Rolls-Royce officially declared that its future is electric when it unveiled the Spectre super coupe, and now the British luxury brand’s past is being reinvented in the same way.
The Spectre has a two-year waiting list and at least two potential customers aren’t prepared to hold on, commissioning electrified classics instead.
A 1960 Silver Cloud II, once owned by Sophia Loren, was sent to Lunaz for a complete restoration, followed by the replacement of its 6.3-litre V-8 engine with an all-electric powertrain. The Oscar winner’s Roller has been repainted in Shale over Rich Gold and retrimmed in Sage leather and refreshed burr walnut. Beyond the EV updates the car also has heated seats, USB chargers, an electronic parking brake, and parking cameras linked to a dashboard display. Loren’s luxury car is set for a new life as part of Lunaz’s Hotel Programme where it will be used to whisk VIPs around. Under the scheme, which costs from around £550,000, Lunaz will provide a swanky EV-swapped classic and provide training for chauffeurs.
“Every Rolls-Royce elevated by Lunaz has its own unique and fascinating story to tell, but few can match this exceptional Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II,” says Lunaz Founder David Lorenz. “In elevating this beautiful, historically-important classic to fully-electric power, we’ve remained absolutely faithful to its original spirit and purpose: to use the most advanced technology available to convey passengers in perfect serenity, privacy and comfort. Through this car, and other vehicles built through the Lunaz Hotel Programme, we’re enabling the world’s leading hotel and residence operators to add a new dimension to their guests’ experience.”
Stepping silently back in time even further is Electrogenic, which has just finished switching a 1929 Phantom II to electric power in its most complex conversion to date. Out went the car’s 7.7-litre pushrod straight-six in favor of a 93kWh battery pack and a single-speed direct-drive electric motor. No modifications were made to the Phantom’s original structure, with batteries fitted in the former engine bay and between the chassis rails. Further challenges included powering the car’s ‘through-flow’ chassis lubrication system and modifying the cable-operated brakes to work with a regeneration system. A range of 150 miles is claimed.
The cabin has been kept as it left coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner, with its patinated leather and wood trim, but the gauges have been repurposed to show battery charge and other EV info, while a modern audio system has been secreted away as well.
“While it sounds like we’ve carried out a great deal of modifications – and we have – I’m particularly proud of the fact that, as with all Electrogenic conversions, nothing has been drilled or cut on the car,” says boss Steve Drummond. “All the parts can be reassembled, and the car returned to its original state, if required.”
There’s no word on what the conversion cost, but it’s probably not that far short of the £2750,000 Rolls-Royce would charge for a Spectre.