For the car world, Rolls-Royce is the most real legend. Although the history of the brand is quite impressive, only 20 models of this brand were produced. And in fact recently automobile companies release new models almost every year. But Rolls-Royce can safely say that it never chased the amount to the detriment of quality. This brand has always been considered prestigious, this view remains the same today.
It is no accident that the company tries to bring its own model to perfection. A small number of models leads to the fact that each of them becomes a real legend and is sold after many years after the start of sales. On such classic English cars in the XX century celebrities, businessmen and show business stars traveled.
In the same form as we know Rolls-Royce today, it appeared thanks to the tremendous impact of its creators. Almost all the basics of the company’s activities were laid by Charles Stuart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce. It often happens that childhood friends start a joint business, but this was not the case. Moreover, these men represented completely different layers of society, directly opposite each other. But the joint work of Rolls and Royce spawned the most luxurious car of the last century.
Frederic Royce was born on March 27, 1863 in the city of Alvor, in the county of Lincolnshire. In his youth, he did not think that he would ever become a very rich and respectable person. Father Frederick was a miller, but not for long – soon he just went bankrupt. The family learned what poverty is. Already in 10 years Frederic had to start working. He was engaged in various – wore newspapers and telegrams, worked on the railway.
But such early start of labor activity did not discourage the boy from learning. Frederic understood that his future depends directly on his knowledge. In his spare time Royce immersed himself in mathematics, the basics of electrical engineering and even studied foreign languages. But most of all he was attracted by engineering. It was work with technology that brought him real pleasure.
The first work related to Frederick’s hobby was in the company of Hajer Maxim. This inventor became famous for the creation of a machine gun, to which he gave his name. That work pleased Royce, but he dreamed of creating his own business. That’s why from the first serious money the guy began to save money to create the starting capital of his future firm.
In the end, the company really appeared – in Manchester, along with his friend Royce, founded F.H. Royce & Co. Gradually, business expanded, the important point was 1903, when Royce bought his first car. It was the French Decauville. The car turned out to be very bad, with a lot of technical problems. It literally disgusted the owner. The engineer’s soul was literally indignant. As a result, he was tired of struggling with design flaws and decided to create his own car, which was supposed to surpass the imported analog, and to arrange the creator himself.
Frederick’s engineering genius allowed him to really create his own car, and a year later his first copy was sold. That car was much better than French models, as the press flatteringly mentioned. Royce’s car had cool running characteristics, was reliable and cost a reasonable 395 pounds. For that time it was a lot of money, but the company initially did not chase for cheapness.
Charles Rolls had a different fate. He was born in a noble and wealthy Welsh family in 1877. It is logical that Rolls received an excellent education. He had even two diplomas – Eton and Cambridge. Studying in college, Rolls seriously became interested in engineering. And the first car of the young dandy was Peugeot Phaeton. She was bought by Charles’s father when the young man was studying in Cambridge.
The young lord quickly mastered this engineering miracle and even began to participate in it in races. Charles even was able to establish one of the world high-speed records.Love Rolls to cars was truly boundless. He even decided after his graduation to open his own company, which would sell the newfangled means of transportation.
In 1902 CS Rolls & Co. appeared. She was engaged in the sale of cars. The owner managed to attract the famous in this industry specialist – Claude Johnson. Soon things went uphill, the company Royce became one of the largest suppliers of cars in the UK.
But Charles did not just sell ready-made cars, he dreamed of creating his own model, which would glorify him. But it was too expensive to organize production from scratch. It was necessary to find some small promising company that could become a good partner. That’s what the Manchester F.H. Royce & Co.
Fateful acquaintance took place in 1904. Rolls and Royce quickly managed to agree on everything, and after all Charles went to Manchester with skepticism. But back he was carrying with him already an agreement on full-fledged cooperation. Soon the partnership gave birth to the first cars. Press and criticism spoke of them with sympathy, at the end of the same year appeared the already united company Rolls-Royce. The first cars under this brand sold well.
After Royce created really great engineering in the engineering plan, and Rolls knew how to sell them profitably. In addition, there was an extensive distribution network, which easily sold cars throughout the country. But the company had ambitious plans, one England did not want to be content. Soon Rolls-Royce began to be sold in Europe, and in 1906 the car was presented in New York. The conqueror of English roads was enthusiastically accepted in America.
It is very important that the powers were successfully divided between the founders. The specialist says that the person is either the creator of the product or his seller. You need to understand as soon as possible who you really are and find the partner that will complement you in another area. In this case, Royce played the role of creator, he was the chief engineer responsible for creating class cars. And Rolls did what he did best – he sold cars. This cooperation complementing each other and was the main reason for the success of their joint company.
That trip to America has become very important for Rolls-Royce. After all, in addition to successful sales, she infected Charles Royce with a new hobby – aviation. Over the ocean, the Englishman met the Wright brothers, immediately fell in love with flying. Royce’s new passion was aviation. He quickly mastered the basic skills of flight and even managed to fly across the Channel. That interest Rolls reflected in his business. The company began to produce aircraft engines, continuing this direction today.
In many ways, thanks to such products, Rolls-Royce was able to survive in the years of the First World War, when people were not particularly up to expensive cars, the demand for them fell sharply. In 1910, enthusiasm for aviation ended for Rolls tragedy. The Englishman crashed on an airplane at the age of only 33 years, becoming the first British to die in a plane crash. And the management of the company passed into the hands of Frederick Royce, who immediately fell into a lot of unusual problems for him.
During the First World War, the company produced armored cars for the British and their allies. And in the 20’s all began to stir sports car competition. Racing is becoming very popular in Europe. One of the most important participants is the company Rolls-Royce, she repeatedly wins in various Grand Prix. Thanks to the successes in the sport, Frederick Royce even earned the title of knight. And in 1933 the second founder of the automobile brand also died. So the history of the company began without Rolls and Royce.
Shortly before his death, Sir Frederick Henry Royce created his last engine, Merlin. It was on many World War II aircraft, in total 160,000 such units were produced.
Thanks to the founders, a solid foundation was laid for the development and prosperity of the brand. It has already become known to the whole world, its main features have been formed. Rolls-Royce cars became not just a nouveau riche transport, it was a status thing that demonstrated the chosenness of its owner. It is read that this car is purely English, designed for aristocrats. It’s no accident that Rolls-Royce was bought by real stars.
The cream of the society was appreciated by an expensive, but a status thing. Repeatedly Hollywood stars posed next to their car, thereby making free advertising for Rolls-Royce. It is interesting that sometimes the purchase of such a machine spoke of the bad taste of the owner. After all, if the social status does not correspond to such a car, then there is no need to try to look more prestigious.
Among other things, the Rolls-Royce has always been outstanding in its quality. Manual assembly was used, and details were perfected. It is no coincidence that a brand is called a standard of quality. In 1931, the company acquired also the company Bentley, which was also famous for its luxury cars. This allowed us to expand the range of models offered. Currently, the case at Rolls-Royce is no longer as good as before.
In 1971, the company generally declared bankruptcy, the national treasure was saved by the British government. In the late 1990s, a long epic began selling the company. As a result, in 2003 it was bought by a German BMW. The golden years of Rolls-Royce irrevocably passed, remaining in the XX century. Sales are falling, and the brand itself is no longer so popular.