The established narrative here is straightforward: Justin Bieber’s custom Rolls-Royce Wraith, built by former TV stars West Coast Customs, should be awful. You can infer as much from the combination of the words Bieber, custom and Rolls-Royce.
Set aside some of the emotional baggage tied to those involved, however, and it’s a different story. Sure, Bieber’s taste in cars is at once fairly predictable for a young pop star with money (Ferraris, Range Rovers, a Lamborghini Urus, a Fisker Karma) and also somewhat gauche in the eyes of traditionalists (most are vinyl wrapped in loud colours, almost all sport black wheels).
Likewise, West Coast Customs has quite a track record. You probably remember Pimp My Ride – a TV series that somehow started 17 years ago now – and the dubious creations that sprang forth.
But Bieber is fundamentally a young guy who likes cars and has the means to indulge that passion, while West Coast Customs is a customising juggernaut capable these days of far more inventive work than throwing a fish tank and a 30-inch TV screen in the back of some kid’s dilapidated hand-me-down.
And let’s take a moment to reflect that this isn’t the first time someone has played around with a Rolls-Royce. The company probably has a longer history of coachbuilt specials than almost any other manufacturer.
There were the teardrops of the 1930s, the deeply disquieting Vignale Silver Wraith of the 1950s, and some of the Sultan of Brunei’s ‘challenging’ commissions, to say nothing of Rolls-Royce’s own in-house projects like the Sweptail.
Against this backdrop Bieber and WCC’s futuristic approach is certainly not unusual and, if you give it a few moments, not even that bad. The front end clearly has some Sweptail influence, and WCC freely admits inspiration was taken from 2016’s 103EX concept. In other words, there’s nothing here that Rolls-Royce itself might not entertain in future. At the very least, it’s better than a Cullinan.
Any concerns over access to those wheels can probably be dismissed – Bieber might be a gearhead, but we also don’t see him as being the “roadside repair” sort either. He probably has people for that.