Rolls-Royce Revives Its Goodwood Champion Gravity Racers

a person driving a race car
Rolls-Royce Revives Its Champion Gravity RacersRolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce’s RR-0.01 and RR-0.02 hand-built gravity racers were built to run in the Soapbox Challenges at the 2001 and 2002 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Both cruised to victory and were retired in 2013, each sustaining damage along the way. More than a decade later, a team of Rolls-Royce Apprentices just completed the full-body and mechanical restoration of these heritage cars, including what the brand calls a "complex" grille repair and front veneer replacement.

Kicking off what Rolls-Royce refers to as its Goodwood era, these two racers predate the 2003 Phantom, which included the newest version of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. The Rolls-Royce Close Coupled Drophead Gravity Racers are what the brand says was “a teaser to the marque’s Goodwood resurgence.”

a group of men standing next to a machine

The RR-0.01 was built with aluminum, carbon and glass fiber, and composite honeycomb plates, and a ‘March Hare’ mascot was affixed to the hood. It was piloted by Rolls-Royce’s first Design Director Ian Cameron, who beat a Bentley racer in the final corner.

Inspired by the Silver Ghost from the early 1900s, the RR-0.02 sits on skinny tubular tires and was crafted with aluminum and carbon fiber with leather trim and a painted wood deck. Cameron also drove this vehicle to victory, earning the Merit of Excellence award in the process.

Currently, the racers are on display at the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club in Northamptonshire.

a person driving a race car

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