Rolls Royce’s 2013 Alpine Trial successful recreation




A recreation of what was a test of strength, workmanship and endurance has drawn to a successful close with the 2013 Alpine Trial whereby 47 Silver Ghosts rolled through the Alps and back again over 16 days and some 1,800 miles.

History was brought to life by the intrepid owners as they piloted their machines with consummate skill up challenging Alpine passes and across the borders of five countries, before emerging in Vienna just as the original competitors did exactly 100 years before. The 2013 Centenary Alpine Trial was also graced with British Royalty, Lords and Ladies, Ambassadors and participants from 12 countries as far flung as Australia and the United States.

“The Centenary Alpine Trial has clearly embraced the Spirit of Adventure that is synonymous with Rolls-Royce, and I applaud the participants for their resolve and determination,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO. “The 1913 Alpenfahrt led commentators to declare that Rolls-Royce built the ‘Best Car in the World’. The 2013 Centenary Alpine Trial reinforced that message, and demonstrated that the Company continues to do so to this day.”

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was presented with the Archduke Leopold Salvator trophy by the 20‑Ghost Club, in recognition of the spirit the Company had shown in supporting and actively participating in the Trial. The trophy, a precious claret jug, was one of the original awards presented to Rolls-Royce at the 1913 Alpenfahrt.

The adventure has been fully documented throughout, with over 1000 spectacular photographs, a daily blog and innovative use of the History Pin website. See the following links:

The entry for the final day’s blog is reproduced below:


The gathering of several Rolls-Royces in any one location is guaranteed to draw onlookers, but the congregation of 47 magnificent machines in glorious morning sunshine outside the Panhans Grand Hotel stopped all local traffic with the gathering crowds. The palpable sense of achievement, celebration and of history being made sang through the crisp Alpine air.

The preparation for the final run followed the exacting re-enactment that had thread through the entire event, with the drive from Semmering back into Vienna mirroring the same journey exactly 100 years previously, on Saturday 29 June 1913. And so, with a sense of mixed emotions at the closing stages of this great event, the cars made their way in convoy to the historic capital city.

Wafting their way round the final glorious sweeping curves, as the cars reached the outer city carriageway they accelerated to a comfortable 100km/h or more, easily matching the speed of much more modern machines. Everyone present marvelled at the engineering prowess of the beautiful motor cars, many built more than a century before.

Onlookers clapped and cheered as the convoy approached central Vienna, and made their way to the final destination and scene of the start just 16 days previously, the Kursalon. A warm welcome from the The Markgraf Pallavicini and a glass of crisp Champagne followed, with the cars swamped by onlookers and members of the local media.

The spectacular finale took place at the Palais Pallavicini, with the sounds of chinking Champagne glasses mixing seamlessly with celebratory tales from the road and exquisite live opera pervading every corner of the historic building. The Radley car and the 2013 Alpine Trial Centenary Ghost sat side-by-side in the courtyard as stable mates, resplendent in their Works Team colours.

Amongst the awards given on the evening, The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars ‘Spirit of Adventure’ summed up the atmosphere and ethos of the entire event. Bob Kilburn’s 1921 Silver Ghost Tourer, with bodywork by Barker, had suffered a fuel tank rupture in the early stages of the Trial due to an accident caused by another driver. Undaunted, and with a stubborn persistence to refuse to accept that the car had ‘failed to proceed’, Bob rigged a temporary fuel system using jerricans and a fuel pump bolted to the running board, giving a maximum range of just 30km per top-up.

Bob was presented with the award, to a standing ovation by all those present, by Richard Carter, Global Communications Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Bob humbly dedicated the award to all those that had taken part in the Trial, and characteristically shrugged off the acclaim with a cheery smile.

The 1913 Alpenfahrt led commentators to declare that Rolls-Royce built the ‘Best Car in the World’. The 2013 Centenary Alpine Trial reinforced that message, and demonstrated that the Company continues to do so to this day.


