’s the lucky owner. Here’s hoping it does belong to the Al-Thani family and that no one else out there had the great idea of painting one of the world’s most expensive cars turquoise.
[Source: GT Spirit]