Super-rich make marque on Rolls Royce
The Rolls-Royce may have been the epitome of luxurious motoring for more than 100 years, but for a new breed of super-rich oligarchs and Middle-Eastern royalty, it seems a standard version of the world's most famous car is no longer enough
Demanding extra-high roofs to accommodate tall hats and elongated floors to make room for prostrate servants, those with more money than taste have beaten a path to the door of Mutec near Stuttgart in Germany, the only company formally licensed by the British manufacturer to tinker with its classic designs.
"Our clients are mostly royal households, governments, successful businessmen and, frankly, people who have acquired a lot of money very quickly," said Ian Grayson, the sales manager of Mutec.
Clients are willing to pay up to €1 million - about £735,000 - for such modifications as an extra 3½ft of plush-carpeted floorspace and rear-facing seats in a Phantom model, to make space for their staff. "A royal customer from the Middle East came to us as their tradition did not allow for their servants to sit at the same height as them, so they have to lie on the floor while tending to their masters," said Mr Grayson.
"They were concerned about the comfort of the servants, so wanted us to create extra floorspace in the back."
...Commissions have included fitting a footbath so that an owner could prepare for prayer in the mosque, while a Russian billionaire wanted a longer footwell to accommodate his girlfriend's 44in legs.
The company is also licensed to fit armour plating, bulletproof glass and oxygen supplies in case of poison gas attacks.