Brand-new Rolls-Royce presented to club members in Sussex
One of the world's most technologically advanced luxury cars was today scrutinised by arguably its most expert critics.
At its home at Chichester, Rolls-Royce Motors Cars unveiled the new Ghost to the owners of its vintage predecessor.
The original Silver Ghost was manufactured by the company from 1906 to 1926 and less than 8,000 were produced.
On Friday, owners of some of those early classics - members of the exclusive 20-Ghost Club - parked up their vehicles outside the Goodwood headquarters, donned R-R embroidered face masks, and headed inside to see the latest incarnation of the iconic brand.
After a charismatic presentation by young Designer Henry Cloke, many of the visitors made clear just how impressed they were.
"How much is it? I guess prices start from £400,000," one observed.
Memorable spectacle as world's oldest Rolls-Royce club meets in SussexWhen he was told the basic price was just over half that figure at a quarter of a million pounds he shook his head and said he didn't know how they did it for the price. "I've just spent more than that restoring a car!"
While even the lower price tag will be out of most readers' price range, the success of Ghost promises to bring a boost to the entire community. Rolls-Royce as a major quality employer is a critical ingredient to Chichester's economic resilience.
The response to the car so far has been extremely positive and the orders are coming in at a record rate, Stephen Finch the product manager said. "So it's really, really encouraging."
Henry explained how the 'post opulent' car was the company's most technologically advanced yet. He highlighted the clean lines and the minimalist approach to the design which helped to frame the main features.
Speaking by video, chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös welcomed guests and echoed that approach.
"Our founding father Sir Henry Royce had a very insightful saying - small things make perfection but perfection is no small thing. Today at Rolls-Royce we truly feel the impact of his words because creating simplicity is an extremely complex process, never more so than when it came to the development of our new Ghost.
"I believe you will appreciate the minimalist design beauty and purity. It exudes style and substance while remaining a true Rolls-Royce. It is a car truly in tune with the times in which we are all living."