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The 2024 Year of the Dragon has already proved to be a particularly auspicious one for four lucky owners of an extremely limited-edition bespoke Rolls-Royce auto. Each “Year of the Dragon” commission is unique, featuring hand-painted and hand-embroidered dragons in layered shades of red, which represents prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.  

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars created these four magnificent Year of the Dragon bespoke commissions to mark the Lunar New Year, Designed and hand-crafted at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, only four of these beautiful creations exist – three Phantom Extended models and one Cullinan – as a celebration of Chinese cultural heritage through hand-crafted artistry.

Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The commissions draw inspiration from the dragon, an enduring symbol of power, success and prosperity. For the Year of the Dragon autos, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective created a modern, minimalistic expression of the dragon never previously seen in a Rolls-Royce.

Destined for clients residing around the world, each of these four Roll-Royces is adorned with meticulously executed details featuring a traditional dragon motif that extends discreetly throughout the car’s interior. It is elegantly depicted in Phoenix Red stitching on the headrests of each of the four seats, providing a bold contrast with the seat leather, which is presented in either Black or White. Each dragon took 5,449 stitches and more than 20 hours to complete.

Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Three of the Year of the Dragon commissions include hand-painted fascia panels adorned with highly contemporary artworks reinterpreting the dragon form. Individually painted by one dedicated Rolls-Royce artist, each is distinctive, and each is the result of more than two weeks of detailed work. 

The most dramatic expression of the mythical creature is the Bespoke Starlight Headliner — i.e. the interior roof — specially created for these commissions and the result of three months’ design and development work. Above the driver and passenger seats, 677 individually placed fibre-optic “star” lights form an abstract dragon motif, surrounded by an additional 667 lights – positioning them all perfectly by hand. 

Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The motor car commissioned for the Rolls-Royce Private Office Shanghai features a unique expression of the Bespoke Starlight Headliner incorporating red “stars” in a bold and contemporary reference to the symbolism of red in Chinese culture.

Each Phantom Extended commission is completed with a Gallery artwork, carefully protected behind an application of pure glass, that runs uninterrupted across the carbon fiber fascia. The interior is completed with lambswool carpets color-matched to the leather trim.

Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The Bespoke designers created unique colorways for the different models: a duotone Cherry Red with Crystal finish over Selby Grey with a Crystal finish for the Cullinan; and a two-tone Silver and Cherry Red or monolithic Black with a Crystal finish for the Phantom Extended motor car commissions.

“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars leads the luxury sector in creating products inspired by international cultures and traditions, incorporating designs, motifs, materials and colors that resonate with and have real personal meaning for our clients,” says Jonathan Simms, Head of Bespoke, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. These Bespoke creations…are both a powerful expression of our respect for Chinese culture, and a contemporary, minimalist statement in line with trends we see among luxury consumers worldwide.”

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