A Big Reveal for the Smallest Rolls-Royce

Charles Edwards-Freshwater (Online Editor)
Rolls-Royce develop a new miniature car for a children's hospital

Wanting to show their community spirit, iconic motoring company Rolls-Royce have recently unveiled a seminal new concept in luxury that has been crafted for one very special customer – the St. Richard’s Hospital Paediatric Day Surgery in the marque’s hometown of Chichester, West Sussex.

Creating a special miniature Rolls-Royce car (appropriately named the Rolls-Royce SRH) that will allow children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre in utmost style, Rolls-Royce have worked with the Paediatric Unit to create corridors filled with traffic signs and road obstacles, helping children heading towards surgery to concentrate on something else and drastically reduce the stress they feel.

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In light of this exciting new concept, Rolls-Royce welcomed two very special test drivers from the Paediatric Unit of St. Richard’s, Molly Matthews and Hari Rajyaguru to their home to experience the vehicles first hand. Experiencing their first look at these wonderful hallway motorcars at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood Studio, Molly and Hari were treated like VIP customers and were escorted around the area in true style as they got acquainted with the vehicles and their functions.

This exclusive event and visit served as the final validation and pre-delivery inspection of the vehicles before they were officially handed over to the patients, their families and the dedicated day surgery team at the hospital.  As a special bonus, during their visit both Molly and Hari were able to test drive their cars on the Rolls-Royce production line, an honour that is usually reserved solely for the Chief Executive of the marque during their validation process and one which has most recently been used to test the forthcoming Phantom 8 model.  Once completing this once in a lifetime experience both Molly and Hari and their families were chauffeured home in absolute style in some fully equipped Rolls-Royce Ghosts.

 “We are a proud member of the community here in West Sussex. The Pediatric Unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester does such vital work in providing essential care to young people and their families,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “We hope that the Rolls‑Royce SRH will serve to make the experience for young people during treatment a little less stressful.”

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Perhaps what really stands out about this project is that the creation of the Rolls-Royce SRH is a landmark decision in bespoke luxury. Created fully by the dedicated Bespoke Manufacturing team at Rolls-Royce, these hallway vehicles were created completely with their smaller customers in mind, everything from the two tone paint scheme of Andalusian White and Salamanca Blue to the hand applied St. James Red coachline appealing to the children’s tastes.

The interior of these small vehicles have also been approached with the same attention to detail and care that Rolls-Royce applies to all of their creations.  The two tone steering wheel and the seats and self righting wheel centres have been perfectly matched to the red coachline, and the cars can even travel at speeds of up to 10mph –achievable due to the SRH’s volt gel battery that powers the car with the same level of elegant silence as the larger models’ V12 engine. The speed can be set to remain at a statelier but still enjoyable 4mph as well; depending on how fast the driver wants to journey.

Taking over 400 hours to complete, the Rolls-Royce SRH is fully in tune with the famous credo of Sir Henry Royce, “When it does not exist, design it.” In addition to developing competency in a new chassis and electronic technologies, the project team behind the SRH also utilised innovative methods such as 3D printing technology in the design, creating the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy and the bespoke pedal controls using this method.

Lawrie Mewse, Project Leader of the Rolls-Royce SRH, said, “I am immensely proud of what the team has achieved. This project showcases the amazing skills and technology that exist in the Bespoke Manufacturing Team and across every area at the Home of Rolls Royce here at Goodwood. However, the most important thing is giving back to the local community and having a positive impact for children and their parents during their time in hospital.”

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Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive, of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “Just like the joy it will bring to our young patients, the Rolls-Royce SRH is simply priceless. It is a very special gift and one of the most wonderful donations ever received by Love Your Hospital, our trust’s dedicated charity. On behalf of everyone at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and especially the small team who volunteered so much of their own time in support of St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and the children we care for.”

Sue Nicholls, Paediatric Matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust commented, “It’s wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theatre, rather than an apprehensive one, and everyone caring for children at St Richard’s is so grateful to Rolls-Royce for this unique donation. We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in the coming years it will help turn a daunting experience into a more fun and enjoyable one for hundreds and hundreds of children.”

A new chapter in what bespoke truly means to the luxury marque, not only is the Rolls-Royce SRH a stunning feat of design and detail that the brand can be proud of but it is also a helpful tool that will make help young patients feel safe, secure and highly reduce the stress before surgery, proving once again that Rolls-Royce are a company that care about every driver, even the littlest ones.

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