Up for auction at Sotheby’s this month is this bright red Phantom, with proceeds from the auction going to benefit (RED), the global AIDS charity. Crystal particles in the vehicle’s layers 5 layers of paint, which takes 25 hours to polish, result in a luminous finish. Also notable are the extravagant 22-inch fully-forged alloy wheels with centre caps that self-centre, so the Rolls-Royce Logo is always right-side-up.
But a Rolls-Royce is more about interior than exterior; this Phantom features Brilliant Arctic White leather upholstery that’s brightly contrasted by Mugello Red accents. Wood accents have been finished with six coats of black piano lacquer.
More significant, is “The Gallery,” a single piece of glass that extends across the instrument panel. The Gallery in this Phantom is done up in Mugello Red Leather, using a beautiful Regatta Sails Motif, never before seen in a Phantom. Furthermore, the headliner, which typically showcases a starscape, has been modified to feature red shooting stars.
It’s worth noting that Rolls-Royce Phantom features 130 kilograms of sound insulation, including six-millimetre, two-layer glazing all around the vehicle, to make the cabin as quiet and serene as possible.
Like all Rolls-Royce Phantoms, it’s powered by a turbocharged 6.75-litre V12 engine that can hit highway speeds from a standstill in just 5.1-seconds. It uses an intuitive eight-speed automatic transmission that gets additional guidance for gear selection from the navigation system. For example, if there’s a hill or curve, the transmission automatically drops a gear, providing a more responsive, smoother ride.
But this auction isn’t just about the vehicle specs. Winning bids get a customized wrap for the vehicle done by award-winning artist Mickalene Thomas. The New York-based artist is one of the most respected contemporary artists in the world, with solo presentations in The Bass in Miami, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.
“I am honoured to collaborate with such an esteemed group of partners as (RED), Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Sotheby’s, and RM Sotheby’s in the global fight to end AIDS. To be able to share my creative vision in a way that impacts such a noble cause feels powerful and inspiring to me and I am sure to the ultimate winning bidder, who is coming together with these amazing organizations to change the world,” said Mickalene Thomas.
Sotheby’s is currently expecting something in the range of USD $600,000 to $800,000 for this special Phantom, which would be a huge help to (RED). “We’re so grateful to Rolls-Royce for donating profits from the Red Phantom to help with the fight to end AIDS,” said Jennifer Lotito, Chief Operating Officer, (RED). “We need all forces mobilized against this pandemic which is the leading cause of death among young women. We also want to thank Mickalene Thomas for her creative genius and support of this auction to help the Global Fund eradicate AIDS.”
This isn’t the first time that Rolls-Royce has auctioned off a car for charity or partnered with an artist to create such an evocative vehicle in the spirit of philanthropy. In September a Phantom was sold for £888,000 in support of allergy research at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. That vehicle received a customized wrap from artist Marc Quinn. Last year the automaker auctioned off the first of its eighth generation Phantoms for USD $780,000 with proceeds benefiting the Naples Children & Education Foundation.
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