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Rhapsody in Blue: Rolls-Royce Ghost

The Rolls-Royce Ghost, shown here in Galileo Blue, boasts a Planar system, featuring the world's first double-damper suspension
The Rolls-Royce Ghost, shown here in Galileo Blue, boasts a Planar system, featuring the world’s first double-damper suspension.

You’ve heard the expression “When you got it, flaunt it.” A little history lesson here; seems the phrase was first coined in magazine advertisements for the now long-defunct Braniff International back in the late 1960s.

In the series of somewhat quirky ads, Braniff paired famous celebs at the time, like boxer Sonny Liston and Andy Warhol, to extol the virtues of flying the airline. The Salvador Dalí and Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford skit was hilarious.

Right now, I’m flaunting it behind the wheel of this brand-new Roll-Royce Ghost, painted a retina-searing shade called Galileo Blue. The color is an eye-watering $16,350 option on top of the Ghost’s $353,850 base price.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost's Geek temple-like grille and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament
The Rolls-Royce Ghost’s Geek temple-like grille and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.

If that wasn’t flaunting enough, the interior is lined, top to bottom, in a shade of powdery, robin’s egg shade dubbed Charles Blue, surely selected by King Charles himself.

And for the final flourish of attention-grabbing coloring, how about the set of retro white-wall tires? When was the last time you saw white walls? If my memory serves me right, a ’78 Cadillac Eldorado. A Biarritz, naturally.

This colorful concoction is what happens when you decide to purchase a new Ghost, then take a trip to merrie olde England to visit Rolls’ Bespoke personalization department.

The Galileo Blue Rolls-Royce Ghost's hood is painted a contrasting silver
The Galileo Blue Rolls-Royce Ghost’s hood is painted a contrasting silver.

Here, a team of creative types will help you build the car of your dreams, with essentially nothing off limits. Pink paint to match your pet poodle? Not a problem. A diamond-encrusted dashboard? Just ask.

As you might expect, driving a Rolls-Royce Ghost like this, especially one painted the color of Barbie’s sofa, is not for anyone seeking anonymity.

There’s something about that shimmering Greek temple-like grille, that winged Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, the rear-hinged coach doors. A Beyoncé sighting at Bergdorf’s wouldn’t attract this much attention.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost's 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 delivers 563 horsepower and 627 pound-foot of torque.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 delivers 563 horsepower and 627 pound-foot of torque.

But to drive it is to adore it. Here is a car that turns even the shortest commute into an occasion. Perched behind that beautifully crafted wheel, gazing down that mile-long hood—painted a contrasting silver in our baby-blue test car—and looking up to see stars in the Ghost’s sparkly Starlight headliner, is beyond spectacular.

Maybe it’s the sheer smoothness of the ride from the Ghost’s so-called Planar system, featuring the world’s first double-damper suspension. It works on the premise that if the main damper doesn’t totally absorb the bump, there’s a second to sweep up. Ali Baba’s magic carpet doesn’t offer as smooth a ride as this.

Then there’s the Ghost’s whisper-quiet, turbine-smooth 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 delivering 563 galloping horses and a mighty 627 pound-foot of torque. Enough to thrust this luxury heavyweight from standstill to 60 miles per hour in a mere 4.6 seconds.

The dashboard and steering wheel of the Rolls-Royce Ghost in Galileo Blue
The dashboard and steering wheel of the Rolls-Royce Ghost in Galileo Blue.

That said, enjoy it while you can as the big 12-cylinder might not be too long for this world. Rolls-Royce has already made a pledge to go all-electric by 2030, and the newly launched electric Rolls Spectre only highlights how battery power enhances a Rolls-Royce’s smoothness and refinement.

After driving the new Spectre coupe, this latest Ghost does make itself heard, especially under foot-to-the-floor acceleration. No, it’s far from vocal; it’s just that the Spectre is so ethereally hushed.

Of course, you just might want to let your chauffeur do the driving. Good choice, simply because sitting in the back has to be one of the finest, most-pampered ways to travel, second only, say, to a flagship Rolls Phantom, or Gulfstream jet. Let your toes sink into the shearling-wool floor mats, crank-up the 18-speaker, 1,300-watt stereo, and break open the Bollinger.

Rolls-Royce Ghost in Galileo Blue 1
Rolls-Royce Ghost in Galileo Blue.

No, you won’t find a 31-inch, 8K drop-down TV screen like the one offered in the back seat of BMW’s latest 7-Series. Or reclining rear seats with powered footrests that come with a Mercedes-Maybach S 680 or even a Genesis G90.

What you will discover is perfection, with a level of quality and craftsmanship you won’t find in any other car. And when you have that, you want to flaunt it.

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