Michael Phelps, Sarah Hickman and the other athletes who topped the London podium aren’t the only ones coming home with new medals from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Rolls-Royce, the British maker of some of the world’s most expensive automobiles, introduced a new medallion of its own during the splashy finale of the London spectacular – the first time the maker has tinkered with its logo since 1904, four years before the British capital hosted the Olympics for the first time.
“I am delighted that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was invited to take part in celebrating the success of the games and it is appropriate that we should recognise this occasion with a fitting tribute,” said Rolls’ Chief Executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
Three Rolls-Royce Phantom II Drophead Coupes appeared in the closing ceremony, a musical festival featuring dozens of familiar British musicians, including the Who and, coming to center stage in one of those Coupes, current chart-topper Jessie J.
The maker’s Bespoke Design Team actually made a number of modest but notable changes for the games-ending event.
According to Rolls, “The new grille badge features the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy with patriotic Union Flag replacing the traditional flowing gown of the Graceful Little Goddess. The steering wheel centre includes a traditional laurel wreath and torch, and the self-righting wheel centres feature the words ‘London 2012’ surrounded by the Olympic motto, ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ (‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’). The badges are complemented by unique tread plates identifying each car as ‘One of Three’, creating perhaps the most collectable (and unobtainable) Rolls-Royce Bespoke items ever produced.”
As that suggests, the Olympic Rolls badge won’t be coming to a showroom to you. And even if you’re a triple-medalist with the bank account of an Usain Bolt you won’t be able to buy one of the Dropheads that cruised through London’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday night. The maker isn’t saying, yet, what it will do with the three cars.
Rolls landed in the Olympic spotlight because it is the most exclusive of the BMW brands. The Bavarian maker was the official automotive sponsor of the 2012 London games, providing 100s of vehicles to help chauffeur athletes, organizers and dignitaries around the city.
BMW’s Mini brand had a particularly distinctive role in the 17-day sports spectacular. The British maker created a series of one-quarter scale models, dubbed Mini Minis, that helped shuttle javelins, shotputs, discus and hammers from the field to the throwing area during the track-and-field events.
(For more on the Mini Mini’s Olympic debut, Click Here.)
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