Every motor car that is meticulously handcrafted at the Home of Rolls-Royce is, of course, unique, with its own story and inspiration. But one Bespoke project has a special place in the affections of the marque’s 2,000-strong workforce—and it recently returned to the company’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence, at Goodwood, for some much-needed TLC.
The Rolls-Royce SRH belongs to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, where it is used by young patients on the paediatric day surgery unit to drive themselves to theatre when the time comes for their operation, rather than walking or being wheeled on a trolley.
Since the car entered service in 2017, it has conveyed no fewer than 2,000 brave youngsters in true Rolls-Royce comfort and style. But inevitably, its singular working conditions—the marque is unaware of any other Rolls-Royce being routinely driven along corridors by unlicensed children in a state of nervous excitement—had exacted a toll on its beautiful Bespoke bodywork and paint.
The car was therefore recalled to the Home of Rolls-Royce for its first 100,000 metres service, lovingly carried out by specialists from the Bespoke Team and other technical and craft departments, to restore it to its original condition.
The car was built in 2017, when the hospital asked Rolls-Royce if it could repair the original theatre transport—an electric plastic Jeep—that had succumbed after suffering one too many traumatic injuries of its own. The marque respectfully declined, offering instead to create a new one, to Rolls-Royce standards.
A small team designed and constructed a Bespoke bodyshell in fibreglass reinforced with carbon-fibre, complete with the marque’s iconic Pantheon grille. The bonnet strips were ‘real’ ones cut to length; the two-tone finish was applied exactly as it would be on a full-size commission, with the wheel covers, seats and coachlines all perfectly colour-matched.
The seat was hand-made from wood, with padding upholstered in medical-grade vinyl, hot‑welded to eliminate seams that could trap dirt. The team also designed a custom aluminium footwell that lifts out for cleaning.
In keeping with a Bespoke project, several components were individually created, including handcrafted treadplates, 3D-printed dash, wheel caps and spacers and trim pieces. As a true Rolls-Royce, it is completed with a laser-etched RR badge and its own Spirit of Ecstasy mascot.
Electric power provides the authentic noiseless Rolls-Royce driving experience; and like its road-going counterparts, its speed is limited, in this case to 4 mph rather than the usual 155. The project took around 400 hours to complete, with all the work undertaken in colleagues’ own time.
Following its service and repairs, the car has now returned to the hospital to resume its transformational duties.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars carries out service on Rolls-Royce SRH electric car.