RR’s Alpine Trial rally hits halfway mark

Fireworks celebrate the re-creation of the Alpine Trial exactly 100 years after the initial feat.

Fireworks celebrate the re-creation of the Alpine Trial exactly 100 years after the initial feat to show off the durability and workmanship of the Rolls-Royce motorcars. (Rolls Royce Photo)


The Centenary Alpine Trial’s half-way stage was heralded in Trento, Italy with an evening that promises to live long in the memories of those that attended, and in Rolls-Royce history. The event marked 100 years to the day that the original 1913 Alpenfahrt Rally would have stepped out.

The day before, leaving from Solda in northern Italy, some 47 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts climbed Stelvio Pass. The hairpins and switchbacks – which featured one for each Rolls-Royce car – were negotiated with by the luxury liners, some over 100 years old.

The 2013 Alpine Trial Centenary Collection Ghost led, closely followed by the 1913 Radley car. As the best cars in the world reached the summit, Trial participants were greeted by a rapturous reception by fellow motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists. The spectacular view from the top was made all the more beautiful by a truly extraordinary collection of motor cars.

Reports expected some 20 Ghost Club and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club on the shores of Lake Garda will see 100 Silver Ghosts assembled for the first time.

If the largest gathering of Silver Ghosts in living memory was not enough, then a gala evening followed by a spectacular firework display did much to rejuvenate road-weary participants.

HRH the Duke of Gloucester, Honorary President of the 20-Ghost Club, joined in. The numbers of cars and participants swelled with the arrival of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, who are also touring the Alps.

A celebratory atmosphere was reflected in the words of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, who gave a nod to the company founders and recognised the spirit of adventure and kinship on which the Trials have been based. He said, “I feel sure that somewhere in this room this evening the spirits of Sir Henry Royce, Charles Rolls and Claude Johnson are watching us with profound approval and pride.”

Pin Rolls Royce historical travels during 2013 Alpine Trial

P90125474-lowResBY GERRY MILES

If it’s good to remember where you’ve been to see where you’re going, the “history pin” portion of the 2013 Alpine Trial will give Rolls-Royce Motor Car fans a neat way to see parts of the route “back then” and as it is today.

The RR ‘History Pin’ shows images from the original 1913 Alpenfahrt, juxtaposed against pictures taken live from the 2013 recreation.

Today, June 14, 47 vintage Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts will depart from Vienna through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy before returning to Vienna on June 29 – exactly 100 years to the day since privateer entrant, James Radley, underscoring the luxury marque’s brand of reliability and mechanical excellence.

The cars will tackle over 1,800 miles over some of the world’s most spectacular and challenging mountain passes.

The event can be followed via ‘History Pin’ here:

The 2013 Alpine Trial Centenary Collection

Echoing events a century ago, a Rolls-Royce Works Team will take part in the rally. The original ‘James Radley’ 1913 Silver Ghost will be joined by a contemporary homage created by Bespoke designers and craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England.

Finished in an exterior hue that takes inspiration from the Radley car, the 2013 Alpine Trial Centenary Ghost features exquisitely crafted Bespoke touches that elegantly tell the story of the 1913 Trial.

Rolls Royce to recreate 1913 Alpine Trial endurance drive


To prove their cars are much more than refined rides that upper crust royalty ride around in, Rolls-Royce is re-creating its 1913 Alpine Trial, which it considers to be one of the automotive world’s most gruelling tests of endurance.

Some 40 Silver Ghosts will embark from Vienna through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy before returning to Vienna, amassing 1,800 miles to celebrate the 1913 Trials, depicting the endurance of the Silver Ghost’s reliability. It is meant to underscore the slogan of “Best Car in the World.”

Eight of the 40 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts participating in the rally, many over a century old, have been meticulously prepared by the P&A Wood dealership’s skilled technicians.

