Most bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom ever created for a U.S. buyer arrives home

Jack Boyd Smith, Jr. has taken delivery of his bespoke Phantom Extended.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Whether you prefer the term "customized" or the word "bespoke", the result is nothing short of another extraordinary benchmark in unique design set by the team of artisans and craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

The most highly customized Rolls-Royce Phantom ever created for a U.S. buyer has reached its home in Elkhart, Indiana. The car joins the collection of Jack Boyd Smith, Jr., the owner of Gaska Tape Inc., a manufacturer of closed cell foams and pressure sensitive adhesive tapes. Smith is also the owner of the JBS Collection, a private collection of 60 vehicles kept in driving condition that have won acclaim at numerous prestigious concours events.

In 2017, Smith saw the new generation Phantom, Phantom VIII, at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It was wearing a Tailor Purple paint job and had an Arctic White interior, and immediately caught his eye. Smith had to have one.

Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.'s Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended: Exterior

Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.'s Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The fifth Rolls-Royce to join Smith's garage, the newest commission is a Phantom Extended that has its color matched to a 1934 Packard Twelve Coupe that is already in the JBS Collection. The automaker went so far as to have the fender of the Packard shipped to Goodwood so they could make sure that the color was. Forty test coats later, the final formulation was decided on.

The exterior of the vehicle features a coachline that matches the wheel center pinstripes. The driver's door bears the personalized initials "JBS Jr" while the passenger door bears the initials of Mrs. Smith, "LAS." The duo's names are also on the car's treadplates, which feature the new brand identity of Rolls-Royce.

On the front of the car sits a sterling silver Spirit of Ecstasy, a rare metal form for the sculpture to be presented in.

That exterior was just the start of Smith's non-negotiable design, which would take three years for the Goodwood team to execute.

Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.'s Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended: Interior

Jack Boyd Smith, Jr.'s Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended: Interior

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Smith also wanted a custom Koa wood interior on the key accent points of his Phantom. The Koa tree grows only in Hawaii and is protected in Hawaiian State and National parks. The only Koa wood that can be harvested comes from private agricultural land. Harvesting may only happen if a tree or its branches have naturally fallen. Finding a unique and usable log was not easy. A Rolls-Royce Wood Specialist described the find as a 'one in a million chance'.

The wood would be featured throughout the vehicle from the steering wheel to the Gallery to the seatbacks.

The Dove Grey color from the exterior carries over to the saddle leather on the interior. There, it is offset by Navy Blue highlights and piping. In the rear there are Serenity Seats with a fixed center console.

Between the seats is a custom fridge that features a pair of of crystal champagne flutes and decanter, engraved with the clients' initials.

On the cabin roof is a bespoke version of the signature Rolls-Royce starlight headliner. For Smith's vehicle, the 1,420 fiber-optic light star pattern depicts the constellation patters of the night sky above Cleveland, Ohio on the date of his birth.

"It is our honor to present Jack Boyd Smith, Jr. with his latest Rolls-Royce Phantom commission," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "This Bespoke creation joins a collection of truly notable and historic motor cars. The Koa Phantom demonstrates the extraordinary skill of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective – a precious and rare example of a naturally sourced material, Koa Wood, is masterfully incorporated into Phantom's contemporary interior. It took more than three years for this commission to come to life and we are delighted that it will take an important place in The JBS Collection of Jack Boyd Smith, Jr."

In addition to the car, Smith was delivered of his hamper, also made of Koa wood, which included a 12-piece stainless-steel cutlery set, Wedgwood porcelain plates, and hand-made wine glasses and decanters from the Ajka Crystal factory in Hungary.

In an interview today, Smith considered whether or not his new Phantom would someday be a collectable classic like the other cars in his collection. "It already is," he responded.

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The engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet CorvetteThe model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet CorvetteMilitary imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet CorvetteImagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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Mercedes-Benz EQS production has begun at Factory 56.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz factory in Sindelfingen, Germany is the home of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS. Factory 56, a home within the larger manufacturing facility, is where the EQS is produced, in both regular- and long-wheelbase form.

The hub is a carbon-neutral facility that has several measures in place that help it achieve that status. For example, the photovoltaic systems on the roof of the hall cover yearly around 30 percent of the electricity demand. Additionally, the factory's assembly lines have been designed in such a way to allow for maximum flexibility where different models of different drive types can be put together on the same line.

Mercedes EQS production at Factory 56

Mercedes EQS production at Factory 56

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The processes and equipment of Factory 56 have been specially adapted for the EQS. This is most apparent at the point in the production process called the "Fullflex Marriage". It is then that the vehicle body is connected to its drive system. It happens over the course of the car's visit to several stations. Because of this order of operations, different powertrain variants can be connected to the respective vehicle bodies on the same line. This, along with enhanced digitization, has allowed the efficiency of the line to be increased.

The MO360 digital ecosystem is the basis for production. In installing the system, Mercedes has committed to focusing on people and providing them the support they need via digitization. Factory 56 has more than 1,500 employees.

The first finished EQS models have begun rolling off the assembly line. Deliveries of the all-electric luxury sedan for U.S. customers will begin in the later part of 2021.

"The future of our global Mercedes-Benz production network begins with EQS production in Factory 56: this future is CO2-neutral, sustainable, fully digitalized, connected and highly flexible," said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Production and Supply Chain Management. "The start of production of the EQS is a highlight in our unprecedented electric vehicle initiative in the production area. In 2022, a total of eight Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles will be produced at seven locations on three continents."

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