We all know that if you can afford it, custom-made is the way to go. In a world flooded with mass produced, disposable merchandise, the discerning lady or gentleman can really choose to stand out with bespoke items made to their unique specificiations. People just have different needs, and there are times when what’s already out there in the market just doesn’t cut it.
We all recognize this. We all know that a well tailored suit just feels better to wear. A custom built computer tends to serve one’s needs better than a prebuilt model. And custom furniture can make a home feel more like a home than prefab, flatpacked assemblages of wood and plastic. But this thinking tends not to carry over to vehicles. They are, after all, perhaps the greatest symbol of mass production in the history of the world. They are these marvelous machines that managed to change the world precisely because someone found a way to make a lot of identical models really quickly.
But in 2016, Rolls-Royce just threw conventional thinking out the window and truly committed to created bespoke luxury for their customers. The carmaker spared no expense to create custom automobiles for a variety of customers. It ranged from seemingly simple cosmetic alterations, like an embroidered tiger print pattern on the center console; to extra luxurious ameneties, like a specially fitted champagne fridge on the back of a Phantom; to developing completely unique colors reserved for personal use, as was the case for US collector Michael Fux, who drives the only car in the world painted in his custom “Fux Blue.”
This, surely, is the highest level of bespoke. It is applying a layer of personal design to a material good that is inseparable from the idea of industrial mass production. People do try to make their cars reflect their personality. Rolls-Royce just seems to be taking that idea further than anyone else.