Memorable Meeting: On How Rolls-Royce Appeared

May 4th is memorable for the auto industry, or rather for the premium car segment, because a landmark event happened on this day 116 years ago. More precisely, there was a meeting between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.

The landmark meeting took place at the Midland hotel in Manchester in 1904., Their fruitful cooperation begins from here on out, although the company Rolls-Royce, which specialized in the production of cars and aircraft engines, would be founded two years later.

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Henry Royce, as an engineer, always aspired to excellence and had an innate work ethic that later became the philosophy of Rolls-Royce: “Take the best that is, and make it even better.” Charles rolls, an aristocrat, was an skillful driver (as well as an aviator and entrepreneur), also experienced in selling imported foreign cars.

Interestingly, the creation of future Rolls-Royce cars was influenced to some extent by the French car industry of that time. The fact is that Henry Royce's first car was the De Dion, which he purchased in 1901. But he was dissatisfied with it and decided to build a car with his own hands according to his project.

Charles Stewart Rolls Charles Stewart Rolls

It is worth noting that Royce, who came from a poor family, was largely self-taught. However, it took him only a few years to build a car of his own design – the car was ready in 1904. One of the first three copies went to his partner, Henry Edmondson, who then introduced Rolls and Royce. In the same year, the first car under the rolls-Royce brand was produced. As we would say now, it was an introductory product. Small-scale production began in 1906.

Throughout its 116-year history, the company has faced many challenges. It had to survive the greatest pandemic of the 20th century, the Spanish flu, political and economic crises both in the UK and in foreign markets.

The brand has always approached every challenge with ingenuity, determination and courage, although the Covid-19 is arguably the greatest challenge Rolls-Royce has ever faced. Nevertheless, the company has always embodied tranquility and constancy in this turbulent world.

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The example of its founders can be very relevant here. So, Charles Rolls, being an avid aviator, was the second to get a pilot's license in the UK. He immediately set a speed record when flying across the English Channel. Henry Royce, after a severe operation, was able not only to return to work (although he worked remotely in his own home, 12 km from the company's workshops) but also created the legendary aircraft engines that became the basis for British aviation of those years. According to legend, he even sketched the schematic design of one of these engines with a cane on the sand, walking on a nearby beach.

The plane that made the first transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1919 was equipped with nothing but the Rolls-Royce engine was equipped. In 2019, the company released a limited series of 50 Rolls-Royce Wraith cars called ‘Eagle VIII’ in order to mark this occasion.

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