The partnership of engineer Henry Royce and rich gentleman Charles Rolls resulted in the 1906 formation of the world’s most prestigious marque. The Silver Ghost was dubbed ‘The best car in the world’ and RR tried to stick to this creed with all subsequent models. Magnificent leviathans followed, each unstinting in their luxury and price. The post-war Silver Cloud models were perhaps the zenith of RR ’s accomplishments, but the succeeding Silver Shadow became a common sight because so many were built.
Nationalised amid financial woes in 1971, the company was sold off again in 1973. BMW and Volkswagen competed to buy it in 1998, with BMW the eventual winner. The 21st century Rolls-Royces are assembled at Goodwood, and are perhaps the most financial successful models in the company's history.