Car News

New Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII Has a Canadian Connection

Rolls-Royce today previewed a limited-edition version of its Wraith model that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the world's first non-stop transatlantic flight.

What seems at first a strange thing to commemorate with a special edition car makes more sense given that the Vickers Vimy biplane that flew from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in June of 1919 was powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines.

That engine inspired the name of the special Wraith Eagle VIII Collection, which Rolls will reveal to the public tomorrow at Italy's Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

That's where attendees will see other details of the car inspired by the challenging, nearly 16-hour flight that took Royal Air Force Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown from Canada to Ireland.

One is an analog clock with an "iced" background that recalls the way the plane's instruments froze over after the plane flew into a snowstorm. The Wraith Eagle VIII also sports a starlight headliner -- complete with embroidered clouds -- that represents the constellations Lieutenant Brown used to guide the plane to Ireland after its navigation instruments failed shortly after takeoff.

The Wraith Eagle VIII's interior and exterior styling also pay homage to the flight. Black grille vanes are meant to evoke the cowling of the plane's engines, and brass interior accents were inspired by the sextant Brown used to navigate the plane to Ireland.

Rolls-Royce says it will produce just 50 examples of the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection at its headquarters in Goodwood, UK.