► Rolls-Royce Dawn announced
► Here are its ancestors
► See the Dawn at Frankfurt
The brand new arrival: Dawn (2015)
We’ve never seen Rolls use the words ‘sexiest’ and ‘erotic’ in an official announcement before – was someone thinking of a different topless model? How excited a full four-seater super-lux convertible with ‘Silent Ballet’ roof mechanism gets you probably depends on your bank balance.
The modern era: Phantom Drophead Coupe (2007-present)
The first modern – ie, built under BMW’s ownership – convertible Roller gave us boat-style rear decking, imperious presence and an immense pair of suicide doors. Range-topping pricing means the depreciation is almost as massive.
The inspiration: Silver Dawn Drophead Coupe (1950-1954)
The Silver Dawn was the first Rolls to be offered with a factory-built body, but the convertibles were all coach-built – and there were only ever 28 of them. A 1952 example by Park Ward is specifically cited as the new Dawn’s inspiration.
The best car in the world: Silver Ghost (1906-1926)
It made Rolls-Royce’s reputation, but Rolls actually only made the chassis. Most popular coach-built convertible was the Barker Enclosed Cabriolet, apparently. Probably also the only ’vert to share its underpinnings with an armoured car.