Rolls-Royce Phantom Steering Wheel

by Rau on May 2, 2012

in Custom Projects

A long time ago (1998) in a land far, far away (West Sussex, England) a legendary luxury automobile manufacturer was to be sold… Long story short, Rolls-Royce and Bentley were sold, and it was decided that Volkswagen would make Bentleys and BMW would make Rolls-Royces.

2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom

The first model introduced by Rolls-Royce during the BMW era was the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom. The Phantom would go on to become very popular, even winning the Top Gear 2003 “Car of the Year Award”. It was a beautifully designed automobile, proudly touted as the start of a new era for Rolls-Royce, vindicating the brand’s place in the leading-edge of automotive design, but it still lacked one thing.

What the Rolls-Royce Phantom was missing was a hand crafted wooden steering wheel! That was until a Service Director from our local Rolls-Royce dealer came to us with the wheel off the first 2003 Phantom in America. This steering wheel would be the first wood Phantom wheel in the world. The steering wheel was for one of our frequent customers. This particular customer had us build seven wheels within the last fifteen years.

For this wheel we utilized 8 consecutive leaves of walnut burl book matched at each spoke and at the top of the wheel. We managed to finish it just in time for our first SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show, so we brought the wheel with us. It was nice to show off the Phantom wheel, but we would soon be surprised by who would visit our booth.

The Service Director came to our booth and saw his wheel on display. This could have been an awkward, but thankfully he was happy with our work and glad to have the wheel on display. The show was a great success, we brought the wheel back to Los Angeles, and it was quickly attached to the Phantom where it continues to steer this beautiful car today. The 2003 Phantom was the start of a new era for Rolls-Royce automobiles, and we are proud that we were part of this new exciting era.

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