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Rolls-Royce’s Soapbox Racers: From Gravity-Defying Beginnings to Glorious Restoration

In an exhilarating nod to their gravity-defying past, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrates the rebirth of its very first creations of the Goodwood era, the gravity racers RR-0.01 and RR-0.02. Before the age of the Phantom, Ghost, or Cullinan, there were these soapbox daredevils, engineered to conquer the Soapbox Challenges at the 2001 and 2002 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unlike any vehicles before, these racers marked Rolls-Royce’s thrilling prelude to its resurgence.

Handcrafted with precision and care, the RR-0.01 and RR-0.02 have been meticulously restored to their former splendor by a new generation of Rolls-Royce apprentices. These gravity racers, the marque’s inaugural vehicles in the Goodwood era, have been lovingly refurbished and are now proudly displayed at the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club headquarters in Northamptonshire, symbolizing the legacy and innovative spirit of Rolls-Royce.

Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations and Heritage at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, expressed immense pride in revisiting the company’s roots. “Before the world saw the first Phantom roll out, these gravity racers were our initial mark of excellence. It’s a remarkable journey from then to now, and seeing these racers restored is a testament to the enduring legacy of Rolls-Royce craftsmanship.”

The RR-0.01, mirroring the future Phantom VII’s design with its carbon and glass fibre build, and the RR-0.02, a nod to the historic Silver Ghost with its sleek, speed-focused design, both played pivotal roles in preluding Rolls-Royce’s modern era. Their restoration and display not only celebrate over two decades of the marque’s achievements but also inspire the future generation of Rolls-Royce artisans and enthusiasts.

Having made their racing swansong at the 2013 Soapbox Challenge, these vehicles have since transitioned from the racetrack to a place of honor within the Rolls-Royce legacy, embodying the spirit of innovation that has driven the marque since its inception. The journey from gravity racers to luxury car icons is a unique chapter in Rolls-Royce’s storied history, now beautifully preserved for posterity.

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