It’s fair to say that a Rolls Royce with bespoke bodywork is not a new idea. This particular Phantom-based one-off is something genuinely quite different, however.
Created by Italian specialist firm Biemme Special Cars at a reputed cost of more than £500,000, you’re looking at the world’s first Rolls-Royce Phantom hearse.
It’s been built for East Midlands-based funeral directors A.W. Lymn and will be based at Nottingham. They’re clearly Rolls-Royce fans as this is the 11th Phantom on their fleet, but the first hearse, joining 10 regular saloons.
How on earth do they turn a Rolls Phantom into a hearse?
The funereal business of turning a Phantom into a coffin-bearer has meant a fairly extreme departure from the donor car’s blueprints. Most obviously aside from the bodywork, the wheelbase has been extended by a long way, and with the regular Phantom not the shortest of cars, that makes the hearse an exceptionally lengthy vehicle.
The exterior is finished in silver over contrast silver paintwork with hand-painted black fine lines, while the somewhat glitzy illuminated coffin compartment is ornamented with crystal glass and polished stainless steel. A separate storage area packaged behind the driver means the coffin compartment can’t be cluttered by anything except its intended cargo.
Sounds like a classy way to make your final journey...
Well, there's no accounting for taste. Note there’s also an on-board sound system linked up to a portable microphone to enable funeral services and music to be broadcast in outdoor areas.
Appropriately enough for Halloween, the pictures released today come from a rather eerie graveyard-based photoshoot. A grave touch, we'll think you'll agree.
Read CAR’s original first drive of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe here.