“P&A Wood plays a vital role in preserving the marque’s rich history whilst contributing significantly to the contemporary Rolls-Royce success story,” said James Crichton, Regional Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Europe. He added: “Investment in a new dedicated Rolls-Royce showroom space is testament to a shared commitment to long-term sustainable growth and providing a sales and aftersales experience befitting the world’s leading super-luxury marque.”

P&A Wood’s motto; ‘Attention to Detail’ echoes the sentiments of Rolls-Royce founding father Sir Henry Royce who famously implored his staff to “Strive for perfection in everything you do”.

final preparations are underway at the P&A Wood dealership in Essex, England for the re-creation of the 1913 Trial.

final preparations are underway at the P&A Wood dealership in Essex, England for the re-creation of the 1913 Trial.

“This is an extraordinarily busy time for the workshop” said Georgina Wood, P&A Wood. Adding: “Eight cars have been sent here from around the world for their final preparations, many of which over a century old. However, such is the enduring engineering integrity of a Rolls-Royce, I am certain they will negotiate the challenging Alpine roads as effortlessly as they did 100 years ago.”

Most powerful Rolls Royce – the Wraith – debuts at Geneva

Rolls Royce WraithBY GERRY MILES

Finally, Rolls Royce has made a car that looks sporting, fun to drive, and like it’s not a cast off from yet another sequel of Arthur or other rich-man movie that would feature an updated version of Thurston Howell III or 13th.

After what seemed two months of slowly released teaser photos, Rolls Royce finally pulled back the cover to reveal its fastback coupe, also its most powerful car ever.

Most powerful? Yup, so spaketh RR CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos who noted that the new fastback coupe “promises the sense of adventure and speed.” In a Rolls? Good show!

Power will generate from a 6.6-liter, 624 hp, twin-turbo V-12 that also summons up some 590 pound-feet of torque. A new 8-speed transmission from Germany’s ZF will handle the power requests that can move from 0 to 60 mph in a reported 4.4 seconds.

Adding a new GPS-like twist to the performance angle, Wraith’s new 8-speed is what they called “satellite aided” meaning that it will synch it with the coupe’s Nav System so that you’re always in the optimum setting. Let’s hope MyFordTouch never attempts that. Please.

If you like high-tech doo-dads, one options allows the buyer to activate 1,340 fiber-optic strands in the ceiling to create a very realistic night-time effect. Why you’d want that, I’ve no idea, but you can have it if you want it.

The name, Wraith, incidentally, traces its heritage back to one of the marque’s more legendary badges, dating back to 1938 and a production run that totaled just 492 cars – though the maker later followed with the Silver Wraith.  Clearly, Rolls has bigger aspirations this time, at least in relative terms.

It is destined to roll into showrooms later this year.

The cost? $318,000. Seems almost affordable, doesn’t it?


The full presser is found below. Enjoy.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir.

“Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.”

Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.”

In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation.

Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth.

The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.

Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.

From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive.

However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.

Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.

A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability.

For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required.

Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.

Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.”

Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen.

In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year.

First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.

Rolls Royce Wraith will be a fastback

Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith

By Gerry Miles

The fourth and allegedly final image of the Rolls Royce Wraith was released, showing off a fastback silhouetted styling, showing off but three lines that draw the car’s profile.

In the words of Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Design Director:

“The purposeful fastback profile is Wraith’s defining element.
Inherent in the graceful line that sweeps from the top of the screen to the very rear edge is the promise of fast, yet effortless touring. Yet, perhaps my favourite aspect is the expressive gesture that comes from the side window graphic, gliding through Wraith’s glamorous coach door.

It works with a strong sense of linear purpose from the shoulder line, which has the promise of potential like the athlete in the starting blocks. In contrast, the line that cuts through the shoulder line is a little more artful and adds that certain air of effortlessness to Wraith’s dynamic statement.

In my view the most successful designs always come down to three or four lines.”

The Wraith will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show. Stay tuned.